It’s absolutely unbelievable, isn’t it.
The things you hear people say about kids – when it comes to playing sports. There are people who take one look at a kid, and immediately judge her (or him) based on what they see.
She is too short to pitch. She is too heavy to play middle infield. She’s too slow to be a catcher, too awkward to play the outfield, too slow to run the bases, too scared to play third. Too small to be a big hitter or too small for her age.
She’s left handed so can’t play short stop, doesn’t have the arm to do this or that, her batting stance is weird, her mental game is rough, she can’t handle pressure well, she’s too hard on herself, she has no confidence. She’s never played before and probably isn’t any good.
Oh, and this is one of our favorites as a parent of a type 1 player (she wears an insulin pump, she might not be a good choice for a roster spot!)
We even had a young lady message us once because she was told by a school coach that she didn’t make the school team because they ‘didn’t have a jersey large enough to fit her.” TRUE STORY! (And yes, we helped her solve that issue straightaway and they did accommodate her with a larger uniform)
We tell our daughters all the time that they can be anything they want to be. We encourage them to try new things and we believe in them. Only to have the world around them cave into antiquated assumptions about them based on their appearances, experience or personality traits.
Take a look at college players. College athletes.
So are these things true? Can we tell the quality of a ball player from taking one look? In our quests to recruit the ‘best of the best’ for our teams, where likely no scholarships will be given out or money will exchange hands, do we simply start minimizing a child because of how they look, or because of what we thing?
Only if you are afraid to coach. Only if you are afraid to empower? Only if you’re only goal is to win trophies and you have no desire to truly be a coach, and foster talent, and take on the challenges that come with all athletes..
Is a child’s weight, or height, or quirky personality, or inability to run the bases in 3.6 seconds a handicap for your team? Maybe. But how do you know that this girl at your tryout doesn’t have the heart of a ballplayer, and doesn’t have the desire to play and learn and be coached?
Maybe that kid won’t turn into a bad ass ballplayer. But maybe she will.
And if they don’t see limits, why should anyone set limits for them?
Open your minds people…
These are children.
And if you are worth anything as a coach, you can help any of these girls who are perceived as “too” anything to become the best athletes they can be.
Remember, it’s not always about what a player can do for you – It’s about what you can for a player, for the life of a child.
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