The Many Faces of a Fastpitch Player
On of the most amazing things about the millions of girls who play softball, is that they have so many different faces. Last fall, the girls on our team were a hodge podge of talent, that completely transferred from the field to their lives. The short stop could sing. One of the pitchers played the flute. Our 3rd baseman the trumpet. More than half of the girls on the team made Junior Beta club, maintaining straight A’s all year through and the rest made the honor roll. Not only that but these girls were involved in their communities, their churches and were respectful, down to earth great girls who were well rounded. Amazingly, they were able to maintain ALL of this, while going to practice several times per week.
Girls sports are often compiled from athletes who are not just good at their chosen sport, but who are also extremely dedicated students at school and of life. Perhaps, this is because going in…most girls realize that their future is not in sports. Sure, they might play softball in college – on a scholarship even, but in the long run they realize their opportunities to make a life from their love of the game, is limited.
The pendulum of life has often been in the boys court. Men could vote first. There is still salary inequity. Women are still blanketed with preconceived gender roles. Girls are still fighting back against the Barbie wars. And at any given fastpitch softball game there are less attendees and less media coverage than there is for the same teams baseball club. Even in high school, it is not uncommon for a boys basketball or baseball game to pack a stadium, where the girls teams do not. Sure, it might not be fair. But I believe that it says ALOT about girls. They are slighted from the beginning and it forces them to explore all their options to have a successful life, on and off the field.
The next time you watch a fastpitch softball game, consider the likelihood that all of those girls mudding up their softball britches on the field, and playing with their heart and soul -likely have a lot of things going for them off the field as well. Girls don’t play fastpitch for the glory. Most don’t play fastpitch because of the one in a million chance they will get a scholarship. They play softball because not only do they love the game, but they have learned enough about life to know that working hard and being your best is important ALL THE TIME. Their commitment and dedication on the field are qualities that they take with them through every aspect of their lives.
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