Under Every Softball Jersey Lies a SOULS (Or Two)

Call it what you want, but this game is one of emotion. Emotion for ALL Of US! This fanshare from the inbox is a perfect dose of reality, and honestly…because after all we are ALL HUMANS first and foremost. If you ever get to the point where this is just about a game, its time to reflect and remember that underneath every jersey lies a soul….

(First let me just say, this is not my first rodeo. I have an older daughter playing competitive ball, but she has not had to change teams.)

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WE left our team a few nights ago. I say we because that’s what it is. She’s 9. She does not drive herself. She didn’t go buy her uniforms or any of her equipment. She didn’t make the calls to find a team.

She DID do her best at tryouts and earned a spot on the team, but long before that WE walked out back and played a game of catch.

And during many practices and games while she was doing her thing, I was forming relationships with the moms, dads, siblings and coaches who have all done the same thing that I have. When my girl committed to the team, I committed to “The Team Family”.

They say it takes a village and a village is what it is. We become parents to 11-12 girls collectively. We spend as much time with them, if not more, than we do with our own families at home. In addition to games, practices and fundraisers, birthdays and holidays are often spent together as well. For almost two years we shared our lives with these people, some of whom have become very good friends. The reason we left, for this post, is irrelevant. We’ll just call it a difference in goals. And while it was OUR decision to leave, WE aren’t any less heart broken.

It’s a break up.

It’s a sudden halt to everything you have known for two years. We both knew it was inevitable. The change was needed.

The anxiety of doing what is right for your child is weighed against what is mostly comfortable for us both. The heartache is still there for BOTH OF US. I have read article after article about the need for parents to step back, sit down and shut up. That the parents job is to support their kids emotionally and financially. Anything more and you’re meddling. Potentially risking your child’s athletic future. Let the coaches do their jobs. I get all of that and try to do my best to simply be her biggest fan.

But we all know it’s not that simple.

They say don’t coach your kids and then follow up with “you need to work with your kids in the off time”. They send inspiring memes and articles for the kids to read about desire and work and heart. They send them to the parents to pass along. Today’s fastpitch environment almost requires you give all of yourself and all of your free time. Not just the athlete. I guess the point of this post is to say that for me as a parent, it was impossible to be in 100% and also stay out 100%. And when WE walked away, I spent the better part of the next two days in tears over the actual human loss. It’s not just a team and it’s not just a game. It’s relationships and life experiences. WE will get through this, but it hurts my heart.


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