She’s a Shortstop Dangit! | Softball is for girls

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Let’s just speak hypothetical for a moment. Your daughter is a junior in High School and the head coach of (insert any of the best SEC Division 1 schools names here) watchers her play. Your daughter played a great game at short stop. After the game the coach says, “Hey….I want YOU to come play for me. I need an outfielder with your type of hustle and drive.”

Now stop for a moment? Your daughter plays short. She’s a self defined short stop. You have been calling her a short stop for years now. And this coach is offering her a spot as an outfielder.

Do you say

A) Oh, I am sorry big time coach who my daughter has always dreamed of playing for, she is a short stop not an outfelder.

Or

B) Oh, I can’t play outfield – sorry coach.

Or

C) Hot dang!!!! YES, I am going to play outfield, or 1st base or whatever the heck it is you want me to play because I am just that awesome and I am not too good to learn a new position.

Yea. That. Which do you choose? 

It’s funny how there are so many self (and parent) defined positional players. But once they leave the nest and go off to coaches who don’t give a flying flip about where your daughter plays and are only worried about what their team needs and not what you say about your daughter, and are looking for players versatile, and skilled enough and grateful enough and team oriented enough to take on the challenge of playing anywhere on the field – your daughters short stop days may be over. 

We see this ridiculous behavior all the time from 8U travel all the way up. Parents and players always telling people what they are or are not.

Parents/players looking for a team, for a particular position on the field, for their daughter playing. Coaches posting in need of players for specific positions. And both sides turning down skilled players or wholesome teams because they have pigeon holed their daughter to one position on the team. We see kids and parents literally upset and pouting because they think their daughter should be in position A and the coach has her in position B.

We see players with hung shoulders behaving like spoiled brats because they aren’t getting to play their ‘favorite’ position. We say EARN IT DAMMIT! Fight! Work harder. Rise to the challenge! 

What are we all so afraid of?

What happened to allowing girls to learn the entire GAME OF SOFTBALL and not just one position, and to let their hustle, talent, heart and dedication do the work to EARN themselves a position. Life is not about being a WALK-ON! The sooner you let your daughter see this, and learn how to deal with it, the better off she will be. Not just in softball, but in life. And the more prepared she will be for the opportunities that come her way on (and off) the field that may feel a little uncomfortable at first – but positive nonetheless.

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So there’s this team that you would really like to join but they already have a short stop! Throw your daughter out there – tell the coaches she is willing to work hard and learn any position (or better yet empower HER with the voice to say it herself) , and then let her work her butt off to earn the starting position. At the end of the day, coaches really do want to win, and if your daughter gives them that edge – then they will utilize her.

That mentality is good for character. And it prepares them for the future. Because we promise you….as girls grow up and develop their strengths and weaknesses change and so do the needs of the teams that they will play on.

Let her do this on her terms. Not by your definition. 

Allow her to be more than just one thing. 

Encourage her to believe in herself and in THE PROCESS enough that she realizes playing time is earned in practice. 

Stop being so darn afraid that other people will NOT see your daughter the way that you do – just accept that they won’t. And allow your daughter to be seen for her own character and talent and potential. 

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Stop the pouting and complaining and whining on the sidelines, and PLEASE for the sake of the kids….stop PASSING your complaints and your definitions and your grievances onto the kids and just let them PLAY and HAVE FUN! 

When we met Lauren Gibson, (Tennessee 2nd Base), she told us that she had been a highly talented super star pitcher all her life. But guess what, when the opportunity arose to play one of the best programs in college softball, she learned to be a 2nd baseman. And a dang good one at that. Look at this season in college softball alone – how many girls are taking on BRAND NEW (even catching) positions to suit the needs of their team?

Let’s start thinking of our kids as softball players! Lets teach them to be more than a 1st baseman, or a short stop, or a right fielder. Let’s stop entitling them to things in life, and start allowing them to earn their way! Let’s prepare them for that day when someone offers them an opportunity in life and they JUMP at the chance, because they aren’t afraid of a challenge or held back by a definition of what they are.

When we take away the definitions, we actually take away their limits….and let them truly develop into who they are meant to be.


 

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