Words In Fastpitch!

On our Facebook page, we do a twice weekly ONE WORD post.  In these posts, fans are encouraged to describe their teams, their teammates, coaches, their offense, their coaches, their catchers or pitchers etc. using just ONE WORD.  Believe it or not, we at SIFG read every single one of these posts, and we are thoroughly amazed and excited about the wonderful WORDS that players, parents, coaches and fans use to describe the multiple facets of their fastpitch experience.

words1In life, words are important.  Words in fastpitch are important as well. Personally, as a freelance writer – WORDS are everything!

Words can either tear down walls or build them up.  The right words at the right time have the power to unite hearts and empower children, drawing the best out of them – or can demolish self-esteem causing often unseen damage that can live on for years in the hearts of the others like distant echoes that haunt from the past.

Having spent a zillion hours at the ball park, around kids and coaches and families – we hear LOTS of WORDS being thrown around the park. Some yelled loudly from the highest peak, others whispered silently in private. Some words meant to encourage and empower the girls of the game, others meant to threaten and intimidate the CHILDREN.  Words from parents, coaches, players, umpires, opposing teams and teammates.  Words from the bleachers from gaggles of parents who think no one is listening and fail to realize that a player, or the coaches wife is standing behind them. Words from coaches in the dugout trying to ‘motivate’ their girls with doses of tough love. Words from players that sting with negativity or cast blame.

In the book, The Four Agreements, one of the four rules of life is for people to be IMPECCABLE with THEIR WORDS.

imagesCA95RSI1In other words, to think before you speak.  Sometimes, in the heat of the moment under the canopy of passion that coincides with fastpitch WE all use our words without thinking.  We use words that are fueled by anger, or laced with disappointment or frustration.  And once they are said aloud – THEY CAN NEVER BE UNHEARD! The live on in the hearts of those that heard them. In the hearts of children.

A few weeks ago, a group of moms at the ball park were gossiping about another mom and daughter,  while the child sat at a picnic table eating an ICEE digesting everything they said while tears streamed down her face. Over the summer, a high school softball team was making racial jokes and laughing loudly as rowdy group, while a black woman and her daughter sat just feet away, obviously stung by their disrespect. Recently, we overheard a coach in the dugout telling his players that they were an ’embarrassment’ to him after they lost a game.  Another third base coach, yelled at one of his players across the infield and said, “If only you knew how to run, you would have been safe, thanks for losing the game for us.” An umpire recently at one of our personal games told our second baseman that she was too short to be a good 2nd baseman after a ball flew over her head out of reach.

WORDS!

As adult, dealing with children – whether as parents, coaches, tournament directors, fans, or umpires, it is our highest RESPONSIBILITY to be impeccable with our words. Especially at the ballpark.  

imagesCAB15S2RA child,  has the uncanny ability to remember the negative things said to them far longer, and with much more intensity than they do the positive and encouraging words of love that they hear. 

You have to remind them that they are beautiful, loved, courageous, talented, able, special and unique a million times over – but they only need to hear that you are disappointed in them once – to never forget it.

 

If you pay attention, you can see the girls and the teams that are affected by negative words.  The girls that are constantly looking over their shoulder hoping to find approval, hoping to see their parent or coach smile, hoping to get that pat on the back or the ‘ATTA GIRL,’ that will start filling the spaces in their head, currently filled with self-doubt and negative things.

If you pay attention, you can also hear the girls affected by positivity, who hear things such as “good job,” or “You got this,” or “Believe in yourself,” “Have fun,” or “I am so proud of you!”

Our children, our daughters, our fast pitch players WANT to be loved. We at Softball is For Girls, know that they are!

They WANT to be the best they can be. They WANT us to be proud of them. They WANT to feel good about themselves, especially at the ball park. They WANT to be flawless, and accepted on both their good days and their bad days. They WANT the approval of their teammates, coaches and parents. They WANT to be reminded that they are awesome players. They WANT to hear encouraging, empowering words.

In fact – THEY NEED THEM!

Words.  What words do you use at the ball park?  What do you say when you think no one is listening?  What words do you choose when talking to your teammates, players, daughters, coaches, fans?  What words do you use when cheering from behind the fence, or while coaching on the field? Are you impeccable with your words, or irresponsible?

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