It came to me while I was watching an episode of Greys’ Anatomy. On the episode of Greys, a girl witnessed her grandmother, mom, and father die on her 18th birthday. She then had to take responsibility for her two younger siblings. On this same day, one of the doctors had to operate on an anonymous patient. The surgery isn’t successful, and the doctor loses the patient. Turns out, this patient was her co-workers husband, and she would have to break the news to her.
As I was bawling my eyes out watching this episode unfold, I realized something. There are so many terrible, heart-wrenching tragedies that occur in this world on a daily basis, but sports aren’t one of them. What a great carefree way to escape the hardships of our society. We get to go out on the field and hit, pitch, throw, catch, and dive, and the worst thing that could happen to us, is we lose a game. (Except maybe Injury, but in general) That’s it. We just lose, but we get to live and get to play another day.
We all tend to get caught up in the statistics of what team we need to beat, and how many errors the top players make… But if you take a step back and look at the big picture you realize, it’s just a game. If you start to look at where softball falls within the demands and events that life can bring, it’s an escape. We get to escape all the stresses, tragedies, and frustrations of the world and just play.
As a coach, I want to harness that. I want to create an atmosphere where players can achieve pure happiness and unchained success. Give them a place to learn and succeed; a place where they can escape the stresses of life and experience success. I want to enhance their abilities and give them a role. I want to give them a chance to feel like they are apart of something, a needed piece of the puzzle. I want to give those kids who may have it rough at home, a place to feel truly important, successful, and accepted. I strive to teach them life lessons through the game of softball. I want to create a setting where I can give them the tools to face the real world, and a place to escape from it; all at the same time.
So coaches when you’re out on the field, and the going gets tough, take a second to breathe. Remember, you are contributing to their lives. Don’t forget that you have the power to give them an outlet for success. You could be the difference in their future.
Quote of the day:
“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.” – Maya Angelou