Our fall ball this year is jam-packed. We have already had a couple of tournaments in Stockton and Pleasanton and this weekend we are at Big League Dreams in Manteca. Then, we have one in Fremont, two in Sacramento and one in South Bay coming. My husband is always reminding the kids to practice, everyday even if it is for 30 mins. But having a volunteer coach at home is good and bad. Good that kids get a lot of practice, bad that the kids get a lot of practice. Sometimes, I get tired of practice and blurt out “can we do something other than softball?” Wait..I can see the wheels in your head turning…hmm..
I haven’t been to the field recently to watch my younger daughter play since we had to split up between taking the two kids to different activities at different places. The last time I saw her play in the summer, it was a typical softball weekend as a pitcher. Some pitches are great, some not so great and you feel the pressure on the mound and as a mom of a pitcher you wonder why your kids like to put themselves in such pressure situations!!
So this last weekend I got to witness my daughter pitch again (after a of a lot of practice at home the last few weeks on our backyard pitching/batting cage ) and it was amazing to see how much she has improved. She had innings where she totally shut down the other team by getting 1-2-3 strike out. But there were times when she would get 1-2-strikes—and walk. This last weekend, the championship game came down to getting the last batter out, last inning, time ran out, umpire said we will finish the inning (gulp!!), I couldn’t watch the game..I was so nervous at this win or loss situation, we need to get this out and there were already the first two strikes and then 2 balls. I was praying that my daughter get her third strike out so she could have confidence in her pitching skills (she loves to pitch and so far seems to handle the pressure better than me just watching her from the stands) and finally the elusive 3rd strike came and we won. I could see the confidence in her face after that strike out and wondered how much the game of softball has taught her at such a young age. To work hard, to persist and to keep pushing regardless (all the bad cheering against the pitcher) and to succeed. And she still wants to keep pitching! She also had an ulterior motive, I think the coach promised her a fine pen if she pitched well and more than anything, I think she really wanted the pen.
How many of us at 12 years of age have had the opportunity to play and have everything rest on that one thing you have to absolutely have to nail to succeed? May be you have, then you are an exception..not me! I was blissfully in la la land 😉 Kudos to all the pitchers who work hard everyday to perfect your techniques.
Now, I see the importance of regular practice especially for pitchers and how it makes the kids feel when they succeed and I tell my daughter that she needs to practice if she wants to stay a true top-notch pitcher. Practice makes Perfect!! I won’t be giving my husband a hard time about practicing all the time, well not promising that one outside of softball 😉
If you have young kids, make sure they are signed up to play some kind of sport they like so they get exposed to all kinds of situations before they grow and leave home! Sports teaches the kids a lot of things that they would otherwise not be exposed to. Of course you can’t force them but encourage them by all means. Here is to another weekend of softball. Cheers!