Tag Archives: softball


HEADS!!! You must be familiar with this yelling during the game and the universal response of folks ducking their head to protect it and prevent a softball concussion.  But are you actually ready for it?  You never know until it happens to you or to someone close to you.   Read along to find out what happened.

Well, Are you ready for the spring softball season to start and high school softball to start? Specially now that the weather has turned so gorgeous (even though we so desperately need more rain this winter).  We had one tournament the end of January at Salinas Sports Complex.  It was just a Saturday only tournament since many of the teams were still on a break and we didn’t have enough teams sign up.

My 12-year-old had 4 games on Saturday.  3 of the games were against 12U teams and last game was against a 14U team!  Talk about the mental dilemma! Even though some kids are as tall as the 14U kids, mentally they get spooked somehow that they are playing much bigger kids.  My 12-year-old is 5′-6″ tall but long and gangly still.  The problem is that not all her team mates are tall, we have some of the smallest kids (late growers) on her team as well and many in between.

Anyway, she and a couple of the 12U kids were playing against a 14U  team in our last game and grandma had come that day to watch the games since she hadn’t watched her play in a long time. Grandma was really proud that she pitched really well against the 14U and struck out a few kids and walked a few, she was able to use all the different types of pitches (rise ball, screw ball, inside, outside, change-up) she has been practicing.  It was just an opportunity for her to get her feet wet playing an older team.

After a couple of innings she was going to sit on  the bench and watch the other 14U kids play, so grandma was going to leave and we turned our backs to the field to leave.  You know what they say about never stand with your back to the ocean when you are at the water’s edge on the beach?  Same goes for softball.  There came a foul ball rising high up and over the 20 ft fence at the backstop and descended down and we could hardly hear “HEADS!!!” since it was cold and we all had our hoods up covering our ears and before we could see it, it came down on grandma.  Thank God, it impacted grandma right at the joint of her spectacles (you see the picture above), and the glasses came down and impacted on her cheek but nothing else.  Of course we didn’t know how bad she got hurt as she just sat down holding her cheek.

My heart just jumped out my mouth since I was so worried about my mom getting hurt specially as she was going to take an international flight in 2 days.  A kind soul brought ice and another kind soul (probably a doctor or nurse) came immediately running to check if she had a concussion.  She asked me to watch her carefully on my drive home which was an hour and 15 mins.  I was quiet the entire trip just asking her questions trying to figure out if she is responding to my questions and watching for any signs of dizziness or slurred speech, headaches or any thing else.  I have never let my mom talk for so long as on that day without interrupting 😉  I figured I didn’t know much about concussion and signs to watch out for.  Do you know what to watch out for if someone you know has a concussion?  Please read and get yourself familiar here “Concussion” before the season starts.  Luckily for grandma, that was it, she had a slight bruising on her cheek but not even a swelling.  Just the loss of her glasses.  Icing and Advil took care of it.  I’d say God was really watching over her.

I think there is more education on this issue of concussion at the youth sports now and I’ve noticed high school kids had to get a base line concussion testing before season starts so they can test them again if they ever got a concussion.  If you are one of those people who don’t yell “HEADS” when you see a foul ball coming, think twice, you may be saving someone’s life by just yelling.  Thanks to everyone that yelled that day.  I hope and wish you all have a wonderful and safe softball season.

Its all about the BasE…No trOUble!

All about the Base
All about the Base

How many times have you listened to the “All about the bass..no treble” song? and are you sick of it yet?  Well, last week we had a different type of song playing in our softball tournament.  This was our last tournament for the fall and we were supposed to play locally in Hayward which was only 30 mins away but because of lack of teams, we ended up going to Modesto, CA instead.  We got entered to play in the Nor Cal NSA Youth fast pitch Fall West Pac Championship.

Our 16U, 12U and 10U teams got to play.  Unfortunately our 12U lost early, but our 10U were runners-up for Gold division and our 16U won the Championship.  Well, since I have a 12 and 9-year-old, I only got to see those games.

Since our 12 and 10 teams were at different locations a lot this fall, my husband and I had to split up the kids and so I hadn’t got a chance to see the 10U play in a few weeks and last week I actually got to see them play and play they did! Extremely well!!  What a transformation in a few weeks!  I clearly remember in the beginning of the season, most kids were struggling to make contact and last week, I couldn’t believe my own eyes, they were hitting a lot and making good throws.  They had no TROUBLE getting back to the home base 😉 The Championship game was a nail biter.  It went overtime and lasted 2 hours.  I feel like the 5 run-rule kind of worked to our disadvantage that day.  Final score was 18 them to 17 us.  Remember these are 10U kids.  It did not matter that they lost by 1.  They were real Champions in my eyes for playing so hard.

A couple of weeks ago my 9-year-old surprised me when she said “This is the best day of my life..the day couldn’t get any better”, she actually was starting to hit the ball well that week and it made her feel incredibly good.  This is exactly what my husband and I had in mind when we started our kids in sports, they work extremely hard to achieve something and it makes them feel good.  In this day and age specially in Silicon Valley there are many a distractions for kids, organized group sports like this makes the kids learn how to work hard towards a common goal and how to handle wins and losses.  I believe we can’t get this kind of lesson in a computer game Yet!

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We have a long winter break for a month or so from Softball.  I Wish all the readers a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  I am really thankful for all the opportunities we get in life in this wonderful country of ours! considering all the chaos happening in the world.  What are you thankful for this season?  Let’s count our Blessing and make the most of it.

Wishes that backfire!!

During the softball season, Friday nights are a lot of fun.  In our small city, we have Friday night games at a local park and folks interested and involved in softball make sure to stop by and catch a glimpse of the fast pitch softball game.  Kids hang out with their friends and adults swap stories and reminisce about how their kids’ last game was while snacking on the hot dog from the snack shack.

This past Friday was no different with the exception of rain in the forecast.  You know the Bay area weather report is 50/50 at best.  So another mom (you know who you are 😉 ) and I were secretly wishing for rain so our kids games would be cancelled, just so we can get another 30 mins of sleep on Saturday morning and do something different for a change.

Even though our city closed the fields, the problem was, we were playing against another team in a nearby city.  Anyone who lives here  in Silicon Valley is familiar with micro climates…. and darn it was not raining in the other town.

Finally we decided to pack up and go to the field and 10 mins from the field, the other coach calls and cancels the game.  Hurrah!!! except my husband had other ideas.  With a truck full of captive audience he calls his trusty companion “Okay Google now” navigate to “West coast sporting goods in San Leandro, CA”

And there we go, over the bridge, to the other side.  2 hours and a couple of Benjamin’s later we are proud owners of a glove for dad, gloves for the kids, SOME MORE softball pants, SOME MORE sliding shorts, bucket full of give away game balls and the latest model of chairs with sun shades.  If your kids play softball like mine, we spend what seems like eternity in sizzling Stockton in the summer several times.

Going to the game would have been definitely cheaper.  Well at least I was helping with the California drought and I also got ideas to add “Product Review” section to my blog.

Happy Raining!!!

What a FANTASTIC come back!

Celebration after just losing a game? Yes, that’s exactly what we (players and parents)did last evening.  What a fantastic game we had! After the first couple of innings we were losing 7-2 and we were worried about a deja vu of last week’s game.  The girls really surprised everyone and themselves by fighting back and totally shutting down the other team in spite of 2 injured players.  Final score was 7-6!! I think we are on the cusp of a great turn around this season.  Every player played their positions just like they were meant to do.  Great pitching, great base running, great throwing and great catching.  A perfect combination for an awesome game!

May be they meditated over last weeks outcome! or may be they didn’t think about the game at all!!

Here is a quote from Carl Yastrzemski one of the legends of Boston Red Sox, “I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don’t think about it is when I’m playing it.”

I think the last part of the sentence here is the most important.  I believe the girls were just having fun playing!!

“Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical” – Yogi Berra

“Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical” – Yogi Berra

“It ain’t over ‘til it’s over” – Yogi Berra

I guess you could cross out “baseball” and insert “softball” here.  Even though the quotes above by Hall of Famer Berra, who is famous for his Yogiism makes us chuckle, he is correct in the 90% mental part of the game.  This weekend I was witness to a game that one of my child’s team played that started out great in the first two innings and then the team kind of fell apart towards the end.  Players made some mistakes and just couldn’t shake it off to finish the game.  

They got hard on themselves and felt like they let their team down.  I guess the more upset and tense they got the worse they performed. How can this be rectified? It is easy said than done.  I think if we parents were put on the spot with many spectators watching, we would probably crumble the same way.  

How do you control your negative emotions when put under pressure and when you make a mistake?

I think we all need a “Bagger Vance” to caddy for us like he did for Junuh in the movie “Legend of Bagger Vance” to keep us focused.  

What came to my mind was my meditation teacher instructing the class to take a deep breath and let it go and come back to the “now”.  It is a very hard thing to do.  Our mind is like a monkey which chases our thoughts from one event to another.  Have you ever seen a monkey calm when it is not sleeping? By nature we humans are really good at building up on a negative thoughts and keep on going.  

It takes twice as much effort to think positive specially when you are facing a negative situation.

Unless scientists invents time travel to go back to the past, we really can’t go back to correct a mistake.  The only thing we have is “now” that we can control.

The players who accept that mistakes happen and mentally get past it to focus on the current game are the ones who achieve the mental toughness that coaches talk about.  I guess this will be the coach’s “Teachable opportunity” to stay focused on the current game and not worry about what just happened in the last play.

It is a great lesson to be learning for pre-teens and teens in the team and also their parents watching the game that day.  Imagine what your kids are missing out when they are not playing a team sport!

I’ll end this post with another one of Yogi Berra’s quotes : “I never blame myself when I am not hitting.  I just blame the bat and if it keeps it up, then I change bats.  After all, if I know it isn’t my fault that I am not hitting, how can I get mad at myself?  😉

 How have you dealt with negative emotions of your teams and how do you get them past it?  Please share your teams mental drills if you have one.

Did you know how, when and where softball got started?

According to Amateur Softball Association , softball is the No. 1 Team participation sports played in the United States. There is also a brief description of how softball got started on a Thanksgiving day in 1887 in Chicago, IL as a surprise accident between the alumni of Yale and Harvard inside a boat club called Farragut Boat Club (see image-Courtesy of University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign) when a Yale alumni overcome by enthusiasm after finding out his Alma Mater won the football game, threw a boxing glove at the Harvard alumni who reacted by hitting the glove promptly with a stick. Since then the game has gone through many changes had various names, Indoor baseball, Kitten ball, Diamond ball, Ladies ball etc.  The name Softball was not coined until 1926.   To find out more, visit the ASA link above.

I survived catching for my almost 9 year old

Life is going to go into high gear tomorrow when most of the leagues have their opening day.  Today I got hit about 3 or 4 times today.  Those darn “soft” balls are not really soft when they come at you at 30 mph. Today was my first time catching! Ever!  I usually try to excuse myself from taking her to her pitching lessons but I did not have an excuse today.

I was worried!  I should have dressed in armor! Just kidding!  I did get hit a few times.  Even with a glove I could feel the sting of the ball as they hit the palm of my hand.  My daughter thought it was very amusing as she started throwing more strikes!  She had a good time pitching to me. Her pitching coach was being nice and not rolling on the floor laughing!

I survived and also learnt how hard it is to catch.  I have a new found respect for catchers now.