Softball Seminar

Natalie Waugh-Magana, Journalist

Nine athletes, four bases, a ball, and one goal.  Becoming a state or championship winning team takes a lot focus, cooperation, grit, and most of all, love for the game. The main goal of softball is not to be so aggressive and serious that you’re always winning, but to enjoy the game to the point where everyone works so well together that winning is the result.

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Trojan getting tagged at third, courtesy of PV Times.

    Softball is a team sport, and there are many elements of the game. The most important element of any team sport is an individual question: why do you play?

   “The best teamwork comes from men who are working independently toward one goal in unison,” said James Cash Penney, a businessman and entrepreneur who founded J.C. Penny department stores. He knows what it means to work as a team and the importance of building a bond to strengthen the team. 

   So many wise words have been spoken by this man, but this quote stood out because it relates to softball and the life lessons that we learn from it.

  What life lessons can we learn from softball? There are so many different things to be taught, so I’ve picked the big 3: resilience, confidence, and perseverance. Each of these have to do with a certain area of your life other than sports. It’s hard to understand, so let’s explore some possibilities, shall we?

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Trojan sliding into a bag, making it in safe, courtesy of PV Times.

 A hard-working student wakes up everyday at 6 AM to go to school and gets through a full schedule of classes and goes directly to work after school, gets there at 3, and gets off at 8:30 or 9 because she needs extra hours. When she gets off of work, she gets back home to work on homework, projects, to make dinner, and all the while babysitting.

    Each of those traits play a big part; the perseverance comes in when knowing she may not achieve her goals in school because of how much she has to do besides school. The confidence comes into play with knowing she can accomplish everything on her schedule with ease. Lastly, the resilience plays the part of knowing that sometimes she will fail because everything can’t happen perfectly, but she gets back up and keeps going.

  Each of those traits play a giant part in team building as well. “Remember, teamwork begins by building trust, and the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability,”  said Patrick Lencioni, American author and businessman. Patrick was also a man that believed in teamwork and the advantages of a team that has trust and belief in the process. 

  This quote stood out the most because most girls going out on the field for the first time or the ones who haven’t been on one for awhile get this feeling of uncertainty about themselves.

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Celebratory freeze jump picture, courtesy of PV Times.

 A lot of girls feel as if they are not good enough or cannot contribute to the team as much as the other girls, no matter the statistics. This feeling can destroy team building, because it takes bonding and most of all being able to trust each other through tough situations. In order to ensure the team’s future every player has to have the confidence to take risks and for the better of the team. 

  At practice, one of the head softball coaches, Rich Lauver, read a quote to us about the strength of the team and metaphorically compared us to a rope and how everyone is connected. When one person slips, we all slip. This resonated with me because aside from all the other qualities needed to build a great team, most of all, a team demands dedication.

 To be dedicated to something arises the same question, why do you do it? For us, day in and day out on that field, it takes a lot out of us and a lot of pushing ourselves to be better versions of ourselves.

   We do it because we love to, not because we have to. That’s where true dedication comes from.