Another instance was a fan from another team thought it would be cute to steal the pitching signs of our coach and tell his daughter’s teammates what pitch our 10 year old pitcher would be throwing to them. Although this is common in major league sports when you are paid to win; I personally didn’t think it had a place in youth sports. He obviously thought it was giving his girls an advantage, and some might think he had money on the game. Now, their team was still no-hit that day and we won 2-0; however, what message was he sending his daughter and what message was the coach sending as they condoned the actions. In reality parents, fans and coaches of those youth teams are doing their own daughters a disservice in life. Do you remember the song, “Cats in the Cradle”…Your daughters will grow up just like you!
Just recently, I was sent a screenshot of a parent that was upset by how my daughter’s team was getting recognition from their fans on Facebook. Instead of being happy for his own daughter’s team successes he took to a national softball forum and started to badmouth players and parents on our team. Yes, you are reading this right. A grown man (and women on the forum) were so pathetically lacking something in their own life that they had to try to tell anyone who was desperate enough to listen that my daughter’s team should not be happy or enjoy their successes on the field. These weak minded individuals somehow forgot (I hope they forgot) that they were talking about 10-year-old softball players, and like the old classroom bullies who tried to tear down someone else for an intangible gain of self-worth. This is probably the same guy that is upset because his high school letter jacket that he got for being on varsity his senior year doesn’t fit anymore.
Now that I digress…I feel compelled to share why I love watching my daughter play competitive softball at an elite level. It definitely isn’t for those few cases I mentioned above. And I want readers to understand, that all fans and parents are not this classless at this level. There are great experiences to be had, and I look forward to my daughter experiencing more rewards as the years of softball continue.
The game isn’t just about winning or losing. It is so much more. It is about how you conduct yourself on and off the field. It’s about how you make other people feel (whether you win or lose). It is about the respect you show to your coaches, teammates, and parents of your teammates. It’s about letting the last game go and enjoying the opportunity of today.
Sure, my daughter and her team has a goal of winning the 2015 ASA/USA National Championship this year in Normal, Illinois. This is something very important to them and they are working very hard to achieve this lofty goal. However, when it is all over; what will they really win? A trophy or ring to put into their overcrowded trophy case. A t-shirt that says I am a champion that they will soon outgrow. Does winning at all cost at 10-years old really matter? To some, like the three examples I listed, the answer is a resounding yes. For this parent, my win (or rather my daughter’s win) will be when I help her grow into a strong confident woman who doesn’t need a trophy to say how great she is. My win today is that she is healthy enough to play a game she enjoys and safely leaves the field after the game is over. Our teams win is the strength of our softball family and the friendships we build lasting a lifetime.
My daughter and her teammates play for the Love of the Game and all that it has to offer.
For more information about the 04 Texas Travelers contact Coach Kyle Bennett at 972.679.7702 or follow The Texas Travelers on Facebook. The Texas Travelers are a 10 U 2004 team that plays ASA competitive softball. To follow particular players, games, practices or see any other information about the North Texas Select Softball team visit: 04 Texas Travelers News Site.