Have you ever given as much dedication and commitment to a sport as much as you would give towards your job or family? Most likely not. Or maybe in today’s society you put all of that commitment towards your cell phone, or any other electronic devices. The problem is that not a lot of people understand the kind of dedication and commitment it takes to be a part of a sports team whether it’s high school, travel teams, club teams, or Division I, II, or III collegiate teams. I would know, since I’ve committed almost 11 years to playing softball. It is not a very easy thing to do, but it’s definitely worth it, especially with all that money you’ve put into trying out a new sport—well let’s be honest, all that money your parents have spent just for you to kick a ball into a pop-up net or hit a ball off of a tee! Committing to a sport means so much more than just showing up to practice every other week and being at some of the games. I believe that many people don’t know what it takes to be on a sports team and how much effort and time it takes out of your everyday life just to play a sport and I am going to share my story about how much dedication I have put towards playing softball.
At just 7 years old, after trying out gymnastics and soccer for a few years, I realized that I wasn’t meant to be a soccer player or a gymnast, I wanted to try something more interesting like softball. I started off learning the basics of softball by going to almost every practice and game. Then one day at practice my coach asked my team and I if anyone was interested in staying after to learn how to pitch. Of course I said yes because I loved the idea of playing the position of a pitcher and being in control of the game. I didn’t realize it then that being a pitcher took a lot more work and effort than someone who was a first baseman. You had to arrive before or stay after practices to work on pitching since the entire team weren’t pitchers and it would take away time during practices when we could be practicing something else as a team. As I grew older and moved up to different teams you saw less and less pitchers as people started giving pitching up simply because they couldn’t commit to it, but I stuck with it and I was committed to become the best pitcher that I could possibly be. Today I am considered as the number one pitcher on my travel team and it’s all thanks to my dedication towards practicing and learning how to pitch. I never gave it up even after all the times that I struggled to learn something. Now I am absolutely in love with pitching, and I can’t get over how much it makes me happy to pitch in games. I put my whole heart into pitching and it gives me the most amazing feeling I’ve ever experienced and I will cherish that forever.
At the age of 12, I joined my first travel team where we traveled to different areas to compete with other teams farther away. Travel ball was completely different than my Rec Leauge since you had to basically give up your entire weekend in the spring and summer season so you could be available to play in the softball tournaments. At first, at a younger age, that didn’t bother me since I wasn’t old enough to do many things, but as I grew older I noticed that I couldn’t be involved in a lot because I always had a softball tournament or practices. I could have easily skipped softball and gone off and did something fun like go see a concert or go to the mall with friends, but that is not the kind of person I am. I am entirely loyal to my team and towards my passion for softball and I am willing to give up something just so I can be at a game or practice. Even all my friends, whenever they ask to hang out with me, they know that there’s probably a seventy-five percent chance that I would say no I can’t because I either have softball practice or a tournament. Unfortunately you have moments when you wish you could be with your friends instead of being involved with your sport so much, but honestly when else in your life time are you going to experience the drama, intensity, and competitiveness of a sport. I’m telling you it’s better to do it when you’re young and you can actually move without breaking your back! I like to think that scheduling things around your softball practices and tournaments and saying no to activities that take place during games or practices shows that you are extremely committed and dedicated to that sport and it all pays off in some sort of way. Your coaches even take notice of your attendance and effort you put into that sport and it might just land you a starting spot on the line-up or better yet tons of playing time.
Just being a part of a sports team doesn’t make you athletic or a good player, you have to actually work hard and commit to it. Some people think of sports teams as a big socializing event but really to some people it’s their life and they can’t get enough of how that sport makes them feel when they play. So if you’re not going to take being a part of a sports team seriously then why are you even getting involved in something that requires one-hundred and ten percent commitment from you. There are people on teams who are there not just to have fun, but to experience that rush of competitiveness and intensity that sports games give. They are there in all seriousness to win and if people don’t realize how much it takes to commit to it, then why even bother playing a sport in the first place?