Daily Archives: April 28, 2009

Playing the game the way it was meant to be played

I have discussed the case of a young lady named Hillary on the Discuss Fastpitch forum in the past. She is a high school senior who was cut from her high school’s varsity team and placed on the JV team because she had the gall to participate in a school activity other than softball, and thus would miss a couple of early practices while competing with the show choir. This despite the fact that the school traditionally elevates all seniors to varsity regardless of ability, and the fact that she had been a varsity starter last year. Seems like the Principal would want to have a say regarding school organizations working together instead of against each other, but she has not to date.

But that’s the background. Today I want to talk about this young lady and how she has handled this personal slap in the face.

Many (dare I say most?) players probably would have quit, or at least have shown a poor attitude. Not Hillary, though. I had the opportunity to watch her play recently and you would think it was the opportunity of a lifetime for her instead of an embarrassing demotion. She sprinted out to her position (left field) each inning. When she hit the ball she hustled up the baseline. When another hitter put the ball in play, Hillary ran the bases hard and slid hard. She did everything you would’ve asked of any player, and did it with a smile on her face. 

Hillary didn’t bother thinking about what had been done to her or how unfair life was. She was there to play ball.

We coaches always talk about how the only two things you can control are yourself and how you react to everything you can’t control. In my opinion, her demotion to JV was a classless act by a self-center, ignorant coach who long ago forgot that the game is about the players, not about him. But Hillary has handled the situation with tremendous class and dignity. She sets an example for all of us, and really lives what most of us only talk about.

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