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.


About Ken Krause

Ken Krause has been coaching girls fastpitch softball for nearly 20 years. Some may know him as a contributing columnist to Softball Magazine, where he writes Krause's Korner -- a regular column sponsored by Louisville Slugger. Ken is also the Administrator of the Discuss Fastpitch Forum, the most popular fastpitch discussion forum on the Internet. He is currently a Three Star Master Coach with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), and is certified by both the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and American Sports Education Program (ASEP). Ken is a private instructor specializing in pitchers, hitters, and catchers. He teaches at North Shore Baseball Academy in Libertyville, IL and Pro-Player Consultants in McHenry, IL.

Posted on April 28, 2009, in General Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. HILLARY!!!!! haha this is the greatest thing i ever read! you should have been on varsity no doubt about that but i had fun playing with you this season!!! gunna miss you so much<3 Spechtickle


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