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The Game Does Not Define You

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Sports as a whole have begun to advance more than we’ve ever imagined. Players are starting training at earlier ages, and we’re seeing the results unfold at the professional and D1 levels. It seems like every draft or new year of freshman seems bigger or stronger than the last. Additionally, athletes commit more of their time and dedication to their sport with a larger pool of talent to compete against. This knowledge can create immense amounts of pressure on young competitive athletes.

Travel/competitive softball requires commitment and sacrifice from both parents and players. Throughout just one week (including a tournament), softball can take up multiple hours over 5-6 days. To put this in perspective, this includes two days of practice, one day of lessons, and a Fri-Sun tournament weekend. This schedule isn’t for all teams, but this is usually the expectation at the higher levels. This cycle can feel like all they do is eat, sleep, go to school, practice, and play softball. For athletes so embedded in this seemingly endless cycle, it can make them lose sight of who they are off the field.

When the saying “softball is life” hits a little too close to home, it can feel like the sport is everything we are. When softball is so heavy in a young athlete’s life, it can be tough to have bad days because they associate their performance in a game with their presentation as a person. They must remember their failures on the field do not make them a failure as a daughter, student, leader, etc. The reminder to not let the game define you helps convey to these athletes that softball is just a game.

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