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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Select Softball: It is a Way of Life

(I give up on trying to fix the font and extra spaces.  Blogger is NOT cooperating today).

A Softball Parent

I used to have a regular life.(Actually, many of my friends say that sentence should say,"I used to have a life", period.) It doesn't really seem that long ago. Then I became a competitive softball parent.

I used to think anything over $40 was an exorbitant price for a softball bat. Now the contents of my daughter's equipment bag are worth more than everything else in the house--including clothes, jewelry, watches, and my lap top computer. 

I used to think a double-header was a long day at theball field. Now after two games we're just getting warmed up. I used to look for fancy resturants that served seafood and prime-rib. Now I'm a connoisseur of nachos and hot dogs and my kids rate a city by the quality of a tournaments snack bar! Sunflower seed used to be something I would see at a store and wonder who would eat those things? Now I don't feel comfortable leaving the house with out a bag in my pocket. 

My lawn used to be like a carpet. It was green, mowed, trimmed, fertilized, and watered. Now I have two big bare spots forty feet apart and dents in my garage door from fastballs that got away! My car used to draw admiring looks and comments. It was clean and waxed and shined and armor-All'd. Now it only draws attention when it wins the "dirtiest car in the parking lot" prize, or it is covered in "go team" shoe-polish. I used to have a garage, now I have an indoor batting area. 

My friends and I used to spend Monday mornings talking about a round of golf or a movie we had just seen. Now I bore them to death with detailed play-by-play description of five or six low-scoring ball games. 

We used to sit and talk for hours. We still do--however, now it's to keep the driver awake when we're headed home late Sunday evening after a tournament. My summer casual wardrobe used to be made up of color-coordinated polo shirts, cool cottons in bright colors, and the ocassional "aloha" shirt. Now I have a closet full of T-shirts that have Tournament Names on the front and competing teams on the back. 

We used to spend our summer vacation relaxing on the beach or visiting family. Now we hit the road with 20 of our closet friends in a caravan that could rival some small town parades. I used to be concerned that I would fall into the trap of living my life through my kids. Now I know that I'm privileged to live my life WITH my kids, and I wouldn't have it any other way!!! 

Yes, I'm a Competitive Softball Parent, what could be better! 

My Daughter, the Softball Player

At one time she looked cute as a button dressed in pink with ponytails. She had tea parties with her stuffed animals and dolls and helped Mom bake cookies. She had been, and always will be Mommy's and Daddy's little girl. 

Today she is a fastpitch player who still has the same little girl attributes. The only difference is she looks cute in her sliders and shorts. If she's wearing ribbons in her hair, they are the team colors. She has become Mommy's and Daddy's little player. 

The fastpitch player is proud of how dirty she can get. On a normal family dinner outing, she takes up to an hour primping to get ready, but feels somewhat self-conscious in dressy attire. However between tournament games, she'll strut into any restaurant with a streak of dirt across her face, ratted sweaty hair, a dirt stained shirt, bloody knees, sandals and brown socks (that use to be white) with a toe sticking out, and yell, "Lets eat!" 

The fastpitch player typically has an extensive wardrobe. She has several old uniforms she has outgrown, but has not discarded because, well, you never know. She has several hundred tee shirts and boxer shorts from camps, leagues, and tournaments around the country. When her parents say wear something nice, she thinks it means to wear memorabilia from regional or national events. 

The fastpitch player needs to get a scholarship, because her parents are broke spending thousands of dollars paying for camps, batting lessons, pitching lessons, catching lessons, hotel rooms, out to eat between tournament games, tournament fees, equipment, etc., etc.... 

The fastpitch player is a fierce competitor. She is willing to stand 35' away from a pitcher and take a pitch with a measured reaction time that even a major league baseball player would struggle to hit. She might only be 4'3" and 75 pounds (soaking wet), but she'll stand firm at 3rd or 1st, 25 feet away from the batter and challenge them to drive one down her throat. 

The fastpitch player has more spirit than any other sport. She'll go home hoarse from cheering and rooting her team on into the final innings. She plays the sport for all the right reasons; for the love of the game. She could spend the weekend watching TV or hanging out with all her non-sport friends, but she chooses to spend her weekend in 100 degree heat, waiting to compete and bring home another trophy. 

The fastpitch player is disciplined and hard working. She knows the value of teamwork, loyalty and dedication. She is competitive, aggressive and doesn't give up easily. Most of all she learns to respect all, but fear none. She is my daughter. 

Baylee loves softball.  One day she hopes to be playing softball here.....

We got to meet and get pitching lessons from Cody Trahan, (#22 in the picture above) who is on LSU's softball team.  Baylee felt like she was meeting a rockstar!

Any other sports fanatics out there?