Dear Girls with Game,
When you sit in the dugout, surrounded by your teammates, waiting to run out onto the field for the first pitch of the game – what’s running through your mind? Some people are thinking of all the recent advice they might have received from their coach, and others might be visualizing making that game-saving play. Well, before every game I had growing up, I had one coach who volunteered a player to stand in the middle of a huddle and lead a chant. It was just a short chant designed to pump us up and put into perspective the type of teammate we were meant to be on the field and for each other. We would repeat in unison as the leader chanted each sentence:
“I am the voice. I will lead and not follow. I will create and not destroy. I am a force for good. Defy the odds. Set a new standard. Step up. Step up! STEP UP!”
As you get older, you are going to face challenges both on and off the field. There will be people who tell you that you are not good enough. There will be people who try to place limitations on you. It is in those moments that I challenge you.
I challenge you to be the voice that pushes back. I challenge you to lead and be an example of strength for your teammates. I challenge you to create opportunities for the next generation of females. I challenge you to be the force for good when people are trying to bring you down. I challenge you to prove to anyone who doubts you that you can defy the odds. Finally, I challenge you to set a new standard for all those little girls who will look up to you one day. It’s time to step up, just like so many females before you have, and push female sports forward!
Now if you do all that, or at least try your best, I promise you that no one will be able to stop you and one day you will look back and be amazed at how far you have come. So, go out there, have fun, be a good teammate, find your community, and for one last time I challenge you – STEP UP!
Lauren Rude, Little League Communications Coordinator
NOTE: The “Dear Girls with Game” letter series is a piece of the #GWG50 Celebration in 2024, with written letters from staff members from Little League International focused at inspiring the next generation of Girls with Game. To learn more about this initiative, visit LittleLeague.org/GWG50. The #GWG50 celebration is proudly supported by DICK’S Sporting Goods, a long-time Little League partner that is committed to creating opportunities for girls and women in sports and will be activating around key events and milestones this year.