Dear Little Leaguers,
I hope you are reading this because you love softball. Softball can be one of the greatest experiences of your life. It can be your passion, teach you life lessons, and create lasting bonds. It can take you to the school of your dreams, to the Women’s College World Series, to a national championship, and even to the professional level. Softball can open up so many doors for you – but make sure you don’t take it too seriously. Yes, dream big, always dream big, but never lose sight of why you started. You started because it was fun. No matter what level you play at, and no matter how much pressure you feel, make sure you always enjoy it. Even on the days you don’t feel your best, embrace the challenges of the game because it will make you a better person. No one has success without a little failure, especially in this game. So don’t be so hard on yourself. A bad day does not define you. Softball is what you do, not who you are. Always remember that.
In softball, there are a lot of things you can’t control. You can’t control the umpire, whether the strike zone is big or small, the weather, and so much more. But always control the controllables. Always try your hardest. Whether you succeed or fail, if you try your hardest, you did everything you could.
Some days it might feel easier than others, but never take a moment for granted because EVERY MOMENT COUNTS.
Whether you are feeling up or down, it is important to always give it your all, especially when no one is watching. That’s what builds character. Be a good teammate. Try hard, have a good attitude (even when you don’t feel like it), and do your part. Being a part of a team is special, embrace what you give to your teammates.
Speaking of teammates, cherish the times you have with your team. These people will become your forever friends. A bond with a teammate is like no other. It’s special and long-lasting. You share wins, losses, laughs, tears, memories, and struggles. These will be the moments you remember most, so truly invest in your teammates and be there for one another. It may sound cliché, but you will remember the moments with your team more than the wins and losses. So have fun with your teammates because like I said, that bond will last forever.
I hope you can take a few things from this. I hope that you love and continue to love this amazing game. I hope you find the same happiness that I, along with so many others, have found. Just remember not to sweat the small stuff. It’s a game, have fun. Be good to the game, and the game will be good to you.
This article is part of a strategic partnership with Athletes Unlimited to bring together Little League Softball® players and the world’s best softball athletes, grow excitement around the game, and increase both accessibility and racial diversity in the sport.