Many people view sports like competitive softball as a mere game, something to be done as a hobby when school is out for the summer. However, as anyone involved with the Wheatland Spikes knows, softball is not just a hobby. In fact, there are some young athletes in our program who will admit that, in a lot of ways, softball is life.
While that can’t be literally true, there are a number of things a softball player will learn during her time with a travel softball team that can be applied to the rest of her life.
Four Lessons Learned From Competitive Softball
Playing this sport is excellent practice for adulthood and the real world, which means this experience can provide players with the sorts of life lessons that are so valuable in life after softball. Some of these include:
Working with Other People
Softball is a team sport, which means athletes who participate in it are bound to learn some important lessons about teamwork and functioning alongside other people. This sport is unique in that every player has to pull her own weight in the batter’s box, but even then there are signs from the dugout and teammates to cheer them on. This of course doesn’t even mention the communication involved between pitchers and catchers, organizing defensive shifts for certain batters, and outfielders making sure they call the ball when making a catch. Teamwork and communication are as much a part of softball as they are a part of real life.
Travel softball, like any club sport, is a massive commitment for players of any age, but devoting oneself to anything as completely as this sport requires is excellent practice for going all in on a job or a marriage someday. Some of the biggest successes in life come because a person commits themselves to something and sticks with it over a long period of time, through good times and bad. It takes a lot of hard work to be great at softball, but it takes a lot of hard work to be great at anything.
Pushing through Adversity
Being great, though, does not come without its hiccups. Competitive softball offers bigtime challenges just like everything else in life worth having. How does a team respond to losing several games in a row? How does a player come back from a major injury? What does a young athlete do if they are not getting as much playing time as they would like? How someone answers these questions can determine what sort of person they will be long after they have stepped away from the diamond.
The Spirit of Competition
To be the best, you’ve got to beat the best, and softball is a sport that puts fire in the bellies of athletes pining to excel in their sport. Whether it’s getting into the best colleges or, later, earning interviews for the best jobs, the spirit of competition will live on long after softball. Some athletes will do anything to separate themselves from the pack and win, but that’s something that can apply to the real world, as well.
There are so many great life lessons young athletes glean from their experience with the Wheatland Spikes. Yes, it is a great experience in real time, but it also is a great experience for what lies ahead. Shaping these players into model citizens is one of the excellent byproducts of getting involved with travel softball.