I was so excited to meet all kinds of new people and play the game we all love, but I never thought it would be as challenging as it has been for me this year. Softball is a big part of my life and who I am, but should I have to be as dedicated as my coaches make me be? I am a freshmen at American River this year I am attending school and playing softball. When I decided to play softball I new it was going to be a lot of time and hard work. But what I did not realize was all of the things I was going to give up.
“If what you did yesterday seems big, you haven’t done anything today.” – Lou Holtz. This has always been my mindset from when I was in little league until now. Although, I have faced some adversity along the way, this quote always pushes me to do better and better each and every day. First, I was about four or five years old playing what was then flag football. I played line, but I occasionally got to run the ball and I never will forget the first time I scored.
I had no experience playing at the varsity level, but I had played this position every year while growing up. I gave my best effort during long hot practices and games during the summer and these efforts paid off. I was a starting player for the rest of the season and took my team to the regional finals. This final game
As a child, I have played a variety of sports including softball, volleyball, and basketball, although softball has always been my main sport. I used live in Bolingbrook and was about 10 years old, when I was playing for the Inhouse 10U Bolingbrook Panthers softball team. My father was the coach for our team, so which meant I’d practice a lot with him. I would practice extra after school, focusing on my main positions on the field, which were pitching and third base, I would also practice batting. My father had always motivated me to become better in sports and school, he also prepared me for college by training me.
Texas baseball can be very exciting, especially as a high school junior fighting for a starting spot. Working on getting in shape, mastering the basics of the game, and then making it routine. It all felt so right, as if I was destined to have a good year, except my future beheld failure. It was this failure that would make me a better player in the near future. I believed that I worked hard; giving multiple hours a day to the game I love.
Leave It All On The Field Have you ever been in a situation where you doubted something you were hoping for so much you thought it was impossible, then it actually comes true? Best feeling ever right? That is exactly what happened that day. It was 2013. My softball team had gone undefeated all season.
Keep in mind that I had never played on an organized sports team in my life. The reason I decided to tryout was because I wanted to get involved during my first year of high school and make new friends. Even though it was a little tough, it was completely worth it. On the third day of tryouts, the decision had been made and one by one, we went in to the gymnasium to find out our fate. Luckily, my hard work had paid off and….
In my eighth grade year I was attending tournament held at Western Kentucky University. I won two of my three events and was debated when I got second in the other. I remember my mother saying to me, “Jack, you did so well today, yet you are not even excited about it. That really makes me sad, I thought my son would have much humility than that.” That right there… hurt. It was a true wake-up call of why I do speech and debate.
When I joined the wrestling team in grade nine, I had no idea that it would be one of the best decisions I have ever made throughout high school. It is a sport that I fell in love with from the moment I stepped on the matt for my first practice. Being the smallest and only grade nine to join the team that year was very intimidating. However, after my first practice, I was no longer overwhelmed by the group of 15-20 wrestlers because they became my family. Our coach is a strong believer that in order to be successful as a team, it is important to support each other like a family.
My mother has always told me that nothing good has ever come out of laziness, which has inspired me throughout my life to work hard at anything that comes along my path. For example, when I switched softball leagues I wasn’t considered to be very competitive because I was the new player. I continued to work hard with my new team and by the second season, I started at first base, earned the nickname “Home-Run Hazel” because by the end of the second season I hit five home-runs, and I was also voted MVP of my team. This is a standard that I am still working for in Bettendorf softball that I hope I will reach by next year. This strength has helped me in many of my classes and in all of my extracurricular activities.
My parents started me off playing all the sports most kids played. I swam, played softball, basketball, and soccer. My true passion was softball, and at the age of ten, I decided to solely focus on that. Being an exceptional athlete came at a cost. I gave up most of my social life in middle school and high school.
However, as I grew older and know-it-all dads began coaching their sons, the same faces who welcomed me, turned their backs. Countless times, I was told to switch to softball. “Baseball isn’t for girls!” one sexist father said to me. No amount of persuasion or bullying could make me leave the sport I loved. Being only 5’3, 135 pounds, I knew I would never be as strong as the boys, who gain strength naturally.
Six weeks later after my broken leg I was finally ready to play again. But it’s already the championship game. My team, The Cobras have not made it to the championship until this year. To bad I didn’t help them get here. The Smoove twins Chris and Jrue have played outstanding Trevon and Andre were playing good as well but Robert and Tyron weren 't playing that good so we needed one more good guy to make this team great... And I was that guy.