Travel Fastpitch Softball for 5 Years

by Ruth S
(Chicago)



My daughter is 14 and has been playing travel fastpitch softball for 5 years. At first, I was annoyed with the time and financial commitment, but it has turned out to be a fantastic experience all around. It's amazing to see how far she's come with her skills, and also how much she's grown to love the sport. Last week about 10 of her friends came to watch her play, she really "turned it on" for them. They play other sports or dance, skate, etc. She said, "I wanted them to see me doing what I'm good at."

My husband and I have made some wonderful friends, too. When you spend that much time with other people, you either grow close to them... or not. Fortunately, we've made some friends we even hang out with in the off-season. Same goes for my daughter.

She's also learned to deal with adversity, unfairness and challenging situations, both physically and emotionally. You don't always get to play the position you want, even though you're good at it; umpires are human and occasionally make questionable calls; you may be exhausted after back-to-back games, but you have to find the energy to keep going. (As for the umpires, she's recently started umpiring house-league softball and baseball games, both for the paycheck and another perspective!)

Our daughter is going into high school this year, and we've been talking about her level of commitment to the sport. Should she try out for a more competitive team? Is her goal to play in college? If so, which division is a good fit? (She's a good player, but we're realistic and know she's probably not getting a scholarship to play D1!) Now that she's getting older, it's interesting to see the choices she's beginning to make for herself, and she consistently puts softball above just about everything else. It's great for her self-esteem and it keeps her active and involved. We just spent the entire Father's Day weekend at a tournament, sitting outside in both blistering heat and chilly rain, and after unpacking the cooler and shaking off the dust, decided there's no place we would have rather been!

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Great Experience
by: Dan

I couldn't agree with you more. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It is great how she is giving back to the game by umpiring. I wish her continued success as she enters the high school years.

Dan

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