The influence of senior student athlete Kayleigh Moore's softball coaches and her ability to listen to their insight as helped her understand the importance of why sports matter at Coram Deo. Find out why.
The softball hit the top of the bat. The yellow sphere flew straight up into the air, climbing higher and higher, until it stopped and rocketed toward first base. Right at my face. All of my instincts reacted at once. I called off my teammates, set my feet, and made the catch. Then I whipped around to watch the runner on second base. She stayed put, so I threw the ball back to the pitcher. This scenario happens multiple times in every softball game. It might seem like an insignificant play, but it is crucial for the success of the team. Every play counts.
If I had to choose three characteristics that have impacted my development in softball, I would choose a teachable spirit, mental toughness, and accountability because they are necessary for the game of softball.
Coaches want the best players. No matter how nice you are, if you don’t know how to put on a glove the coach will not put you in the softball game. However, all players have to begin somewhere, and this is why practices are so important. The softball coaches at CDA are experienced and knowledgeable. They coach you to help you sharpen your skills, so it is in your best interest to listen to them.
I have played first base from 9th grade to 12th grade, and my coaches are still teaching me new things. I never ignore them; instead, I take their advice to heart and put it into action every time I get the chance. If every player on a team develops a teachable spirit, the team will never stop improving.
Softball is completely controlled by the dark, ominous, and relentless cloud of mental toughness. Okay, that was an exaggeration. Nevertheless, mental toughness is certainly a requirement in softball. You have to remain focused and determined on offense and defense. While you are up to bat, you have to be confident. If you think you’ll strikeout, you will strikeout. The same idea applies to fielding. You should want the ball to come to you. You should always hope that you get to make the next play. One thing that makes mental toughness a little easier to obtain is being a Christian.
As a Christian, I am constantly seeking ways to glorify God through my actions. Playing a softball game to the best of my ability glorifies God, and I must have mental toughness to play my best.
Accountability accounts for most of the game of softball (see what I did there). There are nine players on the field at any given time for defense. Each player is accountable for their position on the field. Before every pitch, you have to ask yourself “Where do I throw the ball if it comes to me? Where should I go if it doesn’t come to me?”
Every player must know the answers to these questions all the time, since the answers depend on the continually changing situations. If they throw it to the wrong place or forget to back up a play, they are responsible for it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the end of the world if you miss a catch. But in a softball game, getting three outs ends the inning. Every play counts.
When that pop fly first came off of the bat, I was ready for it. My coaches had trained me in practice, I wanted the ball to come to me, and I knew I was responsible for making the catch.
The CDA softball program has inspired me to excel with a teachable spirit, mental toughness, and accountability. I highly encourage others to get involved in sports because these qualities are not limited to high school. They are applicable throughout your entire lives, and that is unquestionably a priceless deal.