For Love of the Game

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Softball. Nope, there’s nothing soft about it.

Mr. Webster defined sport as a physical activity engaged in for pleasure. For someone playing softball, I can attest that it is more complicated than what meets the eye. True, it resembles baseball though bigger balls, smaller fields, and more rules are used.I first played the game when I was still a freshman in high school. I thought it was just sport that’s similar to soccer, only with a literally “softer” ball used. We played it for an inter-section competition so I went on playing the game without any knowledge whats over. I was struck out because i kept batting every pitch not knowing if it’s a good pitch or a ball. After that, I didn’t get to play softball again because on my second year I transferred to another school where softball is uhmm, a “dormant” sport. Softball became a sport that i dream of playing again, if given a chance. Then came high school graduation, where I received the greatest gift ever, the opportunity to be enrolled in a summer camp where I can play softball again — the Softbelles Summer Camp.

A mixed feeling of anxiousness and excitement took over me when I first set foot in the Sports Arena. I didn’t know what to expect then. As a softball ignoramus I was, I felt so out of place. I felt that I was the only one who knew nothing about the sport but that did not hinder me from playing the game. I figured out what was necessary to make it through: a cup of inspiration, a slice of hard work, a pint of dedication, and a big bag of teamwork.

I didn’t find it hard to seek inspiration in the field. Inspiration does not necessarily refer to a cutie sitting in the bleachers and watching the game. Inspiration for me is when my teammates cheer for me when it is my time to bat. Inspiration is when my teammates keep their catching position in training even even if I haven’t batted any pitch yet. Inspiration was when I see my teammates catch over high fly balls like softball titans and it makes me want to be like them. Most of all, inspiration is when I want to do good at every training in exchange for our coaches’ hard work teaching us the drills.

Just as the saying goes, “great things start from small beginnings,” every good thing in softball can be achieved little by little. It also takes hard work to be a rocking player. because when we say hard work, we refer to patience and discipline as well. Being a good softball player doesn’t happen overnight. When we train, we don’t just practice the skills. We condition our body to perform them well.When we catch a ball we don’t just try catching it, we consider it the most important thing in the world before anything else. When we throw, we aim for a target and when we make a follow through so that the ball remains at a level height and reaches a longer distance. Softball training does not end in the diamond. Our coaches never fail to remind us to eat the right food, drink milk and lots of water, have the right amount of sleep and the like! Whew!

I remember one of my teammates told me, “it’s not enough for a person to have the skills to play the game not only for softball, but any sport for that matter, they must also have the passion for the game because in the end what matters is not whether you’ve won or lost, but the feeling of contentment that you’ve done your best for the love of the game.” Many people tend to ask why I still play the game. They would say training causes nothing but body pains, blisters, mud on my clothes and the smell of sweat.But believe me; these things won’t matter when you know you love what you’re doing. Softball for me is one of the things I cannot live without. For me it is an outlet to relieve my childhood days when I can play up until midnight, when it’s free to be all drenched in sweat and my clothes were so dirty because of damp ground. And most of all, the days when I can leave everything behind and care only about the game I’m playing.

Isn’t it amazing how different people can be united by just one reason? In my team’s case it’s the love of the game that brought us together. I’m not one who usually initiates a good conversation; I am the one who usually listen to those speaking. Normally it would make one feel out of place if they’re got nothing to share and talk about but in the field, whether I keep quite or not, I know I belong.I’ll never be out of place. It’s like there is an invisible link that will hold the team together the moment we step in the field. That’s why in a game it doesn’t scare me anymore that there are many things I still do not know it softball. I know they won’t let me down.

I can’t believe that in just a few months I have found the thing that I’ll always find pleasure in doing. Softball is my sport. It’s a physical activity I’m engaged in for pleasure. Now let me ask you, what’s your sport?


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