A few months ago, my wife convinced me to join a coed softball team with her. I’m not really a softball person, but she knew several members of a team and they needed a few players. I figured out that I could fit it into my work schedule so I agreed to play. I thought that it would be good since I haven’t played anything competitive in awhile. Little did I know how much softball would help me.
I can honestly say that I’ve had fun playing. I’ve also enjoyed the competition and the personal challenges. Being a little older I tended to get more bumps, bruises, and dings in my body than I seem to remember from my younger days. Some things haven’t changed much though: I still get frustrated when I make mistakes and excited to make good plays and win games. So what has all of this done for me? It’s made me really examine each bump and bruise, each mistake, every high and low. You know what? It helped remind me what it’s like for my athletes when the same things happen to them. It made me remember why athletes don’t want to “sit out” when something hurts. It reminded me of the emotions that play such a large role in sports. While I know that coed rec league softball isn’t exactly the Olympics, it still helped remind me what it’s like to have a little “inner fire” inside.
While I hadn’t really forgotten any of these things, it was still good to experience them again. When we deal with athletes we can’t afford to forget what it was like to be one. If we do forget, we won’t ever be able to truly connect with them and understand them.
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