The game of softball is a team sport. It goes well with that saying, there is no “I” in a team. It takes an entire roster from top to bottom to win a championship in softball. If you are interested in individual success and glory, we suggest taking up tennis. Being part of a team is a privilege. Teams grow and mature together, and the stronger the team is as a whole, the chance of success becomes greater.
Not everyone is going to be a good teammate. It takes some practice and some master it quicker than others. Every team has issues or individuals on the roster who put stress on the team. Even though softball is a team sport, individual success and contribution play an important role to each player. Softball players are competitive and are driven to succeed for their team on and off the field. When softball players feel as though their individual contributions aren’t benefitting the team, they may retract, or develop an attitude and eventually lash out, causing tension among the team.
Everyone is going to struggle at some point in their softball career. Try not to get too caught up in individual performance and shift focus back to the team and the success of the team. Below is a list of three easy ways to be a good teammate in softball. If the team wins, we all win.
Respect Your Teammates and Yourself: This is the golden rule for team success. Respecting your teammates and yourself means abiding by all team and coach rules. Showing up for practice, being on time, putting in the extra work outside of team practices, holding yourself and your teammates accountable, being a positive presence when at the ball field, etc. Always respect the game and understand that things aren’t always going to go your way. Understanding that the game of softball is full of failures and life lessons. This game is very rewarding and also very challenging at times so show up every day ready to get better for yourself and for your team.
Positive Attitude: The game of softball will make and break you at times, but those who can keep a positive mind and attitude during the difficult times are the ones who will succeed. Instead of getting down on yourself after a bad game, practice short term memory. It’s okay to be upset after a loss or because of an individual performance but you can’t let your attitude affect the team. Your teammates have your back and are there to pick you up. Taking out your anger with your own personal performance on a teammate or a coach is not acceptable. If you have a bad game, put some extra practice in, there is nothing more therapeutic than hitting balls off a tee when you’re angry or upset.
Have FUN: You owe this to yourself and to your teammates. The day the game isn’t fun for you anymore means it’s time for you to hang up your cleats. Your softball career will end as fast as it began and the relationships and memories you create with your teammates are what you will remember over any championship or trophy you win. No matter how competitive the game gets, you should never take yourself too seriously. No one is perfect in softball, it’s actually impossible to be just that. Enjoy the journey, enjoy your teammates, coaches, parents, fans, and you’ll find that the journey is the reward.