Ballin’ Or Fallin’

By Lily Bourne

Blood, sweat, and tears; all can be found mixed in with the orange softball dirt coating the dugout floor, and all are necessary to become a true member of the softball experience. The Westmont softball team puts in hours of practice every week, perfecting both their defensive and offensive aspects of the game in order to prepare for a shot at CCS champions and beating the other teams in A league. The real question is, is it worth it?

To Be:

When thinking of the softball team, I immediately think of a family. The friendships we have formed throughout our years have been essential to my survival during the rough second semester. After-practice trips to Popeyes and Chipotle, or just simply catching up with each other on our group chat, have been the scenes of some of the funniest moments during our seasons. The teammates are not the only positive about softball either, as the sport also brings many benefits. Playing softball for many hours every week keeps you in pretty good shape, and allows you to keep your body active. Also, since softball is a very competitive sport, it makes for a huge mental health boost after a good win, especially against a rival team. The act of improving at the sport through hard work and dedication is very rewarding, and it can be incredibly satisfying to see the results during the games. Overall, the softball team represents a community of strong, kind, and hilarious girls that work together to improve and compete against other teams, all of which can be incredibly exciting and fun. 

Not To Be:

As described before, softball necessitates blood, sweat, and tears. Those hours practicing and improving in the sun are incredibly exhausting, especially in heat up to 100 degrees while wearing pants. Sliding and diving bring scars and bruises that never really leave, and once you get hit by a softball, you will understand that they are definitely not soft! Since softball is a very mental sport, it can also be difficult to get over mental blocks that interfere with your hitting and fielding, causing frustrating results during games. In addition, focusing on stats and comparing yourself to teammates is often encouraged by certain coaches who feel that it will push players to do better. However, this can cause harmful dynamics between teammates and create disruptive mental health issues in struggling players. Playing softball often becomes incredibly stressful, as you only have a few times per game to execute skills you have spent hours practicing. As many coaches have put it to me before, softball is a game of failure. Even professional players’ batting averages are usually only as high as .500, meaning they only get a hit half of the time they are up to bat. Clearly, you need a pretty strong mental game in order to participate in softball and have the drive to keep playing even after making a mistake.