You would think that as long as I’ve been doing instruction I would have seen it all by now. But the truth is each time I do a camp or a clinic like the recent Softball Cruise Clinic I am still amazed at the young ladies that play this sport.

I met one exceptional young lady who plays High School ball in Iowa. Where she lives their high school season (state playoffs) don’t end until the end of July, even though school is over in early June. That means that while other girls are off enjoying the summer and working on their tans, or working at the mall to make spending money, she is still training and practicing hard. As if that wasn’t enough she knows that by playing for her school it hurts her chances to play ASA travel ball and qualify for nationals. But she’s committed to helping her school win, despite the personal sacrifice. I admire committment a whole bunch.

Another young lady had a couple of killer movement pitches, but was as humble as they come. I admire girls who’s character is as strong as their playing is a whole bunch.

I spent a lot of time talking to another young lady who is a catcher. During our sports court day the wind was blowing with what seemed like hurricane force winds that I hadn’t experienced while outdoors before. She caught for 3-4 different pitchers who’s pitches did all sorts of very unnatural things in the wind and this girl was like a machine going after every single pitch. She jumped in the air, blocked on her knees, slid 5 feet sideways everything to keep the pitches in front of her. She kept that up for nearly 2 solid hours and never once did she complain. I admire players that leave it all on the field every single pitch and thrive even during adversity a whole bunch.

Two of my players accompanied us on the cruise and during our day on the field in the Bahamas helped me demonstrate diving. If you know me, you know that any girl that I would call “my player” is the kind of girl that would love to Get Dirty so the helping me dive shouldn’t be a surprise and wouldn’t be impressive by itself. What impressed me about both of these young ladies that are very special to me is that the field we had to work on was basically small pieces of gravel. I’m not talking about brick dust, I mean small pieces of gravel. The kind that just digs into your palm, and your belly. But neither complained a bit on the field. They just smiled as though it didn’t hurt a bit. At dinner I finally confessed to them that it hurt me worse than ever to dive on that gravel and they both confessed the same. When I asked why they hadn’t let me know it hurt, they both said the same basic thing … “I knew that if I showed the pain the other girls wouldn’t get over their fears and do it. So I just kept the pain to myself.” Girls that play through pain and sacrifice for the betterment of their teammates, or in this case just random girls from around the world, oh yeah I admire that a whole bunch.

As long as God continues blessing with me amazing young softball players that continue to amaze me I’ll continue doing clinics/camps/lessons.

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