The more I hear the word “fair” used in conjunction with the word “not” on a softball field, the more I’m beginning to see it as a 4 letter word. One that should be avoided at all costs, and stricken from one’s vocabulary.

The world is full of situations that aren’t fair and we all recognize that, yet somehow we allow players to get by with the notion that everything in the softball world should be fair. The truth is that situations are neither fair nor unfair, they simply are. Any time spent analyzing the fairness of the situation is time lost that could better be spent adjusting to and dealing with the situation.

You are the best hitter in the world, and yet the coach is “unfair” and bats you dead last. Did you ever stop to think that by batting dead last you get the least respect from the opposing team’s pitchers so you likely get better pitches to hit? Do you really want the fairness of having to handle the exact same pitching focus that is afforded to the #4 hitter on the team, and the expectations of everyone on the team that you will produce big hits every single at bat?

You hit a solid line drive that travels 175 feet on a rope, a rope that ends in the glove of the center fielder. While the player on the opposing team closes her eyes, and dips under the pitch badly. Her ball travels 78 and a 1/2 feet as a popup, one that drops 1/2 foot beyond the arms of your diving second basemen in right field. Is that fair that you killed the ball but didn’t get a hit, while they had a blooper and did get a hit? Or is it simply a matter of odds that as you spray your line drives around sooner or later one will be straight at a player, and the odds that the other player’s consistent bloopers will sooner or later happen to drop right outside the reach of your fielder?

Another player is seemingly gets “special” treatment from their parents, while you seem to be challenged every single time your father looks in your direction. Is that un-fair to you? Or is it really un-fair to the other player who’s parents have given up trying to help them grow and develop because it takes to much work.

One of your friends is on a great team. One where they have several awesome players, and they win every game. The players all get along and bake cookies for each other every weekend. While you are on a team that is struggling to ever win, and players yell at each other on and off the field. Is that really fair to your friend that she takes a back seat while the other players carry the team and lead it to greatness? How is that preparing her for the real world, where she will be on her own, while you get the honor of stepping up and becoming a leader due to necessity, and while you don’t win all of your games you are becoming prepared to win the game of life.

My advice is to stop using the word “fair” in any context other than fair/foul in regards to softball. Adjust to whatever situations you are faced with as they come at you, in a way that best prepares you for the future and allows you to build the kind of character and reputation that you would like to be known for. In other words “deal with it and move on.”

Category : Coaching / Mental advice