Ahhhh Spring! Flowers are in bloom, birds sing in the trees, the snow has just turned to rain in Delano MN, and a young mans fancy turns to .... BASEBALL!
Ok, I'm not such a "young man" anymore, so my attention is softball! Both coaching and playing. I might come out of retirement and play again, but right now I'm coaching my daughters softball team. They are in the 14 and under bracket. Now, I've coached 20-25 little league teams but this is my first crack at girls softball. I was asked by another coach if I wanted him to attend a few of my practices to help out. ME?!? Need help?!? Dude! I was coaching baseball when you were in diapers...dirty ones at that! Ahh, but you have never coached girls softball! Thats a different game altogether. How different can it be? You hit the ball, throw the ball, catch the ball. I've played before, it's not so different. That was about the last thing I remember saying that made any sense to me. WOW! Much different animal! Coaches really look thru the rule book to get any advantage they can find. I took my right fielder out of the game for a sub because she had to go to the bathroom. I took her out after 35 minutes into the game. She had already gotten to bat and played 2 innings on D. BIG mistake. The opposing manager complained that I can't do that. It should cost me an out because it was 10 minutes early (all subs must be in the game at the 45 minute mark). Even the ump said she had to do a potty call. The other manager gave in this time but insisted that if I did it again it would be an out. I believe in playing by the rules, but c-mon! Should I have let her have an accident in the outfield? In the past few weeks I've made some of my own players parents mad at me because I'm not coaching as they want me too. But hey, I told every one of them what my philosophy was at the very first practice! Number one thing is that the girls have fun., and they are. And after all, none of them offered to coach or even help coach!
So there have been a few run-ins, with coaches, and parents (all new to me) and I have to be less "hands on" with girls than I was with boys. BUT there have been good things too. Most of the other coaches have gone easy on us. We are new, these other teams have mostly been together for four or five years coming up thru the league together. The other teams don't advance as much as they could, they go station to station on us, don't steal as much as they could, and don't ALWAYS pitch their best pitcher at us. My players are, for the most part, real good girls. Most come from broken homes, about 1/2 of them. It's sad to see some of them trying so hard to get the attention of a parent who doesn't seem to care much past what can you do for me to look good. I have one girl who is just the sweetest girl. Pretty, polite, a good player. She comes from a abusive home and lives with guardians. How anyone could do bad things to this girl...well I'd like just 5 minutes with that person! I really don't understand it! Anyway, I have fun and also let some of the crap get to me. I need to work at that part. I just hope we get that elusive first victory before we're all done with the season. So I have a favor, for the next few Saturdays wear your rally caps and send some big hit mojo my way!!