An Open Letter from the Benchwarmer | Softball is for Ladies

To Whom it Might Concern;

Good day there. I’m the benchwarmer. I really like softball and began enjoying after I was 8 years previous. It was a lot enjoyable, my associates and I had one of the best time being on the sector collectively. We did this for a number of years, after which all of the sudden on the age of 12, there weren’t sufficient “REC TEAMS” in our space to type leagues. Everybody went to journey groups with fancy uniforms and funky names. We performed tournaments as an alternative of video games. With nothing else to do, and 13 women trying unhappy confronted on the adults, a pair dad and mom determined to make a journey workforce. We had hit the BIG TIME.

girl playing softball

Oh what enjoyable we had. Nice competitors and tons of softball gamers each weekend competing at native fields.

After the primary yr, I grew to become the benchwarmer. I didn’t prefer it, I’ll admit. It sort of sucked being caught on the bench, anticipated to simply cheer for my teammates and by no means get to actually play. Typically the coach would put me in pool video games, swap me and two different women out for an inning or two. We found out that meant we sucked probably the most on the workforce, however folks like our dad and mom and coaches saved saying issues like – hold working more durable, this builds character, a workforce wants a heat bench, BLAH BLAH BLAH!

If we have been upset about not attending to play any video games, we have been being egocentric and never placing the workforce first. I used to be younger, and to be trustworthy, I simply wished to play. In any other case why was I right here?

The following season, some youngsters moved on to larger and higher groups with higher reputations enjoying one of the best competitors. I get it. Then we additionally had tryouts. I get that too. Development. Then once we lastly had sufficient for a workforce once more it was the scramble for positions. I labored arduous, earned a spot – solely to lose it to a different lady that was introduced on with out even having to check out. So I sat on the bench and cheered, attempting to really feel grateful for my inning or two – and listening to the identical recommendation I heard earlier than. Preserve working…blah blah blah.

Right here’s the factor. I used to be working. I used to be working HARD. And regardless that I used to be only a child, I couldn’t perceive why they might put 12 of us on the workforce, realizing the identical 3 weren’t going to play – or simply get rotated in each on occasion.

Once I began getting discouraged, I used to be being spoiled. Once I didn’t actually get pleasure from softball anymore – I used to be being a sore loser, or too lazy to “Earn it.” However pay attention…on the finish of the day, I simply wasn’t that good. I labored and tried arduous, however I didn’t have the athleticism of another women, by no means would. But I nonetheless beloved the sport.

Once I wished to give up, my dad and mom acted shocked! Like duh, sitting the bench always could be like displaying as much as work every single day, each week and by no means getting a paycheck.

So here’s what I need to say. At some ranges of this sport – certain, the benchwarmer has a giant duty. However when you and your workforce are simply enjoying native tournaments, and a enjoyable World Sequence – albeit aggressive, please cease including benchwarmers to your workforce. Heat our bodies, simply in case. And please cease telling the benchwarmers that they only need to work a bit bit more durable, after which after they do – going out and discovering another person, or a choose up participant to do what us benchwarmers thought we have been going to get an opportunity at doing.

Softball is aggressive. But when your workforce isn’t within the prime 100 within the nation, or your gamers are there to have an excellent time, play regionally and fill the void left by disappearing neighborhood groups – then attempt to perceive that the women popping out to play ACTUALLY WANT TO PLAY!

I do know you need to win, I do know you need to transfer up the ranks in your neighborhood and have bragging rights and footage to put up displaying you together with your workforce holding the massive trophy. However try to bear in mind how us women received began. And attempt to do not forget that finally once we are sufficiently old, have been doing this sufficient, you don’t want to cover behind aphorisms to try to make us ‘really feel’ higher. As a result of we get it.

Throughout my years of enjoying native journey ball, I’ve seen the identical youngsters enjoying the identical spots it doesn’t matter what the benchwarmers do to work more durable. Nepotism in youth sports activities is actual.

Please dont misinform us any longer, and please cease anticipating the on a regular basis benchwarmers like me, enjoying on abnormal groups for the enjoyable of the sport (you recognize, not going to Nationals, not in a giant costly journey league, not seeking to play in faculty) enjoying for abnormal coaches (you recognize…mother or father grew to become coach, now thinks he/she is a bigshot) to sit down down and cease being upset and simply work more durable.

And fogeys of those benchwarmers…if you wouldn’t present as much as work with out getting paid, cease attempting to morph the apparent right into a life lesson. Particularly if that life lesson just isn’t even what’s going on. Getting the jersey, and going to apply, and being the additional day in and time out, nicely…it will get previous and disappointing.

If I’m not ok to play, don’t inform me I’ll get an opportunity, after which neglect about me repeatedly. If my arduous work and love of the sport just isn’t arduous sufficient to your workforce – go me by, so perhaps I can land on a workforce the place I’ll really get to make use of my glove for what it was supposed for. 

A woman simply needs to play…..