Why Having Patience is a Key Virtue for Softball Players
Softball is a game of failure. It takes a mentally strong athlete to persevere through all that failure in order to have success and play at the highest level. Thanks to advancements of technology by way of social media, smartphones, and everything else available at our fingertips, we’ve all gotten used to the instant gratification that can be achieved for just about anything.
When something goes wrong on the softball field or a player is trying to hone a new skill, it’s not uncommon for them to think – or even expect – that they’ll be able to master it in a short period of time. There are certain occasions where that may happen, but in many cases, it takes a ton of repetition to perform a new skill at a high level.
The same can be said about making progress on the field and then getting dealt with a setback like an injury. All softball players want to desperately get back onto the field because they play the game, but it takes patience to make sure they’re fully healed and that they won’t be putting themselves in a position where they could easily hurt themselves again.
It’s OK to want results now, but you’ll also need to remember that most of the time in sports, getting that instant gratification as a player almost never happens. This is where it’s helpful to put together a concrete plan for whatever you’d like to accomplish on the softball field. There will be times when you’re in the middle of it all and want to move onto something else but looking at the plan is a reminder that everything is a process. You need to enjoy the process as much as you enjoy getting the results – that’s when progress really starts to happen.
Softball is very much a physical sport. However, there’s also a mental side that needs to be worked on just as much in order to have success and continue playing at a high level. Hall of Fame baseball player, Yogi Berra, said that baseball was 90% mental, and the same can be said about softball. These are the kinds of concepts we try to tell our players during our New Jersey softball camps, along with all of the other locations we host camps each summer. Our coaches are some of the best in the sport, and they’ll spend time with players working on the physical aspects of the game, like hitting, pitching, fielding, and baserunning, but they’ll also spend time focusing on the proper mentality that all players need to have. That starts off the field in both the kitchen and gym when it comes to nutrition and conditioning.
Great softball teams are developed during the season, but great softball players are developed in the summertime. Our camp directors and staff are all committed to the individual development of each camper that walks through our doors. They don’t just leave as better players when camp is over, too – they also have a mental game plan on how to deal with failure, how to be patient when they want to see results quicker, and a renewed passion for continuing to get better, which includes putting in the work to reach whatever their goals may be.