First things first, I am not going to deny that playing a club sport isn’t hard because I truly struggle. Time management ranks as one of the skills I constantly need to improve upon. Going to college brings about a lot of stress already, but adding work and playing softball, my mind spirals out of control sometimes.
But, the love of the sport of softball cannot and will not ever die.
Let me start from the beginning. Rewind the clock to my senior year of high school, approximately two years ago. I was adamant about playing division softball in college; therefore, I was going through the recruiting process and having my family members videotaping my at-bats and fielding skills. My heart was set on this, it was something I dreamed about since I was a little, naive girl.
But suddenly my mind was set on something else.
I believed that it was more important for me to choose a school based on my academics rather than my softball capabilities. I was realistic with myself that I could not make many division one softball teams, although my academic drive was drawn towards these big, division one universities. My softball abilities were at division two and three levels, which typically were small colleges that I wasn’t interested in. To fix my dilemma, I chose to go to a large, division one university and try out for its club softball program.
Flash-forward to the present day and I ended up pursuing exactly that.
Now, the little girl with big hopes and dreams related to playing competitive and professional softball still feels down about my decision, but I am glad that I am still playing softball in some aspect or another. Club softball at the University of Maryland isn’t very large in number, but definitely large in the love of the game. Practices tend to be engaging and outside as much as possible, weather permitting. I have grown to meet some great friendships with people that used to be complete strangers. My roommate and I have something we bond over, and we get to experience playing softball together like we did when we were 14 years old.
Now I have to admit, I do not have perfect attendance or even close to it for softball practices. Obstacles come in the way like schoolwork that I didn’t complete in a timely manner and occasionally being run down and sick. I am not proud of it, but I’m trying to do better. I am grateful my captains are understanding and steer clear of psycho mode for missing practices (like some of my old coaches did).
Softball games, my oh my.
They bring back memories of playing travel softball where you have more than one game in a day, the competition is high and your heart is so full. I love competitive softball and I love playing in a good ole game of it. When it comes to playing softball, I can act goofy and have a good time, but when it comes down to business I want to play well and produce for the team’s benefit. No doubt about that, you can ask pretty much anyone this.
So, if you’re nervous to join a club sport at college, trust me — it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made and I would never take it back. I love my team, the game and especially, the competition.