My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Did I make the most of my career?
3744
views
“Your time in college will be the best years of your life, be sure to cherish your time there.”

Most college students will hear this phrase many times while they’re in school, whether it be from relatives or from the chatty old lady who happened to notice your college T-shirt in the supermarket. I heard these words in this context for the last time during the opening ceremony speech at my last softball tournament. The fact that my time as a student athlete was soon going to be over didn’t hit me until that moment.

For most athletes, your entire career leading up to college is geared towards finding a school to play for: You go on recruiting trips during the school year or college camps over the summer, hoping that some coach will see your worth as a player and recruit you. Once you’re in college, that anxiety of finding a home goes away and you go back to playing the game relatively stress-free the way you always have. However, it's these years that athletes should really care about the most.

Having dumped so much of my life into my sport for so long, I almost felt like I’d blown it; I should have taken more pictures, paid more attention to each detail of each game, remembered every moment exactly how it happened. I should have worked on my hitting more, or worked out harder in the weight room. I should have started telling myself before and after every game that I am good enough, instead of destroying myself over everything I did wrong. I treated every season of my college career as if it were the same old thing, as though it would never end. Going into my last game, I suddenly regretted everything that I didn’t do.

Did I cherish these moments the way I should have?

My mindset on my final game day was to try to “do things right” at least once before my career ends. I wanted to remember my last moments as an athlete as much as possible, and this fueled a new fire within me. I almost felt high off of the (potentially caffeine-induced) adrenaline that rushed through my body during our pregame warm up. At the same time, a part of me was aching, knowing that day was the “last good day” of my dying career.

When softball becomes wrapped up into your identity, there are few things in life that make you feel the way you do when you step onto a field. Nothing makes you feel more powerful than hitting the ball on that perfect spot on your bat, throwing out a girl at second from your knees or pitching that backdoor curve and watching the batter watch strike three. Even bloodying your nose on a dive back to second base and having to finish the rest of the inning with mini tampons in your nose makes you feel a little sexy.

But no matter how softball makes you feel, you will still take off your helmet for the last time just as I did. You will take off your batting gloves and your EvoShield and put them on the bench, never to be worn in a game again. You will line up at home plate to shake hands with the opposing team, trying to hide the ugly crying that you’ve seen distort the faces of seniors that came before you. You will hug all your teammates for what you feel is the last time, and you may even lay in your dirty uniform in your room for the rest of the day. You can officially consider yourself a part of the generation of athletes that can start stories off with the phrase, “Well, back when I played...” However, what you may not yet realize is that this sport has given you much more than you ever thought it could.

Your ability to work in a team setting will forever be a bragging point on your resume. You will do things that will remind you of little moments with your team that will make you giggle when nobody's watching. Each scar on your body has its own story, each team picture has its own memory. Even though you don’t remember every moment of your time playing the game, the game will always live in you.

If you still have a year, two years or five years left playing the sport that you love, remember this: do your best to cherish the memories you have, but know that you haven’t failed yourself even when you feel like you haven't maxed out every aspect of your career. The fact that you were given the chance to play your sport for as long as you have is blessing enough. Remember what you can, and love every bit of what you can hold onto.

To those who have just handed in their jerseys for the last time: Don't spend all of your energy reflecting on all the “should have done” memories and “what-ifs" of your time playing your sport. The little girl that started this journey many years ago, with shorts riding up to her armpits and stickers on her helmet, couldn't have ever dreamed that she would have the opportunities that you were given or that she'd make it as far as you did. So when those doubts creep in, think of her and love the game as she did: Deeply and without regret.




Cover Image Credit: Kara Wall

Popular Right Now

30 Things I Would Rather Do Than Watch The Patriots Win Another Super Bowl

Because no one like the Patriots except the Patriots.
207173
views

The Patriots are definitely one of those teams that everyone loves to hate (myself included as a Steelers fan). With multiple past cheating scandals, it’s surprising that there isn’t more attention brought to the speculation that the refs are in their pocket. Somehow the rules are always in their favor just when you think they are going to lose. We are all tired of seeing the Patriots win in ways that only seem possible by ritual sacrifices and dirty politics. I don't even need to be a fan of who they're playing — here are 30 things I would rather do than see the Patriots win yet another Super Bowl this year.

1. Get a Brazilian bikini wax

2. Be allergic to the sun

3. Give up chocolate for the rest of my life

4. Get my wisdom teeth pulled… without anesthetic

5. Have to speak in front of a class in my underwear

6. Put my hand in a deep fryer

7. Have a bloody nose every day for the rest of my life

8. Use my first ever email address (saigepoo@aol.com)

9. Never be able to text again

10. Have to walk to class in the rain every day

11. Lose my wallet

12. Wait in line at the DMV

13. Be stuck in high school forever

14. Shave my head

15. Go without power for a week

16. Fall off a cliff

17. Get hit by a car

18. Run an ultramarathon

19. Never pet another dog

20. Walk on legos

21. Go on a juice cleanse

22. Have my car break down on the interstate

23. Bite my tongue over and over

24. Get a sunburn on my butt

25. Have to speak without using E’s

26. Be chased by a clown

27. Get braces... again

28. Never eat at Taco Bell again

29. Drop my phone in the toilet

30. Throw myself down a flight of stairs

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Till's Return: The Gorilla Is Back

Liverpool's Darren Till Is Ready To Take Out Everyone

245
views

The #3 ranked fighter in the welterweight division former title challenger Darren Till has recently expressed that he is ready to get into the octagon multiple times this year as he aims to get that top spot in the division. He has said since UFC 228 with the bout between himself and the current UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley he has essentially reassessed the situation. He is ready to capitalize on the lessons he has learned while showing why he is still the biggest challenger in the 170-pound division.

He has called out all names but he has not hesitated to express his interest in getting that rematch with the champion "The Chosen One" Tyron Woodley because he knows and is confident he has the skill to defeat Tyron. The Gorilla is definitely ready to be the Main Event on the London card in March but there is no clear set opponent yet.

Rumors began to spread in the mix martial arts world that Darren Till would be facing Colby Covington but it was not set in stone. Darren would have much more to win if he took on Colby and dismantled him. He would resolidify himself as the #1 Title challenger as Colby would have a lot more to lose. Colby Covington does not seem to be on the best of terms with the UFC as is so it seems like this would be the most appropriate fight to make since Kamaru Usman vs Tyron Woodley was booked for UFC 235 for the belt.

Darren Till is absolutely ready to get back into action but many would like to see him step into the Middleweight division and show what he can do. He does not want any rest and wants to fight 3 times or more in 2019 as it looks to be a promising year. The Gorilla recently received a call out for the London card by #9 ranked welterweight Jorge Masvidal as they both share the same amount of interest in the past but the fight was never booked.

Another huge fight he has interest in is with the "Style Bender" from the middleweight division, top prospect Israel Adesanya which would be absolute madness and would be a huge sell for the business. But in the meantime, he does believe he will stay at welterweight even though the division is in a very weird place right now. He expressed his dislike for Colby but knows the game Colby Covington is trying to play. A fight between Darren Till and the (Former?) Interim Title holder Colby Covington would definitely put a clear understanding to who the next title challenger could be in the division for Tyron Woodley.

The 26-year-old has 17 wins and 1 loss with 1 draw in his mix martial arts career. The last time we saw the #3 ranked "Gorilla" Darren Till was when he took on Tyron Woodley who become the first person to finish and stop Darren giving him his first loss at UFC 228. It is very exciting to see Darren so hungry and eager to get back in the cage. Hopefully, it will be in the Main Event in London.

Related Content

Facebook Comments