Travel Softball Doesn't Last Forever
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Travel Softball Doesn't Last Forever

But the memories will

Travel Softball Doesn't Last Forever
Barb Johnson

Last summer, I turned 18. Last summer, I graduated high school and prepared for my first year in college. Last summer, I was sure that I was done with travel softball despite having one more year of eligibility thanks to the cutoff date.

This year, I decided that I wasn’t ready to give my travel career up. For the last seven years my summers have been solely dedicated to being spent at random softball complexes all over the tristate area. Why should this summer be any different?

So yes, this year will be my last summer ball season.

I will be playing for an organization I played for when I was 13 rather than travel as far as I did during my showcase years. I’m going to take it a game at a time and enjoy every pitch of every game to its full extent. I am going to trust my teammates and leave it all on the field for them. I’m beyond thankful to my parents for every second they’ve spent driving me to and from practices and games and for putting up with with this for one last season.

Who knows what the future holds, but I am sure that this travel season is only my last on the field. My coaching career has been a long time coming, and I think that once this season is over, I will be finally, fully ready to take on the responsibility of ensuring an amazing summer to my own team full of young athletes.

That all being said, I want you to be touched by this article. One day you will be in my position. One day, you’re going to take your travel softball jersey off, and you’re not going to put it back on. If you’re like me, you’re going to have a college jersey to wear for the next three springs, but it’s not the same.

College softball is cold, and it happens in the afternoon. You don’t get driven to the games by your parents, and you probably don’t stop for ice cream on the way home after a hard loss. Travel softball is an important part of every softball player’s career, and it's not something to take for granted.

What I am saying is you will miss waking up early to be at a field an hour away by 7 a.m. for warm ups and you will miss playing under the scorching mid-summer sun.

Some careers end suddenly, unplanned. Play each and every game like it's your last, if you don’t you’re wasting your time and disrespecting the game. Cherish every win, hit, and stolen base. Learn from every loss, error, and called strike three.

I am what they call a quote junkie. During high school, I had a class where we had a daily quote that we always had to respond to. The quote that has become most important to me during the transitional years that have flooded my life is, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” While the end of your travel career is a very sad occurrence, you should be able to look back and smile, so make the most out of every second you spend on the field.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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