Instead of the summer of ’19 you + me, it was the summer of ’19 a softball field + me
My life used to revolve around softball. 8 out of the 12 months of the year were dedicated to the field. I grew up with the life of bruised legs, no social life, and dirty summers and I loved it. But then, senior year, I had 2 surgeries. I couldn’t play. By the time I was cleared, it was too late to pick up my bat and get into shape for the summer. So you know the saying; those who can’t do, teach. Well, that’s what I did.
I knew I wanted to coach, so why not start now. My travel softball coach, Mary, was the reason I wanted to coach. She is also one of the reasons I’m the person I am today. I have to thank her for changing my mindset to “I can” instead of “I can’t.” She has been a role model and an inspiration to me since I started playing for her. When I joined her team, she was still in college and that’s what I loved most about her. She wasn’t my dad, she had a connection with everyone on my team that our parents could never have as coaches. She was like the big sister that I never had. We knew she cared about all of us and was there with the sole purpose of making ALL of us great players. This was what set her apart from every other softball coach in that she didn’t have to be there, she wanted to be there. Thank you, Mary, for not only the best 5 years of softball, but also seeing something in me I clearly didn’t. P.S congrats on the engagement!
This past summer, I started coaching my local 12u travel softball team. It became the summer of ’19: a softball field + me.
Now a little bit about coaching a 12u softball team: it was a lot of fun. During practice, I would make up games to not only make them better, but also have a little fun while doing it. Coaching was like a second job. But I loved it. I spent hours with my team practicing, going to games, and even doing private lessons with the girls who reached out to me. I probably saw them more than my friends for the whole month of July. They became comfortable around me (maybe a little too comfortable), and I finally felt a connection with every single one of them. Also, These girls love to dance. I even made them a personalized playlist. In between games, you would find them: playing games on an iPad, eating, arguing about random things, and then begging me to play games with them. During games, they were loud. They loved to cheer and talk nonstop, even when it was 7 o’clock in the morning.
Our last tournament was my favorite. One of my players broke her bat as she was up to bat and still managed to get a base hit. I don’t think they stopped talking about that for the rest of the game. She came back the next day and used someone else’s. That wasn’t the reason it was my favorite obviously, but it showed the type of attitude they had the whole weekend. They didn’t let anything stop them (not even the heat). The whole tournament they played as they had never played before. The girls never gave up even when it got difficult. In the end, my team came in second place and it was a great way to end the season
Sadly, I will not be coaching my group of girls next summer, but I will always cherish the memories we made. They made me so proud. I look forward to hearing about their achievements as they get older since I am, and always will be, their #1 fan!
I had the best summer coaching these girls. I cannot thank them enough for letting me jump into coaching in the middle of their season. Thank you for all the laughs, dancing, and the craziness that made this season so amazing. To the parents, you were one of the best groups of softball parents. I cannot thank you enough for all the support. To my other coaches, thank you for being the best mentors a rookie 19-year-old coach could ever have and treating me like just another coach. Thank you Coach Joel Castilo for giving me this awesome opportunity to work with these girls. And finally, thank you for the experience; I could not have asked for a better summer!
Coach Lauren 12u Monroe Mustangs