Yesterday was a great day for girls softball in our house. Our oldest daughter was selected to represent her team in the All Star Games. Our middle daughter’s team won both games of their double header in the tournament games, sending them directly to the championship game next week. We were on a ball field at 8:00am and finished up on a different field at 10:30pm.

It was a hot day yesterday. We hung out under shade trees for the morning game and set up tents for the 6:00 pm game. For each game we carried in coolers, chairs, snacks, cameras and entertainment for the little brother. At the morning game, we even brought our dogs and extra supplies for them. We had two of our meals at a ball field yesterday. Sports is a real family affair for us. Unless you have a game (or concert) of your own, you come and support your sibling.

I am very proud of our daughters (and son, although his season is over). It’s more than just winning and losing. They have learned valuable skills and lessons from softball.

1. Patience – Either by sitting there watching your sibling play when you really want to be home or watching the number three pitcher walk girl after girl.
2. Understanding – Everyone has a bad day at bat and in the field. Even the best players strike out or drop balls.
3. Good Sportsmanship – The umpire may not always be right, but he is calling the game and arguing is not going to make him on your side.
4. Confidence – One good play begets another. If you did it once, you can do it again.
5. Disappointment – In yourself or in a teammate. It’s part of the game and you just need to shake it off.
6. Teamwork – There are 10 girls on a softball field. Every one of them contributes to the game. As you know, there is no “I” in team.
7. Hard work pays off – In order to get better, you need to practice – a lot. Those who practice stand out; those that don’t sit out.
8. Support for your teammates – From singing cheers, to hugs and a comforting arm around the shoulder.
9. Pride – in yourself and in your teammates.

At last night’s game, we were down by 3 runs going into the last inning. The tension was high in the dugout, on the field and on the bleachers. The cheers had all but stopped. We all wanted this win, but it wasn’t looking good. Then somehow, using all those skills they learned, they scored 6 runs. Unfortunately, the other team still had a chance at bat. (Warning: Proud Mama talking now) Our daughter was put in as pitcher and she faced 4 batters – walking one and striking out three. It was an exciting game for all of us!

Later, I couldn’t help but feel bad for the other team. Our win meant their loss. Which brings me to number 10:
10. Sometimes you win; sometimes you lose – And it’s just a game. There will be others.

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