Who Said There’s No Crying in Softball?

Who Said There’s No Crying in Softball?

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Be The Best You Can Be

Who Said There’s No Crying in Softball?

Character building begins in our infancy and continues until death.

~Eleanor Roosevelt

Our team was playing softball against a team that we were tied with for third place. I was toughing out the position of catcher, and we were winning. However, my knees started to not feel so tough. In the bottom of the second inning they had started to hurt.

I’ve had bad tendonitis in my knees, and I just couldn’t take any more abuse to them that day. So I limped over to the manager, who is also my dad, and told him that my knees were hurting. I asked if he could have the back-up catcher, Jill, catch for the rest of the game. He called Jill into the dugout and told her to put on the catcher’s gear.

One of the other coaches overheard this conversation and came running over. I could tell that he was mad at my dad’s decision because he was steaming like a whistling teapot.

He yelled at my dad, “Are you crazy? Jill can’t catch — she has a huge cut on her finger!”

My dad explained to the coach about my knees.

“So what!” The coach rudely yelled at my dad.

Then he furiously walked over to me. His face was red, and I could feel my heart pounding in my chest.

“You’d better get that gear back on and get back out there right now. If you don’t, I swear this will be the worst softball season of your life! Every game! Every game you complain about your stupid knees! If your knees keep hurting so much, I don’t understand why you even play! You certainly aren’t even good enough!” he screamed at me.

I couldn’t believe what he said to me. Amazingly, I was able to choke through my tears, “I’m sorry! My knees hurt so bad! If I catch any more I’ll collapse!”

“So what! Do you think I care?” he yelled.

By that time I was sobbing hard. The coach stormed off grumbling something over and over, leaving me in tears.

Later that night, I was lying in my bed thinking. Then a very important question came to my mind.

Why should I continue my softball season if I don’t even have any respect? I asked myself.

Then, from somewhere deep inside my heart, I found the answer.

It doesn’t matter what the coach thinks about me, it only matters what I think about myself. I love softball and I have a right to play, even though I may not be the best catcher in the world. That doesn’t make me a loser. But I would be a loser if I believed what he said instead of believing in myself. I would lose my self-respect. No one, even the coach, can make me quit. All I have to do to be a winner is to keep showing up, sore knees and all. And I will.

~Amy Severns, 12

More stories from our partners