As your daughters journey along their softball careers, please help them keep perspective of what's really important.
Wins and losses? Sure, those mattered....then. Batting average? Hasn't helped us much since we've graduated. The game ending strikeouts, dropped flyballs, or routine groundballs right through the legs? Terrifying at the time (yes, we cried too) but now slightly humorous...well, kind of anyways 😉
Are those things important at the time? Yes. As athletes, we work our butts off to compete, to get better, and to win for each other. But do they define you for the rest of your life? Absolutely not.
Each of our 20+ teammates and the millions of memories we've made during our athletic careers at Wisconsin and Stevens Point are 100% the most cherished stat we are left with -- the bus rides, the thousands of hours at practices together, early morning lifts, volunteering at the children's hospital, team dinners, late night ice cream runs, hotels, black eyes and bruises, roadtrips, Saturday football games, the hard times and the relationship problems -- the list goes on foreverrrrrr.
These are the memories that follow us into adulthood and life after softball. Now, spanned across the country, we stick by each other's side through long distance friendships, group chats, and reunions not because we hit .300, had 1.000 fielding percentages or stole a certain number of bases, but because of the support system we built by getting through LIFE together.
Make sure you stop every now and again to remember what this GAME is really about, and help your athletes do that too.
Maria Van Abel