Studying Chemistry in Softball Written By Shannon Murray
Chemistry? In softball? Who knew?! Some of you didn’t think that we could study chemistry outside of the classroom. For our sport chemistry isn’t about numbers and equations. In softball we study the periodic table of success. What elements combined formulate the best team chemistry? Finding the right chemistry on a softball team can be a challenging task. Some teams get lucky and it happens a little more naturally. But what does good chemistry on a team entail? The right chemistry of any softball team is what brings the players together to win and be successful. With that said, there is no one-size fits all manual for finding chemistry on the field. As a player you will encounter so many personalities over the years on different teams. You need to keep in mind that no one is alike and accept diversity, even celebrate it. Not everyone on your team will be your best friend but they are your sister in softball. Find what bonds you on the field and how you all connect through the sport you love to play. You should discover ways that connect you to all the girls on your team because no one should be left in the dark. Branch out and avoid cliques. Cliques can cause tension and isolation. As teammates you are one unit with one goal which is to win and have fun doing it. Softball should be enjoyed by any girl that has interest and shouldn’t be discouraged from playing because she feels like she doesn’t fit in. Sometimes taking a leadership role with this benefits the team. If you as a player feel that your team might be a little disconnected bring the separation together. It is a good opportunity for your team to see that you not only care about having fun but what is also best for the team. By bringing the girls on your team together when it counts is bringing a positive athletic environment for your team to thrive. You don’t have to be best friends but you do need to be best teammates in order to thrive on the field.
On the other side of team chemistry is having too much of it and as a result becoming a distraction to success. No matter what you always want to have a good time at softball practice or enjoy the comradery of a sport that allows you to have it in a game. However, there has to be a balance of comradery and contest. Make sure that social life isn’t getting in the way of performing at your best. If everyone in the dugout is talking about Johnny Studmuffin while there are bases loaded and a tied game, the batter won’t exactly feel the support she needs from her teammates to get the job done. Being visible, verbally and in performance, to support your teammates will increase chemistry appropriately and keep everyone focused in the game.
Okay here’s your chemistry quiz. Write the answer to this equation: 1 goal + 1 heart + 1 mind – negativity = ? The answer? Team chemistry and success.
Shannon’s ultimate goal is to teach her players that they are astounding young women with the potential to be great softball players through hard work, dedication and sacrifice.
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