“The Diamond Is No Place For Drama” Written By Stacie Mahoe
I once attended a a non-softball event which vividly reminded of the whole concept of “keeping the drama off the field.” This event lasted all day event and there was a little bit of trouble in the beginning, but things stayed under control. Until the end. When the event ended and everyone started packing up to go home, a fist fight broke out. This was not a fight among kids, or crazy fans, but amongst people who participated in these kinds of events.
Of course, the fight made the local newspaper. Only one line of the article spoke of the other more positive aspects of that event. Let's face it, media loves drama. This fist fight made EVERYONE look bad, not just those who threw punches. Instead of keeping personal issues personal, these people brought their drama out into the public for everyone to see. All members of their community paid for the lack of maturity displayed by those few.
When you're out in public representing your community, your “tribe, or your team, you represent the whole. You're not viewed as individual parts. No matter what personal issues you have with your teammates, your best chance of success involves you putting aside personal differences. Softball is a TEAM sport. The best players know how to do what it takes (including dropping personal drama) so everyone performs at their best in competition.
Sports provides a great way to practice putting personal issues aside and making positive contributions to a team striving toward a common goal. It also provides opportunities for resolving conflict effectively. In competitive environments, opponents are out to take you down. People say and do whatever they can to take you off your game. If you want to be the best you can, you must learn HOW TO DEAL with all of that in a positive way.
If you're still a competitive athlete, please use your opportunities to work on this through sports. I don't want to see you on the news years from now as a 30-something-year-old looking silly because you don't know how to handle the BS that gets thrown in your way or the conflict that arises in your life. Practice dealing with adversity through this game because, in real life, there's so much more at stake than an error in the books, runs allowed, or a game lost.
Remember, any time you are part of a team, the team's accomplishments or defeats often gets “attached” to you as a player. Others see you as part of a “losing team” or a “winning team.” But the opposite is also true. Your individual actions and words reflect on, and represent, your team as a whole. One of two can taint the reputation of the entire team. You best chance at softball success requires respect for the game, your team, and yourself. It requires that you conduct yourself well regardless of personal feelings or conflicts. Whenever you represent your team, there's no room for personal drama. Put it aside. Better yet, work toward resolving it so you can play freely and successfully!
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