Passion can win against talent. Why? Because with passion comes worth ethic and dedication. With passion comes an attitude of never giving up or giving in. Passion and everything that stems from it are intangible. They can’t be taught. You can instill a work ethic, but if you’re not passionate about what you do, are you going to have the same work ethic as you would towards something you love?
Many of today’s athletes are carted off to lessons galore. Hitting lessons, sometimes more than once and conditioning, and the list can go on and on. Not that lessons are a bad thing, but do all those lessons equate to being able to play at the next level? Not all the time. I’ve watched kids in the travel ball ranks get burnt out or lose the passion for the game because they are pushed to do so much. I’ve seen talented athletes be recruited by good programs, only to never fulfill their potential because they were never as passionate about it as they thought. I’ve had college players tell me they don’t love it, they just play it.
I can’t remember being on a team where we didn’t love what we did. I can remember my days on the Katy Cruisers. We didn’t practice as a team as much as other travel teams because we had girls from all over the state and even Louisiana, but when we did, we had a blast.
I’d drive to Katy to hang out, and before the day was done, the 5-6 of us that were local were out at the the fields together. Why? Not because our parents told us to, but because it is what we loved to do.
I challenge every athlete to look deep inside, and take a reading on what your passion is. It may not be softball, and if it’s not, that’s ok. If it is, then run with that passion. Play every game with that passion. Practice every practice with that passion. Nothing makes a coach more proud than to watch practice, and see an athlete going all out with the same enthusiasm every day. This doesn’t mean you always the cheer leader or positive patty. It means you play with the emotion inside of you. You show the emotion of being bothered when you drop the ball on what would have been an amazing diving catch.Your first fist pump when you get a big out or a big hit.
Passion! Find it, run with it, hold on to it.
| Cat Osterman’s accomplished career as a softball pitcher precedes her, starting with a record-breaking 4 years at the University of Texas and continuing with her impressive Olympic achievements and professional softball endeavors. In fact, she was the first pitcher to register over 2,000 NCAA strikeouts.
After taking home the gold at the 2004 Olympic games and enjoying years of success playing with the USA Softball Women's National team, Cat began her professional career in 2007 with National Pro Fastpitch. She is an inspiration to countless young softball players all over the world. Visit her website at www.CatOsterman.com
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