They Lost Perspective On The Sport

Written By Bill Plummer

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They Lost Perspective On The Sport

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Lance Armstrong wanted it all and ended up failing miserably. Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez is still playing but has filed an appeal relating to his involvement in performance-enhancing drugs. A-Rod has been given a 211-game ban. Armstrong and Rodriguez are guilty of wanting it all in sports at any cost. They lost perspective on the sport they were involved with and didn’t care what they did to get what they wanted. What they wanted was more money and fame. It’s a sad situation, but they have no one to blame but themselves.

No matter if it’s Armstrong, A-Rod or any other athlete, college or pro, keeping everything in perspective is paramount. Even if you get a Division one softball scholarship, understand that with it comes a responsibility to live up to the policies and procedures of the college or university that has awarded you the scholarship. There are policies and procedures in pro and amateur sports, but too often these policies and procedures are violated and you read about it in the morning newspaper. Getting a full ride to a major university or college is a privilege and should be treated that way. Too often athletes, especially in Division One football, don’t treat it as a privilege and take it lightly. When they lose sight of this, they end losing their scholarship or, even worse, kicked off the team because they are arrested or violated the policy or procedure often.

Even if you get a Division One softball scholarship remember that there is life after softball and playing college softball is only four years. Perhaps you’ll be drafted by the NPF and might want to give pro softball a try. That is fine, but remember you aren’t going to get rich playing pro softball. The salaries in the NPF are small in comparison to other pro leagues. For June, July and August, the NPF salary is approximately $5,000 to $6.000 per player. If you play overseas, and especially in Japan, the salaries are considerably better, usually in the $100,000 to $300,000 range. So be sure that if you want to play pro softball, either in the USA or aboard, understand that eventually in time you will retire from the NPF to have a career in something else maybe besides softball or you might want to coach.

Unfortunately, because of the amount of money that is being squandered by pro teams, athletes are taking risks and don’t care about the consequences. In the long run they lose and leave behind a legacy of infamy that will label them for the rest of their lives. A-Rod said “The last seven months has been a nightmare, has been probably the worst time of my life for sure.” He doesn’t say who was to blame for this period of time. Of course it was A-Rod. Don’t end up like A-Rod or Armstrong. Keep a level head about your softball career during the time you’re playing and after the playing career is over. There is too much to lose. Your good name and reputation are not worth throwing them away for money. Armstrong and A-Rod did. And they’ve got to live with what they did for the rest of their lives. Don’t end up like them. Keep softball in perspective, on and off the field of play.

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Bill Plummer Bill Plummer A graduate of Indiana University, Ind. Bill has been involved in softball for more than four decades. For 30years he was a fixture at the ASA National Office as a communications coordinator, manager of the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame and historian. In addition, he also served as the editor of the ASA official newsletter, The Inside Pitch, and as the Trade Show Manager. He has written widely about the sport and has contributed to 14 books. In 2009, he authored “The Game America Plays.” In 2012, he co-authored “Best of the Best-Women’s Fastpitch.” In 2014, ” A Series of Their Own. The History of the Women's College World Series.” He has been elected to five halls of fame, including the ASA National. In 1996, he served as the Information Manager for the debut of softball in the Olympics.

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