False Perception

The one thing about playing sports in high school is that you have this false perception of yourself when you enter college and try out for club sports. I was voted Captain of my softball team and at the end of the year, I received the award for MVP, Golden Glove (xero errors made at my position as first baseman), one of the all-league players and in the top three for heavy hitters. So, I had felt like I was a pretty good and valued softball player and decided that once I got to college I would tryout for the club team rather than try to be recruited for D1 because of my major and the amount of time I have to put into studying. 

So, tryouts were this week and I showed up with some confidence that I would have a chance of making the team. My confidence level lowered real quick once I saw all the other girls warm up their arms. Now, I could throw a softball relatively fast but with some of these girls, you could hear the loud clap of the glove once their partner caught the ball. I realized how weak my arm was and knew that it would all probably go down hill from there. 

Next we got into our positions and of course, I went to first base along with about 5 other girls. Right off the bat (no pun intended) I have heavy competition for my position as a first baseman. For some reason, every time that I was rotated out, they would get the shining star moments with stretches and jumps, while I would get the balls that were thrown right to me. In a game that isn’t a bad thing but I was really trying to show the president of the club what I was made of and that I was worth having on the team. 

Following my dull moment for fielding, we did hitting the next day. We had to do bunts and mine were very bad. I’m not a fast runner which is why I hit the ball hard and far so I’m able to make it on base. I had three hits, one into deep center field and the other two were lines drives in the infield. 

Today, the final day, was basically everything combined and again with fielding, nothing crazy for me but for everyone else, shining star moments. Tryouts still had roughly 30 minutes left and they president sent home people who either made the team or didn’t because she did not need to see any more from us. The rest of the people she kept (two of them first baseman) she wanted to see more from them.

I was sent home.

My heart sank. 

Only a small part of me had hope that there was still a chance that I had been chosen, but not much. Some of the girls that were sent home were really good, like the girl who tried out for pitcher. She was very good. Actually, all of the girls were really good so you couldn’t really tell who would make the team or not. We would be emailed later on in the day to find out what our results were. The anticipation was eating me up and I couldn’t stop checking my email all day.

And at 5:01, 1 Unread Message.

Hi Ladies,

Thank you all so much for trying out for the club softball team. You all did a fantastic job and we saw so much effort and talent on the field the last few days.

Okay, this sounds promising.

Unfortunately, we can only take so many new girls that would fit our needs and fill the empty positions we were looking to fill. This was a hard decision to make because you all showed so much potential. 

I cried. 

Reading that one word made it feel like my whole world came crashing down. Softball was my life, my time to shine. It had been my go to ever since I started in 6th grade. I had always been shy and quiet and when I would be with my teammates, they would accept me for who I was and it always made me feel loved. I had stopped playing in 8th and 9th grade because I had switched schools and it was hard to get from school to practice because of the distance and timing. My new school had adopted a sports program when I was a sophomore and I saw that they were having softball and of course I signed up. Ever since then, I was always the starter for first base. My senior year, I was upset because the family that I had been with for three years were suddenly not going to be there anymore and and I was determined to find that tight knit group in college. 

When I read the email, it felt like I had lost a part of me. And  it wasn’t so much that I let myself down, but it felt like I let my team down. 

They had all said they would come and watch my games and now, they’ll be waiting another year for what will probably be the same end result. 

Fingers crossed I’ll even be good enough to find an intramural team to play on…

Leave a Comment: