How sweet it is!
Today marked our second softball practice of the season. It also marks the second time Kinsley has gotten to shine. Her coach commented on her “go get ’em attitude, her willingness to jump in wherever she is needed and called her an all-star (oh lord) and a rock star. After we verified that he knew which one was our daughter (just kidding) we sat back and watched.
This year she is a leader, not a follower. She took last years knocks in stride, dusted herself off and has decided to keep her chin high. I am amazed at my girl. Rather then allow the drama of last year to rock her she’s decided to ROCK the situation. Her spirit and her spunk have served her well. In the fall there were lots of girls who had never played before since more then 1/2 the normal players and coaches went off on their own. A gaggle of new, young and inexperienced girls joined ranks. Two rag-a-muffin teams playing the hand picked elite. Such novice players leaves some hard spots to fill. Pitcher, 1st base and catcher mainly. It’s hard for a brand new player to become catcher-it’s scary as the pitches are a little sporadic and hard because this is the year of THE STEAL. The catcher becomes the gatekeeper for the whole game.
Kinsley was never a fan of the position but last year she saw a need and she filled it. I hated it the first time though I tried not to show it. She hated it too but she did okay. The next game she was called on again and to our surprise she got better and better. It was nice to watch her grow and learn and to willingly put herself in a pivotal role.
This year the coach asked if anyone would be willing to try that spot. He was just about to start bargaining when Kinsley’s had shot up and she said, “I love to catch. I am your girl.” After I picked up my jaw off the table, i caught her eye I gave her a thumbs up to applaud her oomph. Though she’s sassy and spunky and spirited, Kinsley hasn’t always been willing to put herself into a make it or break it role. The pressure scares her. She was always the least talented on a super talented team and didnt quite know how to elevate herself. Last year she had to find some inner courage. And she did. All on her own. And she seems to have kept it.
At practice today she admitted she would be willing to learn to pitch….SAY WHAT? Today she was the one talking and cheering on her girls. She hustled. She was ready, willing and able to work hard and to learn. I saw her lead by example today and I was oh-so proud. This building of character, this team attitude and this creating leaders out of ordinary girls….this, this is what Little League is all about. Seeing a 10 year old find pride in herself when she had every reason to feel beaten….to see her rise up to the challenge of leading newer girls….to see her dig deep to become better….that is the benefit of a community little league. A group of girls from different schools, different backgrounds and different abilities took the field today. In the next few days they will become a team. Whether they win or lose I am supremely proud of my little league leader and her team-appropriately named OCC PRIDE.