Well, it looks like the only positive results from this are the test results for COVID-19. My last softball season ever was cut short because of the Coronavirus. For many, the thought of that is devastating. While it may be devastating, I believe it was the right decision to cancel the season. It’s better to have a season where everyone stays healthy than to have our season canceled halfway through, because of sick players and coaches.
When the IHSAA announced that we would not have a spring sports season, I wasn’t surprised. My dad, our assistant coach, was the one who told me about it, and I could tell that he was disappointed. I didn’t really react. I just said, “oh, that’s tough.” Honestly, it was more heartbreaking to see him upset about it, along with my teammates, than it was to find out that I’ve already played my last game.
Am I disappointed? Yes, a little bit, but not because I don’t get to play. Sure, softball is fun, and I’m good at it. It’s sad that we won’t get the chance to win conference or compete for a sectional championship, but that’s not what I care about the most.
I care about the moments where I can connect with my teammates and coaches; the inside jokes. Of course, I love celebrating a good play or hit that someone had in a game, but I like the “bonding experiences,” that we have. I like the laughs we have on the bus to and from games. I like the lessons we can learn from the devotions we have before games. Those are the moments I will miss most.
Softball has benefited me more mentally than it has physically. In some ways, I think what I’ve learned on the field is more useful than what classroom instruction has taught me. Softball has taught me how to win and how to lose. It has shown me how our attitudes can affect others, and that hard work pays off. The most important thing I’ve learned from softball is how to be a leader.
I will miss this sport, my teammates, and my coaches. I’m grateful for the three years I got to spend with them. I look forward to seeing how next year’s team turns out. I am also excited to move on to the next season of my life and see the other seniors transition to the next stage of their lives. The biggest lesson that we can learn from this virus and cancellation is to appreciate what we have because it can be taken away at any time.