When you see a runner trip for no apparent reason and go down to the ground, you yell, Sniper! When you see an outfielder chasing the ball, stumble and go down, SNIPER!
We all know it’s said in jest. A little ballpark joke to lighten the mood when something happens that a player really wishes no one saw, but of course, everyone has.
Well, now that I am helping coach a 10 and under team, I have come to recognize another version of SNIPER! but it’s not quite as humorous.
Now before you think me to be that old fart, get off my lawn, guy, let me say something. I know when you get hit by a pitch it hurts. When a ball takes a bad hop and hits you in the chest it hurts. When you slide and the shortstop puts the tag on you, the slide and the tag might hurt. I get it!
And I also understand that younger players probably have a slightly less developed tolerance for pain. They still see getting out of the way of the pitch as a better idea than taking one for the team and getting on base. Even though they want to win, they are still more motivated by self preservation.
However, that doesn’t mean that every time a kid gets hit, banged, tagged, scraped or bumped that they should go down like they were hit by a sniper. The kids are so used to the commotion of an injury that they take a knee about 5 times every game.
Unified show of support for the injured player, you say. I say, suck it up buttercup! I get it, if a player is really hurt they need and deserve all the care we can give them. But when someone is crying more because they are out than because they are hurt we need to send a different message.
Hurt? Injured? Sad? They are not all game-stopping situations!
About the Author: Tory Acheson brings a wealth of knowledge to the Fastpitch Prep staff. He has coached at all levels of the game, including the last 25 years at the college level at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside, Tennessee Tech and Kennesaw State. He began his coaching career at the high school level spending 9 years Whitnall High School in Greenfield, Wis. and is now working as a professional softball instructor.