Get ready for another old man, get off my lawn rant!
I have been coaching this great game since 1977 and I would like to think that I have seen almost everything that this game can offer. What I had never experienced until recently was something that I don’t think I was really ready for.
Something I’m going to call “Vacation Softball.”
Now don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for a vacation. And there is a time a place for softball. My position is a simple one, the two things should exist separate from each other. If you want to go to the beach or amusement park or mountains go ahead, knock yourself out, make memories and have a great time. But just don’t try to do that while you are also attempting to play high-level softball.
Now I get it, there are some teams where going on an adventure that includes the afore mentioned distractions makes sense. These are the entry-level teams, sometimes less competitive or less serious about the game. There is nothing wrong with being the team in that lane, but it is important that everyone knows what they are signing up for. There are a bunch of companies that market their tournaments as these kind of events. “Have a great week at the beach and play a little softball at the same time” is their sales pitch and for some teams that is just fine.
But…if you say you are a serious team. If you say you are committed to winning. If you say your goal is to play very high-level softball, then you need to choose different events OR admit that you really are none of those things. Again, it’s OK to be a “for fun” team. Just don’t misrepresent what you really are or what you are striving to be.
Playing great softball is serious business. It requires a level of commitment and dedication that means choosing the time and place to be serious about the game. When you are more concerned with where you’re going for dinner or how long the lines are for the roller coaster, or how quick you can get into your swimsuit after the game so you can go splash in the ocean it is pretty unlikely that you are going to play very well.
Vacations are great! Serious softball is great! Just like the old skit on “Sesame Street,” “one of these things doesn’t belong” would be a great way to think about combining the two.