What is Genius? Don't Be a Salieri!



We hear about Mozart, Einstein, Beethoven and Patrick Murphy all the time. People that are blessed by God, in some people’s opinion, with special gifts that allow them to accomplish things that other people can only dream of.  They accomplish amazing things, sometimes at a very young age, that sets them apart from “normal” people.


Amadeus is a very popular movie the was released a few years ago.  It tells the story  of one of the world’s most widely accepted musical geniuses, Amadeus Mozart. Mozart wrote great symphonies and operas that were widely loved and supposedly started doing these things as a young boy, A true genius.


The story is told by one of his contemporaries, Salieri. Salieri is portrayed a a jealous and bitter author who has been very successful in his own right but who becomes overshadowed by Mozart. Salieri rails against the fairness of someone like Mozart, who he feels is not deserving of all the accolades he is receiving. Salieri is bitter and disillusioned to the point that his career struggles.


So what does this have to do with fastpitch softball ,you ask? Well you know I always get to the point, mostly, at least. 


Many softball players, and their parents, become Salieri. They see their teammates that are more naturally talented and they get jealous.  This jealously leads to all kinds of problems for the player, her family and her team. 


1. It’s not fair!

Kids, get used to it, fair is the place where they give out blue ribbons to pigs and chickens. Nothing about athletics is fair, nor will it ever be. Just because someone else is Mozart doesn’t mean that you can’t also be great.


2. If I can’t be the best, I don’t want to play! 

“There can be only one!” (Highlander reference) There is only one “best” player on every team. If you’re not that one player doesn’t mean that you don’t have a huge role and play a very important part of your team’s success.


3. I work so much harder than Mozart does!

Your hard work should be commended for what it is. it isn’t meant to be a measuring stick that you use to compare yourself to other players. Keep working hard and you increase your chances of becoming the best version of yourself you can be.


4. I quit!

If I can’t be the best, then I don’t want to play or more often, I’m not going to keep working hard. It doesn’t matter how hard I work so I might as well coast. Sad but true reality that negatively impacts a lot of players.


You might not be Mozart or Einstein but you are still very important to the success of the team. Don’t let what you can’t do keep you from doing what you can do. What you can do is really special!


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.