My first experience with team sports was playing on my ward Young Women softball team at age twelve. I was hopelessly clumsy. Whenever I hit the ball, which was certainly never a given, I would run with track star speed for that first base, but since I almost always hit a slow grounder directly toward the first basewoman, my efforts were futile. If the coach played me at all, she would send me to right field, the place the ball was least likely to go. Sometimes I considered quitting, but my teammates begged me to come so they wouldn’t forfeit. Community obligation and peer pressure kept me coming; I prevented my team from forfeiting but I made them lose.
My dad, who is quite the baseball player and who had already garnered a few years of coaching experience with my younger brother’s little league teams, tried to catch me up with the other girls, but it was too late. Eventually I became fairly accurate at throwing, but unfortunately, baseball requires other skills, too, like batting and catching, and I just couldn’t figure those out.Read More