The team is there to play winning softball.
First published at Parentdugout.com
“We try to throw positive rocks at them during games and practices to keep them up. Just a little encouragement or positive reinforcement.” Ruben Segovia is a modern-day coach. He’s been coaching baseball and softball for decades yet retains his trademark high levels of enthusiasm and positivity. “These young athletes are always on the receiving end of negativity. It comes from the stands during games, their homes, or in the classroom. You hear some coaches during games and they only speak negatively to their team. We try to be positive.”
The 2019 Ventura Girls Fast Pitch 12u All Star team is in Medford, Oregon. They will compete against the best softball teams in the western United States over the course of a week. There will be skills contests, hotel pool parties, and other fun, distracting activities that can only occur during a sports vacation. The team is there to play winning softball but will find some fun away from the diamond.
Headed to Oregon to compete against the very best isn’t where this team appeared to be headed when the all-star season began. “We lost badly in one of the first tourneys we played in. Our older girls weren’t being leaders and there were separate groups within a team,” lamented Coach Ruben. Anyone who was paying attention could see this and a true team formed in the aftermath of disappointing early results on the field. “I really let them have it after a bad game. I knew they could take it and needed to hear it. The older girls on the team needed to step up and lead the team on the field and in the dugout,” Ruben said. Coach Ruben’s words didn’t fall on deaf ears as he noticed changes in the players’ attitudes and efforts in practice and games. Team parents stimulated team chemistry by coordinating team parties at homes and at the beach. The coaching staff strategically assigned groups during practices to encourage team bonding.
The coaching staff, players, and parents make up a team in any form of youth sports at every level. Success is dependent upon all 3 groups putting in max effort and staying positive.
About half of these girls have played together for 6 years or more. They’re sisters now. They have played regular season, all stars, and fall ball together. High school and travel softball are on the horizon for many of these athletes but first there’s some business to handle in Oregon.
Good luck ladies. The city of Ventura will be cheering you on!