Congratulations to Sparks, they won the Dutch National Title. A bit of an anti-climax game with a doubtful call at third and an error at home plate in the tie-break, but finals are finals and never go as expected. The result is what counts :)
Well, moving on! The off season and softball. So far I have been enjoying my time off. I love playing a team sport, but making a planning for your own training is a lot easier to combine with study and sleep.
In two weeks time I actually start on my last class of the bachelors degree: Advanced Sport and Exercise Psychology
Psychology, in my opinion one of the things softball is missing out on. Questions and challenges like how to function as a team, how to manage school, how to perform under pressure. Besides these questions it is a lot easier to talk to someone outside the coaching staff or teammates. Someone who doesn't make decisions on the sports part, someone who just listens and has conversations about life, but who does know how the team is and how the sport works.
With 80% of the sport being mental, it probably would help to at least have a clear mind at all times. Mental is not separated from physical. Your brain is in your body and as long as you live the way you think influences how you feel and the other way around. Basically this states that the game is a 100% mental, and I think that possibly might be true. The choice to work, to fight, to fail, stand up, learn, get better... you all make those choices yourself. Your butt won't tell you you have to lift that weight.
And to be honest, the more you listen and watch pro athletes, the more you understand they are a little crazy. They are willing to do crazy things in order to win a medal or beat a record. It goes beyond just having fun all the time and does take some sacrifices. The last one, sacrifices, is what makes the athletes human again. It is all part of the game or sport, but as long as there are still sacrifices to be made, there is still a human mind behind the athlete. A human mind with emotions and feelings and the need for people to understand them.
Some food for thought, as a psychologist would put in the game.