After watching the World Series this year, one component of baseball, which applies to softball, surfaced over and over again. This piece of knowledge is literally vital to a long lifespan in most sports, but especially ours: the game knows.
Softball is mainly made up of a relationship, between the player and the "game." Yes, the "game" is an entity and will always be regarded as such. It deserves our respect. We can get close to a 0 for 15 spell and highly consider quitting the sport entirely and then out of nowhere have a 3 for 3 game with the game winning home run. It's sick. It's frustrating. It's magic.
Javier Baez, second baseman for the Chicago Cubs, is a perfect example of the extreme highs and lows that can be experienced during a game. Defensively, he short hopped his first baseman in the first and committed another error in the fourth. Tough draw for Game 7 of the World Series, huh?
The game knows.
The great thing about being a position player in the lineup is there is almost always an opportunity to pick yourself up. These opportunities are often missed when a player can't get over the previous mishaps. Successful ball players know that they cannot change anything about what happened, and use the experience as motivation for the rest of the game. Some players get angry, including myself, but understand the tides of a game and turn it into constructive energy. This concept was beautifully displayed in the fifth inning.
A struggling Baez, both offensively and now defensively, ropes a home run into right center to put the Cubs up 4-1. BACK ON TOP. Everyone's going nuts, and suddenly the errors are on the back burner. A simple hit to right field would've sufficed in a fan's eyes, but what a way to pick yourself up, Baez!
The game knows.
If you are loyal to the game, and persist no matter the circumstances, it will pay you back in ways you dream of, like the dreams you have in third grade about hitting a home run in game seven of the World Series. The baseball/softball gods are real. They watch patiently, waiting to dish out some fairy dust here and there to the faithful ones. You have to find a way to maintain your love for the game, whether you're batting .195 or .380. The higher the level of play, the more failure. It's part of the game. But to reap the benefits of the best sport in the entire world, you have to understand the old saying, that "if you hit the ball 3 out of 10 times, you're still a great hitter." I'll say it again. It's magic.