It doesn’t matter where you start the race…

…only where you finish. That’s something players need to remember, especially in the preseason or the early part of the season. Sometimes they get all worked up over who is getting the most press, or who the coach likes the best, or who is #1 on the depth chart to start. It’s important to know where you stand, of course. But if you perform well these things have a way of working out.

Case in point. One of my former pitching students came home from college at Winter Break very unhappy. Despite having hit pretty well during fall ball, she was told by her college coach not to bother working on hitting because she wouldn’t be seeing many plate appearances. If she was going to pitch, he wanted her focused on that. She loves to hit and was going to miss that part of the game.

Well, when the first games of the season rolled around, she was allowed to hit for herself, both when she played first and when she pitched. She started off on the low half of the batting order, but in the last few games she’s been hitting cleanup — and doing quite well there.

So despite the early word, she kept working and proved herself. That’s a great lesson for all of us. Not just in softball but in life. It really doesn’t matter where you start out. Only where you finish. So if things aren’t going your way right now, hang in there. Keep working hard, and be ready when your opportunity comes. If you can do the job, your coach will want you in there.

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