Sunday, May 2, 2010

the catcher and the grass-picker

Our softball spring is moving along. All the girls claim to be having a good time with their teams and their season, but there some differences to note. Erin has the greatest enthusiasm, Kate probably has the most natural talent, and Allison has the most on her mind other than softball.

"She's a grass-picker," another mom explained to me, referring to the description that was used during soccer season on her daughter's team. Yes, that just about sums it up. Though they usually aren't on the grass, she's a grass-picker nonetheless. She shuffles her feet around, digging in the dirt or making patterns, holding her glove in her right hand often, and her attention is no where near the action.

Here the ball is coming right near her, but she doesn't look interested, if she's even aware of it.

Not that it always goes down like that. She has managed to get the ball sometimes.

On the other hand, Kate is pretty much always ready to go and paying attention. She fields balls regularly and does well when placed in the action-packed pitching position (though in her division the kids don't pitch) and at first base. Below is a shot of Allison playing pitcher and getting the ball to Kate at first.

They both enjoy hitting and running the bases.

The girls have had some spectators this year. Opa came to watch quite a few games, Oma watched one of Erin's games on a windy evening one week, and Grandma watched both games on a sunny saturday morning recently.

Erin has been enjoying the new position of catcher and she plays catcher at some point in every game lately--far more often than the other girls. The coach does rotate them through the positions, but they have some say in what they do also, according to Erin.

And really, given that this is a new position in this division, Erin is fairly good at being catcher. She is always very attentive to the pitching, but she hasn't got the hang of trying to catch pop flies yet, so she hasn't made any outs. It's also uncommon for someone to throw the ball to her from the field in order to get a runner out at home plate. Still, I think if she keep practicing at this position that she could become pretty good.

She's also had some chances to pitch this season, so throwing underhand is another new thing the girls at this age are learning. She isn't the best pitcher on the team, but she also isn't the worst, and like most aspects of her playing, just making the effort to pay attention and practice something goes a long way.

When she is not pitching, or catching, she does her best in all the other field positions. She always knows what's going on and tries for any ball in her vicinity. She always knows where the play should be and she calls it out to whatever teammate gets the ball.

Her biggest challenge has been hitting though. She's struck out a number of times, but when she does hit the ball she often REALLY hits it well.

Regardless of how her hitting goes that day, or how her team does overall, she has a great attitude about playing. I just signed up the girls for a one week multi-sport summer camp, in which they'll get lessons in a number of different sports through the week and they'll be given some options about which ones they want to play. I was showing the girls the website of the camp tonight, with the list of sports they can choose from.
"I wanna play softball!" Erin shouted enthusiastically.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What kind of a ball are you using? Tennisballs?

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