By Faith Song
Let’s start with a simple question. When it comes to the game of softball, what does being “all in” mean to you? Think about that while I explain what it means to me.
Joining a team isn’t an easy task. It’s not something you can just jump into and everything will be perfect. You have to have heart, desire, determination, passion, authority and the willingness to be selfless. It’s having the mental attitude, “Whatever it takes to win, I will do”.
I play softball for William Jewell College and the program has taught me that being “all in” is more than just our philosophy; it’s a way of life. I am now a Junior in the Jewell program, I believe that being all in is very important for each individual as well as an entire team. You have to be selfless and be willing to sacrifice for the best of others. This is on and off the field. You have to know that you will be right at some points and will be wrong at others. People will push you to be better than you are, not because they want to be harsh and push you, but because they know you are good enough to be even better than you are now.
Being “all in” is the heart to play even in freezing cold temperatures, cheering your heart out on and off the bench, always staying positive and never quitting on your team. Jewell softball has played in poor weather conditions that most teams would not have attempted to, but every girl was all in to win and we did. Jewell has taught me that being a leader is not just being vocal, but showing leadership without saying a word. It’s leading by example.
Our team has 20 young women that all lead in a different way. We are all different individuals, but with the same common mindset of being “all in” and doing whatever it takes to have a successful season. Being all in is also about having a balance. It’s the balance of academics, family, softball, and a social life. As a team, we are determined to receive the best academic grades as possible and this takes being all in in the classroom as well. Playing softball at a higher level is every girls dream, but you need your friends’ and family’s support. Family comes in many shapes and forms too. With Jewell softball, we call each other family because we can count on one another as family. Like I said before, being all in is the mentality on and off the field. On the field we are a well-oiled machine working together to give our best performance and win games. Off the field, we are even better. We treat each other with the utmost respect and really connect.
Team chemistry is a key component to being all in as a team. When everyone gets along and has a great time together, it is easy to have the same common goal to be the best and give everything you can; anyway you can – being all in.
We take pride in being all in as a team. Every player has a different way of showing it, but we are all committed. We are committed to our two outstanding coaches, each other and representing our school the best we can. Being all in is not something that can be taught, it’s the drive, heart and intensity for the love of the game.
So the next time you play catch and look around to your team, ask yourself are they all in like me? We compete every day to make each other better on the field and in the classroom. We do this because we want the same reward, to be the best, to make people recognize our name and to let everyone know we couldn’t do this without being “all in” together.
“Play hard, Play Well, Together” – Coach Combs.