“Somehow we’ve come to believe that greatness is only for the chosen few-for the superstars. The truth is greatness is for us all. This is not about lowering expectations; it’s about raising them for every last one of us. Greatness is not in one special place, and it’s not in one special person. Greatness is wherever somebody is trying to find it.”

Softball as in many sports like baseball, football, and soccer has become an incredibly big and well-known sport that is watched and talked about, where we see and hear names on T.V., read about them in newspapers, magazines, blogs, and we follow them on social media. Those pro athletes are the “stars” in their sport, as they become the faces we think of when we see or hear about a team name. Those athletes become valuable and more noticeable than the other athletes in the sport who are also incredibly talented, important, and valuable. We don’t think about the unknown, we think about the well-known. We don’t think about their character, but follow their reputation. We jump onto bandwagons and cheer on the “face” of the team rather than the diligence, support, and talent that each player has and puts forth throughout the game. We become so consumed with society’s favorite, that we think that the best athletes are those considered “special” or the teams that are “special”. Even at the young ages and within travel ball, we become consumed with the team names, coaches, and athletes that have been considered and noted as “the best”. We listen to reputation rather than learning, seeing, and experiencing for ourselves what we need in order to be great, not what everyone else says is great.

Because young athletes and parents are chasing the reputation of others, our athletes tend to fall into this idea that they are not capable of greatness if they are not on that “special” team or coached by the “best” coaches. Greatness becomes this disappearing goal and dream that leads to lack in self-confidence, diligence, and determination. They give up on the sport, themselves, and on their dreams. They don’t realize that even though they are not on the team that is considered the best, coached by coaches who are considered the best, or categorized as the best on the team, that doesn’t mean they are not capable of greatness. Greatness doesn’t come from what society says, it comes from rising to the challenges, working hard every chance they get, and never giving up on themselves. It is not about the name on the jersey, it is about the heart in the player and the heart of the team.

Society doesn’t choose who is great, we determine that ourselves.

Written by Nikoli Sharp

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