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The game of softball through the eyes of a pitcher

Danielle Thuerling

on 11 June 2011

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Transcript of Softball

It's not just any sport, it's not just throwing a ball, hitting and running. I live with the cheering of my players while I'm up to bat. I live with the red stitches of the softball rubbing against my fingers when I snap my wrist and let it fly. I live with mistakes every day in it, and I live learning them. I live on the pitchers mound where I need complete confidence in myself. I live with snapping my wrist to the catcher and getting the batter out, a perfect strike. I live not only for my teammates, but for my self. I live for fastpitch softball.

--K.M., pitcher This portfolio will attempt to convince the reader of the passion that comes with playing softball and to show the intensity that I feel for softball. The game is over
One year has past
Only the memories remain
Of what happened last

She played the final out
On this field of her dreams
It was like yesterday
Or so it seems

She has now graduated
Moving from youth to adult
A rich life lay ahead
Yet sadness is about

What seemed like eternity
Went by so quickly
The laughter, the tears
The growth to maturity

The game she loved
And played with a passion
Still beckons and gnaws
Calling for direction

Perhaps in the future
When her daughter turns five
She can give back
Making another’s come alive POETRY This poem is the reflection of me on my last home game. The feeling was so bitter sweet. It truly did go from happy to sad. I was playing for four years on the same field. The field that I dreamt about playing on was now my home. I was not the girl that all the younger girls looked up to. As the time came and went I will never forget my senior night when the emotions were high and the passion was strong. The day when the field was decorated with my name and posters everywhere. Smiles in the beginning and tears at the end when we realize this season is coming to an end. When we start to realize the actuality of the day. I am now going towards my future leaving the filed behind. This poem shows the intensity that a sport can be within someone. The poem may be very cliche but unless you have ever been extremely passionate about a sport and it became part of your daily routine then you would not understand. Softball has become so much part of my life that softball is to my life as church is to catholics.
Although softball is normally not percieved to be a hard sport, it gets very intense and always gets my heart racing. A Ball Players Prayer by Hal Skinner
God grant me the wisdom,
to tell a strike from a ball,
to know where to throw,
and never to fall.
Keep me always in the base line,
running straight and true,
and I'll look for your sign,
to stretch one into two.
God give me vision,
to see every pitch,
so if a player needs help,
then I will see which.
Let me always hustle,
so I'll be at my best,
and take pride in myself,
in sports and the rest.
God be my strength,
when I throw the ball,
when I'm far from home plate,
or against a wall.
So I never miss a base,
please guide my feet,
bring me home safely,
so my job is complete.
When I help younger players,
let me always give praise,
so they'll see you in me,
in all of my ways.
As long as I can play,
let me make my parents proud,
as proud as I am,
when they yell my name out loud.
However my games end,
let me always have fun,
Amen STATEMENT OF PURPOSE I chose this photo because when I am pitching all I see is Sarah's glove. I do not see anything around me and I dont hear anything. It is almost as if there is a blur around Sarah and all I see is her. The glove is the most important thing in the game not because it's what you have to field but it's the only thing you have with yourself. You don't have any protection and you literally have to be one with your glove or you will miss the ball and let your team mates down. This is photo symbolizes that you need to feel the ball. You hold the ball in your hand obviously and the cleats go on your feet. When playing you need to go out with everything you have from your hands to you feet. You always need to be on your toes and ready to throw your hands out to get the ball, no matter what it takes. The ball rests on your foundation which is what your feet represent. Religion is something someone feels. It is a way of life. It essentially controls the way one feels about daily life. I feel as if softball is my religion. I am constantly thinking about softball. I campare it to everything and it's part of my routine to go everyday. While many people pray, I am out playing softball with my team or sometimes even by myself "Lose Yourself" By Eminem
Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip?
His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy
There's vomit on his sweater already, mom's spaghetti
He's nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready to drop bombs,
but he keeps on forgettin what he wrote down,
the whole crowd goes so loud
He opens his mouth, but the words won't come out
He's choking how, everybody's joking now
The clock's run out, time's up over, bloah!
Snap back to reality, Oh there goes gravity
Oh, there goes Rabbit, he choked
He's so mad, but he won't give up that
Easy, no
He won't have it , he knows his whole back's to these ropes
It don't matter, he's dope
He knows that, but he's broke
He's so stagnant that he knows
When he goes back to his mobile home, that's when it's
Back to the lab again yo
This whole rhapsody
He better go capture this moment and hope it don't pass him
You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo
The soul's escaping, through this hole that it's gaping
This world is mine for the taking
Make me king, as we move toward a, new world order
A normal life is boring, but superstardom's close to post mortem
It only grows harder, only grows hotter
He blows us all over these hoes is all on him
Coast to coast shows, he's know as the globetrotter
Lonely roads, God only knows
He's grown farther from home, he's no father
He goes home and barely knows his own daughter
But hold your nose 'cause here goes the cold water
His hoes don't want him no more, he's cold product
They moved on to the next schmoe who flows
He nose dove and sold nada
So the soap opera is told and unfolds
I suppose it's old partner but the beat goes on
Da da dum da dum da
No more games, I'ma change what you call rage
Tear this motherfucking roof off like 2 dogs caged
I was playing in the beginning, the mood all changed
I've been chewed up and spit out and booed off stage
But I kept rhyming and stepwritin the next cypher
Best believe somebody's paying the pied piper
All the pain inside amplified by the fact
That I can't get by with my 9 to 5
And I can't provide the right type of life for my family
Cause man, these goddam food stamps don't buy diapers
And it's no movie, there's no Mekhi Phifer, this is my life
And these times are so hard, and it's getting even harder
Trying to feed and water my seed, plus
Teeter totter caught up between being a father and a prima donna
Baby mama drama's screaming on and
Too much for me to wanna
Stay in one spot, another day of monotony
Has gotten me to the point, I'm like a snail
I've got to formulate a plot or I end up in jail or shot
Success is my only motherfucking option, failure's not
Mom, I love you, but this trailer's got to go
I cannot grow old in Salem's lot
So here I go it's my shot.
Feet fail me not this may be the only opportunity that I got
You can do anything you set your mind to, man LYRICS PHOTOGRAPHY PORTLAND, Ore. - With two runners on base and a strike against her, Sara Tucholsky of Western Oregon University uncorked her best swing and did something she had never done, in high school or college. Her first home run cleared the center-field fence.
But it appeared to be the shortest of dreams come true when she missed first base, started back to tag it and collapsed with a knee injury.
She crawled back to first but could do no more. The first-base coach said she would be called out if her teammates tried to help her. Or, the umpire said, a pinch runner could be called in, and the homer would count as a single. RESEARCH The sportsmanship that these two girls had during this game is incredible. This is what softball is about. It is not only about the fielding of the ball or the perfect swing. It is about improvement and molding you into the person you will go off into the real world with. Softball teaches women how to grow up. When a captain you are taught leadership and independence which helps you transition to college. As I step on the mound I can feel my heart beat,
I get super nervous as I look down at my cleats,
I look around and see the faces of my team,
I start to feel excited because of the way there faces gleam
Its funny how one common hobby can bring us all together
And no matter how different we are, I couldn’t wish for better
The batter steps upon the plate and takes a swing with all her might
But of course I pitch a strike and she swung to my delight
The emotions that run through my head after each and every pitch
Are different than most would think seeing as I haven’t had a glitch
I throw a ball, coach is off the wall but I won’t lose any hope
My catcher looks at me and tells me that I need to keep a tight rope
I breath in deep and girls scream at me that there is no one better,
This makes me believe in myself and gets me out of the stormy weather
I know that no matter what I do, my team will always be there
I love them more than anything, but don’t worry, we wear ribbon in our hair This poem describes my position as a pitcher and my presence on my team. Being on a team is like having a second family, and we will always be there for each other. While pitching I have many emotions, I chose to write about pitching because it has its highs and its lows but all in all I love it and I wouldn’t rather be on any other team, or play any other position. This poem expresses the pressure I am under to pitch the perfect strike to enable myself from not letting the team down and the coach. To me this poem is the definition of softball. BLOG I chose this photo because it shows the drive and intesity that comes with playing softball. In my face you can see the power that comes with pitching. When I am pitching I do not even intenitally make this face. This is all a natural intensity, my game face. This is the perfect song to attempt to explain how I feel about softball. You literally lose yourself in the moment. While playing is the equivalent to an alcoholic getting more alcohol. You feel overwhelmed in excitement and passion. You get pumped up and your heart is beating. The beat of this song is the rate your heartbeat is going. You are full of many different emotions; resentment, excitement, nervousness, apprehension, intensity and more. "Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment Would you capture it or just let it slip?". This is something you have to think about the whole time. you need to think about how this is your one chance there is no do overs and retries. You get one chance so you have to play with your all. The last line of the sang states" you can do anything you set your mind to, man". This is something I have to say to myself before each game. ARTWORK This piece of artwork shows what I see when I am pitching. All I see is Sarah Murray, my catcher. When I am pitching it is almost as if I see a blur. When I try to think about what I see while pitching I don't imagine anything but my catcher. I don't look at the batter besides her feet occasionally. I drew the vision in my mind. This piece of artwork I did is very simple but was intended to be. I feel that my home is on the mound. I am most comfortable on the mound. There is not much more to the game for me. I don't hit, I play an other position so the softball field to be is obtained by the mound. When most go home when upset I got to the softball field and at times I may even just sit there and reflect on what is going on in that moment. I took this photo after a game. I took one of the practice balls and my favorite ribbon and placed it all in my glove and took the picture. My glove represents a part of me. The me that plays the game is the glove. The fun side of softball the part when I am enjoying it and just playing to have fun, that is what the ribbon represents. The broken ball is how I feel after a tough win. When we win a tough game its a feeling like no other, you feel happy you won but exausted. You're able to play if you need to but you're almost broken down. How long have you been pitching?
I have been pitching since I was 8, so about 11 years

How do you pump yourself up before a game?
Before a game I listen to my iPod and look at stats for the opposing team's batters. Mostly I listen to Christian bands to remind myself of how privileged I am to be playing softball that day.

When feeling frazzled, how do you mentally overcome that state of mind?
If I'm feeling frazzled, I look at my teammates and they're always encouraging me, and I brush off the rubber to wipe away what just happened (like a hard hit or a home run), and I think about what the team needs from me right now, this pitch. It brings me back to the moment and focused on what's important now and my job as a pitcher.

What obstacles have you overcome through your pitching experience?
Throughout my pitching experience, I have had to deal with a shoulder injury during my junior year of high school as well as a horrible high school experience with my coach and most of my teammates turning against me halfway through my senior year. My injury took a heavy toll on me because once I got hurt, our team did not have another pitcher, and we got mercied almost every game after. I could not contribute to my team or help them on the field. My senior year I was blamed for plays other girls did not make correctly, and shaking off my coach when I wanted to throw a different pitch. Also, there was an incident on our spring training trip that turned the girls against me, but I finished the season and made it to the state tournament.

How would you describe softball?
For me softball has become an opportunity to meet others and make friends, a way to release stress, and a way to stay healthy. I cannot begin to count the number of people I have become friends with, most of which I still talk to today. Because I play at the Division I level, athletes have strict practice and conditioning regimens that keep athletes in top condition for our sports. It also allows me to focus during practice only on softball, not on the events before practice, like a bad grade on a test or drama in the dorms. But my love of the game has grown and the sport has become a passion.

Do you feel you have missed out on anything in your life because of softball? If so, what and how does this affect you
If anything, I feel like I find myself saying a lot, "Oh, I can't I have softball." to my friends when they want to go to a movie or out to dinner. Granted, this has limited my social life and caused regret at times, but I still love the sport. INTERVIEW Emily O'Keefe a pitcher for Quinnapic softball team. This is a division one team which is the highest level in a college team. I chose her because she is someone who many kids idolize. WORKSITED http://softball-quotes.com/Site/Softball_Quotes.html
http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/motivation-in-sports-psychology-35892 The cornerstone of girls fast-pitch softball is that the underarm, windmill delivery allows pitchers to undertake outrageous workloads with impunity.
"It's the windmill delivery itself that is causing pain to the front of the shoulder," said Dr. Nikhil Verma, a sports medicine specialist. "It stands to reason that excessive use of that motion will lead to this type of injury." The study found that the windmill delivery puts more stress on the biceps than the overhand delivery used by baseball pitchers. Lockport senior Dana Bowler was 11-2 last season when she began experiencing shooting pains to the front of her shoulder. It reached a point where she had to shut down her junior season in late April. "I had just finished a stretch of pitching 21 days in a row with practices, games and warming up in relief," Bowler said. "The last two years was the most I had ever pitched."I didn't pitch for two months after that, and it took me another month to get into throwing shape. I'm still not where I was before the injury." Verma, who was the team physician for the Chicago Bandits professional women's softball team the last three seasons and works with DePaul's softball team, first became aware of the issue when several Bandit pitchers came to him with the same ailment. He said he was able to localize the pain to the biceps tendon. "One of the Bandit pitchers ruptured her biceps tendon while she was playing," Verma said. "It's not only the windmill motion, but overuse that can cause injury. "Competitive female pitchers can be asked to pitch every game during a weekend tournament—the equivalent of 12,000 pitches in as little as three days." Verma said that previous studies have shown anterior shoulder pain being the "common culprit" of shoulder injuries. Four Bandit pitchers and three college pitchers were the subjects of a six-week study at Rush's human-motion laboratory last spring. IN THE EYES OF A SOFTBALL PLAYER THE PERSPECTIVE OF SOFTBALL THROUGH A HIGHSCHOOL PITCHER Journal Articles I am a strong believer in the fact that softball is not detrimental while pitching unless you are doing it wrong. The only time I am ever sore is when I did the wrong mechanics and a I look back and realize what i did wrong. I do agree with the fact that any time off you need to work double that amount of time you took off to get back in the motions. The old saying goes “you play ball like a girl,” but maybe it’s not such a bad thing. To the naked eye it looks like softball pitchers are more durable than baseball pitchers. Softball pitchers are able to pitch games on back to back days or even multiple games in a day. Softball has more of a natural underhand throw; the pitchers go over their head and back around kind of like they are bowling. Baseball pitchers go over the top of their head with their pitching arm and down with the snap of their wrist, which is very bad on your shoulder and elbow. Although softball is bad on the shoulder as well, it’s a more natural pitching style than baseball. Softball and baseball have so much in common that it seems so natural to think that they are the same, but looking deeper into the heart of it will show you just how different it truly is. But the biggest thing that makes these two similar sports so different is the way the ball is delivered. Differences lie in many areas such as field size, bat differences, differences in innings, and many more. The area that is most different though is the pitching. When looking at the differences between pitching we find the most obvious first, the size of the ball is different. A softball is much bigger and softer than a baseball. Pitching areas are different as well. Baseball has a pitching mound that is raised above the playing field that the pitcher throws from while softball pitchers pitch at a level ground. The distance is also different from the pitching area to home plate. Softball pitchers deliver the ball in an underhand motion; while baseball pitchers throw overhand or even a side armed motion if they choose. The overhand motion is extremely hard on the baseball players elbow and shoulder while the softball pitcher does not have this same problem because of the more natural underhand motion. “A world class female pitcher who throws a 68 mph pitch released at 38 ft. would allow the hitter .381 of a second to react, which equates to a 95 MPH pitch in baseball,” said Dave Paetkau, a hitting coach with the Canadian Women’s National Softball team. In baseball, pitchers don’t pitch two nights in a row because the act of starting a game and pitching the standard 5-8 innings, is extremely straining on their arm. Most starting pitchers don’t pitch two nights in a row because it’s very dangerous to the arm, and that would make them ineffective in the second game.Tommy John was a former left handed pitcher in Major League Baseball. He was the first one to have ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery, an operation that was later named after him. After this surgery John came back stronger than ever. With recent medical advancements, when a player has this surgery it does not mean that their career is over, in fact sometimes it means that they will come back stronger.. Tommy John is replacing a ligament in the medial elbow with a tendon from somewhere else in your body. While softball pitchers are not as injury-prone as baseball pitchers, they can still suffer overuse injuries if the proper precautions are not taken. Softball pitchers are rarely switched out in the middle of the game. Usually they are expected to pitch every inning, which can be very harmful to their arm I agree with this article. This article states that softball pitching is much different than baseball. This article states that there is no room to compare due to it's major differences. I believe that this is true and that comparing baseball and softball is like comparing soccer and football. They do not compare due to their vast differences. The injuries in baseball are not related in any way to the injuries in softball due to the different motions made in the pitching motion in both sports. This photo is all of the trophies I have gotten in the years of playing softball. Although it is not much and many people would put it in a box in an attic and leave it for the dumpster it is very important to me. Each thing is stepping stone in my life. The softballs are the games that important to me such as a championship game. The glove in the back has been with my all four years of high school and brought me to states and many wins over the season. The letter under it all is something I recieved my freshman year. The ribbons. There is more to softball than just the trophies and memorabilia. Softball is not jsut a game. Softball is a part of my life and will always be. This is picture is of a poster from my senior night. Senior night is the last time the seniors play on their home field and all the underclassmen decorate the field and celebrate the achievements of each senior. This poster is plain and simple and is something that now is hanging on my bedroom wall and has become a part of my life. I know is very plain but I like it because this is what has become of me. I am the pitcher from the team, number twenty three. Twenty three has become my lucky number, I was born Feb. third so two-three. It is written in maroon and gold, the school colors, which due to sports I have learned to love. PERSONAL PHOTOGRAPHY PSYCHOLOGY Motivation is an internal energy force that determines all aspects of our behaviour; it also impacts on how we think, feel and interact with others. In sport, high motivation is widely accepted as an essential prerequisite in getting athletes to fulfil their potential. Intrinsic motivation comes from within, is fully self-determined and characterised by interest in, and enjoyment derived from, sports participation. There are three types of intrinsic motivation, namely intrinsic motivation to know, intrinsic motivation to accomplish and intrinsic motivation to experience stimulation. Intrinsic motivation is considered to be the healthiest type of motivation and reflects an athlete’s motivation to perform an activity simply for the reward inherent in their participation. I play softball out of enjoyment of the sport. I know after a few years I will not be able to play but I continue to practice hard just due to the joy of the sussesses the sport comes with. As you see everyone is staring at the ball; the batter, the catcher, the pitcher, the umpire. I find this to be interesting due to the drive that one ball as created. A whole life style is created around one item; a softball. "We go out and work hard. We play this game with emotion and love. Coach always says ‘Emotionally, physically, mentally -- come to the field prepared.’ Because if you don’t bring that to the field, you’re going to get beat." -Danielle Thuerling
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