Friday, May 30, 2008

Hungry Players

I was recently in the Central American country of Honduras. While there I met a number of men who compete in fast pitch softball in the two largest cities of the country. They are hungry, even desperate to compete.

Their fast pitch softball looks a lot like what I played in the 1970s and 80s. It’s mostly played by men in their twenties, thirties and forties who do it because they love the game. Their facilities are generally poor; their bases aren’t even tied down. They wear mismatched uniforms and play with whatever equipment they can afford. The holes created by the pitchers’ plant feet become vast craters of dust and inhibit their pitching efficiency. The batters’ boxes become deeper and wider by the inning.

The lack of training for pitchers and umpires keeps the game from progressing and their lack of time to practice limits their performance level. In spite of all this, they play their hearts out and sacrifice greatly to compete.

So what’s the point? They are hungry. They will sacrifice to play the game because they love it. Convenience and personal privilege are not a part of the equation. Their hunger to compete overrides every inconvenience, missing piece of equipment, and lack of facility.

How hungry are you to compete? Does everything have to be perfect for you to perform well? Are you put off by inconveniences, less-than-the-best facilities or poor attendance at your games? Develop a sense of genuine hunger for competition and experience the sweet fulfillment which comes from playing your heart out.

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