The Panther Press

What I Learned from the Softball Team

Off the FieldGreg Higgins
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It's 12:45 in the morning and I just got back to the hotel room. After the team meeting at 9:00 this evening, I decided to drive across the highway and watch a movie. I wanted to do something to get my mind off the game. Unless you're living under a rock, you know exactly what game I'm talking about. And, since you're reading a website called The Panther Press, I'm assuming you're not under a rock and you're interested in North Lamar sports.

First things first, though. I have no ties to North Lamar. Let me clarify this statement. I never attended the school despite growing up in the area. I do not have kids that attend North Lamar, either. I have some cousins that are associated with the school but that is the only tie I have to it.

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Why did I say this? Let me explain. I am a nervous wreck. There you go. I said it. I'm wound up. I'm fired up. I'm ready to go play the game. So, if someone like me with no ties to the school is this fired up, I can't imagine what it's like for the players, coaches and family members. The hours of driving the students around to games and practices all come down to seven innings on Saturday morning.

I have had the amazing opportunity to watch this group of girls play all year long. I've travelled with them throughout the playoffs and stood in the dugout with them. I've watched them cry, and I've watched them yell with jubilation. I've watched parents go through every emotion known to mankind all in a single inning.

All the traveling we've done together and it took three days in Austin for me to learn the most valuable lesson I could learn from these girls. I've interviewed the majority of them for the website and I've taken hundreds of pictures this year. Yet none of that was as important as the lesson instilled in me this week.

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That lesson is simply this: Live in the moment. Like most adults I know I get caught up in tomorrow and what needs to be done later. I have my to-do lists and my calendar and I'm constantly thinking about the next article I want to write or the next interview I need to do.

Don't get me wrong, though. None of that is bad and planning is a good thing (in my opinion). Sometimes, though, we get so busy focused on tomorrow or yesterday that we forget about now.

I've watched a softball team make mistakes. I've watched errors committed. Nine times out of ten, though, the person that committed the error is the person that comes back with a huge hit or becomes the hero later in the game. None of that is possible if they dwell on the past.

I don't know what's going to happen in nine hours when the Pantherettes take on La Grange. Not sure of the outcome. I can tell you this, though. No matter what happens, there is a group of girls scattered throughout this hotel right now that are already champions in my book.

Thank you for a wonderful ride. Let's finish this.

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