By Dawn Toh (21S03L), Girls’ Captain, Clarissa Toh (21S03H), Girls’ Vice-Captain, Bryan Yeo (21S05A), Boys’ Captain, and Pan Yifan (21S06C), Boys’ Vice-Captain
Don’t blink. The distance from the pitcher plate to the home plate is 45 feet. Considering the leap the pitcher takes, an average pitch of speed 90km/h will reach the batter in 0.512 seconds. The human brain takes 0.125s to process an image and tell your body to swing the bat. An average 0.200s swing leaves only 0.187s to gauge whether to hit.
When you think of a softball player, what comes to mind? Most think of the flock trudging across school to the Y1-4 field with humongous duffel bags, the terribly awkward tan lines, or even the blisters that litter their hands that make you think: “Now that’s a hand I don’t want to hold.” Yes, softball is an unglamorous sport, but we wear our battle scars with pride. They are a testament to all the hard work we have put in behind the scenes. All this because hearing the crack of the bat and watching the ball fly far really hits the spot.
There’s something so beautiful about a game of softball. About the light flutter in your stomach as the entire field is silenced by the arc of the ball. About the resounding crack of the bat as all eyes focus on the small yellow sphere whizzing through the air. About the way your feet instinctively carry you towards the ball, to the spot of predicted trajectory.
As the ball descends, a smile stretches across your face as you sprint at full speed…
In the first half of every year, both our girls’ and boys’ teams take part in the National School Games (NSG). With 5-7 other teams also scrambling for the gold medal, every team fights desperately to make their hard work and sacrifice worthwhile. NSGs aside, another event all softballers eagerly await is the Softball Carnival hosted by Singapore Recreation Club at the Padang every March. It is where our extended softball family (expanding beyond schools to recreational clubs) gathers to play for passion and experience based on each team’s respective age groups. Playing against the backdrop of the Central Business District is both scenic and mesmerising — a truly unforgettable experience. What other CCA gives you the opportunity to play at the Padang every single year?
As it takes discipline and commitment to hone our skills, Softball organises 3 training sessions every week, with each session lasting 3 hours. Sessions are held on Tuesdays (4-7pm), Wednesdays (2:30-5:30pm) and Fridays (4-7pm). During these sessions, we hone our technical skills and engage in physical training, improving ourselves as student athletes.
Skills aren’t the only thing that determines your aptitude as a softball player — character, too, is essential. Having the drive to train as hard as one can and the heart to help out your teammates to the best of one’s abilities — what would softball players be without these qualities? Softball is a team sport that involves everyone working together to support each other. Be it covering your teammate when they make a fielding mistake or cheering them on to keep the team morale high and fighting spirit strong, it takes everyone to win a game.
Softball isn’t just a CCA to us. It’s a family; consisting of all 6 batches, across all 3 divisions, all training on the same field. Beyond training, it is the impromptu dinners, outings and study sessions that cement strong friendships that will last for years to come.
Softball isn’t just about training late into the night or the aching of your body in the morning. Neither is it about the blisters that groove your palms. It’s not just the highs and lows that make it all worth it. It’s about the team talks and tears we share, cheering together, and feeling what your teammates feel. It’s about the knowledge that your teammates will stand with you through thick and thin.