By Adele Yuen (22S06M), Girls’ Captain and Denise Tan (22S03J), Girls’ Vice Captain
Left? Right? Think fast. You have a total of 4.5 seconds to react and throw the runner out, not including the 1 second it takes for the ball to reach you. Standing there, everything is a blur except the yellow speck that is slowly expanding in the mere 0.95 seconds it’s taking to reach you. Your breath hitches and the cogs of your muscle memory click into place. You’d do anything it takes to stop the ball. With wholehearted faith, you launch your entire body into a dive…
People have many different impressions of what softball is. Some see it as merely a game involving heavy equipment, awkward tan lines and bruises. Others are just perplexed by the fact: hey, a softball is not actually soft! Well, take some time to learn about the sport and you’ll realise that it is way more than that.
The beauty of softball lies in the game itself—from the resounding crack of the bat as it hits the ball, to the suspenseful silence as everyone waits to see if the ball finds itself in the fielders’ glove. Beyond just the adrenaline rush, one can also find intellectual stimulation in this complex game. There are a thousand and one ways to go about swinging a bat, and throwing and fielding a ball. Together with our coaches, we as players learn to analyse the details, looking into how small changes play a part in our game, and ways to optimise our skills in efficient ways. (Science kids also get free revision when coach asks about a physics concept in relation to hitting a ball and we are all *dumbfounded*.)
Not only that, but the camaraderie and friendship one finds in softball is ✨unparalleled✨. The very nature of the game requires teamwork and inexplicable synergy. Just like a jigsaw puzzle, it’s not about the individual pieces, but how they can come together to accomplish something much greater objective. This could be simply working together to make multiple plays or taking turns to bat to secure home runs. Even if the ball slips past you, the game isn’t lost because of the teammates behind you. Softball, although played on a field, goes beyond field-related matters. We are a family. Frequent batch video calls, weekly study sessions and (legal) meetups are just a few of the activities to look forward to.
The tan lines that many may call hideous are in fact our battle scars. They are the marks every softballer is branded with after hours training under the morning sun, and marks that we wear with pride, though they may look rather laughable. We dive into every training with the same dedication and determination we bring to our games, collecting these battle scars along the way.
Two annual events every softballer looks forward to are the National School Games (NSG) held in April and the Softball Carnival hosted by Singapore Recreation Club at the Padang in March. At the National School Games, we are put to the test as we fight it out against 5-7 other school teams for the coveted gold medal. Besides that, the Softball Carnival is another opportunity for softballers to pit themselves against other teams in friendly competition, whilst having fun in the busy city district with their teammates. Playing softball in the Padang is an experience that every softballer holds dear to their heart.
To perfect our technique and hone our skills, softball has three sessions a week. Our training runs on Wednesday (4.30-7pm) , Friday (5-7.30pm) and Saturday (8-11am). During these sessions, we improve on our physical fitness, hone our technical skills and improve our synergy as a team through intra-team games.
So, after hearing our take on the sport, what do you think of softball now? If the sound of being challenged and forging lifelong friendships intrigues you, why not give this sport a try!
*Cover image taken in accordance with SMMs during the prior phase of Covid-19 measures.