"Your teammates are counting on you to give your all to the team and you can't do that if your heart isn't in it."
Don’t be late. Ever. For any reason.
Because the rest of us are going to run for it and now we all hate you.
Get a good night’s sleep the night before games
Don’t be selfish. Your team is counting on you to be 100% and you can’t do that if you’re running on 2 hours of sleep.
Take care of yourself
Again, your team is counting on you. Your body can’t perform its best if you aren’t getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, and eating right. Don’t skip meals either. Especially on game days.
Don’t drink 24 hours before a game
If you are under aged this rule shouldn’t apply to you. But if you are 21 and over you have the right to drink. I can’t stop you. But don’t drink the night before a game. That’s completely unacceptable and selfish.
Make sure the smell of your cleats don’t gag your teammates
Come on, man. Get some Febreeze.
Don’t gossip to your teammates about your other teammates
Don’t create or encourage drama. This creates bad vibes and tension within the team. Learn to keep your mouth shut and your life will be much easier and happier. I promise.
Touch the freakin’ line!
If the coach tells you to run to a certain point…you run to that point. If we run extra because you weren’t willing to go 2 inches further, I can assure you, we all hate you.
Don’t be the person who forgets their ponytail holder every single day
That person is really annoying.
Wear a sports bra
For everyone’s sake.
Don’t be the person who always has an excuse
As a coach, I hate it. And as a player, I’m completely annoyed when people constantly make excuses. Hold yourself accountable and do better next time.
No one should see ‘PINK’ written across your butt through your white pants.
Don’t be a Bat Nazi
Yes, I understand that’s your personal bat but sharing is caring, yo. It’s softball etiquette. If someone asks to swing your bat, you let them. Plus, if you don’t, all your teammates secretly think you’re kind of a jerk.
Don’t bang your cleats with someone else’s bat
If someone lets you borrow their bat, DO NOT hit your metal cleats (or anything else) with their bat. Now you’re the jerk.
Don’t make a big deal if you get called out
It’s embarrassing. If you get called on the third strike or you get called out sliding into a bag, don’t throw a fit. A) The umpire isn’t going to change their call & B) It’s tacky.
Don’t take the option
If coach gives you an option to do something, do it anyway. Everything about ball isn’t a blast. You have to fundraise, pull tarp, clean the locker room, pick up trash on the bus, and all other sorts of not so fun stuff. You’re part of a team and EVERYONE on the team needs to pull their weight.
Unless your coach has designated certain equipment to certain players, everyone should help out. Don’t leave it to the same soft-spoken, timid kids every time. Get down off your horse and set an example. Do your part.
Keep up with your school work
You don’t help your team out in any way if you are ineligible to play.
Don’t blast your music on the bus
I shouldn’t be able to hear your music if I’m sitting right next to you much less five rows back. Some people are trying to do homework. Some people are trying to sleep. Some people just don’t want to hear your stinkin’ music. Be considerate. Be respectful.
If it’s not important…don’t tell the coach
Your coach doesn’t need to know every little piece of drama. If it’s big and it has the potential to affect the team or it can’t be handled without the coach’s help…yes, involve them. Otherwise, just be quiet.
Don’t bash your coach to your teammates
I know it can be hard at times. (Trust me. I know.) Coach benched you. Coach yelled at you. Coach is unfair. But when you start bashing your coach the next thing you know other people are joining in and suddenly you have the entire team rioting in protest against the person who runs your team and makes it possible for you to even play. (I can assure you, you’re not going to get your coach fired. Sorry ‘bout it.) Flat out, talking smack is contagious. Don’t poison the entire team because you’re upset in the moment. Suck it up and move on.
What happens at softball stays at softball
Don’t tell outsiders all the embarrassing details you learn about your teammates. Keep it in the team.
Don’t be a diva
Ugh. Just don’t.
Don’t take yourself too seriously
If you take a tumble at practice, be willing to laugh it off along with everyone else. Don’t be a Debbie D just because you have two left feet.
Follow your teams rituals
Even if you think it doesn’t matter if the bats are crossed or if you step on the line, just go along with your team’s rituals. It’s not going to kill you.
Don’t be the jerk of an upperclassman
Don’t constantly call on the freshman or rookies to do your dirty work. They are your teammates. Not servants. I promise you, you are fully capable of carrying equipment or manning the bucket during BP.
Learn to throw front toss
This isn’t even a skill. Like, anyone could do this. My grandmother could do this. (Hey, Nana!) It’s really annoying when you’re incapable of underhand tossing a ball to a target from 15 feet away.
Don’t give me a high five after I strike out
I’m really angry right now. I know you’re trying to be encouraging and uplifting, but please, just give me space. I need a second to stop contemplating suicide. Feel free to throw me a “You’ll get it next time” from across the dugout. (I probably take softball more seriously than I should. I’m aware of that.)
Celebrate the success of your teammates
Don’t be a Jelly Janice. Someone on your team did something awesome, which translates into a positive thing for the team. Spit out that Haterade and say congrats (and actually mean it).
Don’t hype up the pitcher unless it’s true
Just because you struck out, don’t come in the dugout and tell everyone she has the sickest rise ball you’ve ever seen (back to the ‘don’t make excuses’ point). Uhh, no. It didn’t move. You just missed. And now you just psyched out your own teammates before they ever stepped up to the plate.
Play because you love the game
If you aren’t playing ball because you love it, do yourself and your teammates a favor and walk away. You can’t fully commit and invest in something if you don’t love it. Your teammates are counting on you to give your all to the team and you can’t do that if your heart isn’t in it.
Being a good teammate isn't always easy or necessarily 'fun'. It requires sacrifice and selflessness. I have probably broken every single one of these rules at some point in my softball career. I am not softball sinless and I don't claim to be. But as the saying goes, "You live and you learn." And then you write a blog.