Monday, April 2, 2018

Sports and The Miracle Season (movie trailer)

I grew up in a small town. Seriously small - under 300 people. I graduated with 30some kids and 11 of us went through school together K-12. There wasn't much to do in our town other than get in trouble and play sports. I got in plenty of trouble but I played my share of sports, too.

I started to play t-ball when I was about five and I continued until I was 19. Our team was a town team to start, no tryouts, just pay and join. I always was a little scared of the ball so I enjoyed playing outfield. When a few of us went to the nearest big town to play softball, I started to really specialize in outfield. I loved the feeling of making a big catch, throwing it home, and getting that girl out, too!

As much as I played and loved the sport of softball, it wasn't something I was naturally gifted at like some incredible girls I played with. I had to work very hard to play, especially hit the ball. I was a consistent batter but never anything really special. I liked to step in the bucket (step back a little rather than toward the pitcher) and worked many hours on correcting that fault (which always came back each season).
image via KTCI Radio

I continued to play even a year of college softball until I felt the Lord calling me to other things. That was very difficult for me because, until that point, it was my life. I was known as a softball player and even now, hardly anyone I know knows I played to that level of softball. If you'd seen my clothing during that time, my t-shirts were mostly from tournaments I or my sisters had played in. I even spent several summers umpiring for other leagues; I really enjoy the sport that much.

The camaraderie I felt on a team with other like-minded girls was terrific. I knew I'd have a buddy to hang out with on weekends. I knew that we could talk about anything in the dugout (or swimming pool between tournament games). I knew that my teammates were counting on me to play my best and I couldn't let them down. I never got the most playing time or hit the home run but when I played, I tried my hardest! I worked hard! I went to batting practice and put in the time to learn how to be a better outfielder. I played other positions if we needed me to - first base, catcher, third base. Thankfully, none of those stuck because I really did't like the ball so close to me!

I've put the same effort into running in the more recent years, although injury keeps getting the better of me. But I hope my kids see that effort. I hope they desire to be part of a team and know that they are important to that team even when they aren't the superstar. Chances are my kids are going to be mediocre athletes - and that's ok! I was, my husband was. It wasn't the sport that changed us or grew us, it was the work put in, the effort given, the attitudes behind the sport. I want my kids to give their all no matter what they do - drama camp, art camp, soccer, swim team, Cub Scouts - even playing soccer in our front yard! I want them to try their best - win or lose. And I hope they pick up on having a good attitude no matter the outcome (still working on that one) because this life is not all winning and we all need to continue on with joyful hearts despite setbacks and sufferings and trials.
image via Grace Hill Media
There is a new movie coming out April 6 that I hope shares this message with me - getting through the pain with a joyful heart. The Miracle Season is based on a true story of West High School's girls' volleyball team. After the tragic death of the team's star player Caroline "Line" Found, the team must rally with their tough-love coach in an effort to win the state title. I love stories like this - of course, I hate the premise, but the overarching theme of teamwork, devotion, loyalty, and work ethic. I can't wait to see this plot play out in this film. And I also love that this is a sports film for girls - having a daughter now, I want her to see positive role models in the movies!

Director: Sean McNamara
Writers: David Aaron Cohen, Elissa Matsueda
Producers: Mickey Liddell, Pete Shilaimon, Mark Ciardi, Scott Holroyd
Genre: Drama
Cast: Helen Hunt, William Hurt, Danika Yarosh, Erin Moriarty
Production Company: LD Entertainment
Distributor: LD Entertainment / Mirror

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