Softball was the first sport that I fell in love with, but not the first sport I loved. Figure skating was my first love, but I quickly fell in love with softball after playing my first game.
When I was 7, I played my first softball game, and being a good catcher, first base was the position I gravitated to and enjoyed playing. I was eventually asked to pitch one game, but since I had never pitched, I was scared that I would embarrass myself, so I declined.
My dad really wanted me to try pitching, so after that game, he took me home and started teaching me the basics of how to pitch. After many days of work in our backyard and getting more confident, I felt I was ready. The next time I was asked to pitch, I said yes, and that’s when I started to fall in love with pitching.
The sense of accomplishment from striking someone out, not walking a batter, and knowing that if I made a mistake my teammates had my back made me fall further in love with the game.
Pitching With a Purpose
I realized that if I wanted to be great at pitching, I needed to practice and practice often. You just can’t show up for games and think you’re going to be a great pitcher. I started practicing a lot and going to clinics, which really helped me learn the proper techniques.
As I started to become more passionate about softball, and especially pitching, I wanted to play a higher level, so at 11 years old I tried out and made the Kitchener Klassics travel team. The Klassics teams train indoors over the winter and spring, and because of this I was able to work on my pitching all off-season.
Over the years of working hard, I have learnt many types of pitches and greatly increased my pitching speed. Through this hard work and dedication, I have become a strong and dependable pitcher whom my teammates can count on.
Over the years I have been playing both competitive softball and Division 1 basketball, which has been very demanding on me. As I didn’t want to have to choose between two sports I loved, I had to learn to manage my time to keep up with school work. Without the love of playing both sports and the support of my parents, this would have been impossible to do.
In my years of playing softball I have had many individual and team accomplishments, from multiple MVP awards, provincial spirit award, two perfect games, multiple no-hitter games, placing provincially, and attending national championships. But what has made me the proudest is the person this game has made me and the friendships I have made. The game of softball has taught me to be a leader and compassionate player, but also to love and respect the game.
I have played for Kitchener for a majority of my youth, and this is going to be my last year playing for the Klassics. Over the years I have made many friendships, and will be sad to leave the organization that I have taken pride in playing for, but am also excited about my future in sport. I have just completed my first year at Durham College where I play on the softball and basketball teams and won the softball championship this past season.
Softball is not just a game. It’s passion, and that passion comes from inside of you, the player. There is no one that can make you love something. You have to find it on your own, and you will know when you find it, as it becomes your life.
Emily has played for the Kitchener Klassics for over 6 years and is a member of the 2018 U19 travel team. Emily is also a full time student at Durham College where she plays for the varsity softball and basketball teams.