Well, I did it again. I guess you can say I’ve got a thing for the underdogs. This time another inmate and I drafted an underdog 15-man softball team for the upcoming season. In one of my recent blogs dated April 20 I wrote an underdog story about my three-man sand volleyball team I drafted this past spring, with both of my teammates never playing volleyball before, but had the heart, desire, drive, and motivation to be coached, to have fun, and to carry a positive and uplifting attitude. What I didn’t write in the blog, because the season was only half over with at the time, was that my underdog team of rookies was the champions in the year’s three-man league. It was a great underdog story. Check out the picture of this motley crew!
During the year’s softball draft, the other coach and I agreed upon not taking the cocky and arrogant players, but players who are humble, fun, want to learn, have great attitudes, and not caring about winning or losing. I know I’ve said this before, but in prison, there are a countless number of know-it-alls, cocky individuals. And a lot of these individuals are good athletes, with most of them easily being selected in the top four rounds in the year’s softball draft.
This was the exact opposite what we were looking for. Before drafting, we knew most of the players we wanted would be fifth rounders or worse, so we knew drafting them on our team would be no problem. And giving up talent for positive and good attitudes in order to make this season fun is what I would take in a heartbeat. And that was what we did.
There are only eight teams in the league this year, and on draft day we went with our game plan and got all fifteen of our players we wanted. There were definitely a lot of confused and puzzled looks when we started taking late round picks as our top picks. The first time we got our team together for our first of only two practices before the season started we told them our game plan. We told them that we by far were not the most athletic team, but we by far had the team with the best attitudes and were going to have the most fun, whether we win or lose. We knew we would win some games and lose some, too.
Honestly, in prison, to me, it is not about winning or losing, it’s about changing who you are as a person and making your life better. And if it takes playing prison softball to help people change, then softball we will play. So all of our players on our team jumped aboard the game plan and was excited to play on the team this year. I’m not sure what to expect yet, but am happy to have a team full of great attitudes. Oh, and by the way, last week we had our first of 21 games, and we underdogs came from behind to win the game. I know it was only the first game, but I have a feeling it’s going to be a fun season! In prison or outside of prison, it’s not about winning or losing…..attitude is everything!