Laurel Park in St. Peters, Mo. was the setting for a 7th grade softball game between St. Joachim & Ann (SJA) and the visiting Holy Spirit parish on Wednesday night. The trip across the historic Blanchette Bridge proved to be worthwhile for the Sportsmanship Brigade. Skill levels increase with age along with the competitive juices. Both teams really wanted to win this game. Pitching, defense and timely hitting were staples for both squads. That being said, two players for SJA didn’t miss an opportunity to have a little fun.
Kammi and Emily played shortstop and second base for SJA respectively. Emily’s nickname is ‘Socks’ because of the loud and colorful socks she wears during games. Only Kammi and Socks’ cheers for their teammates were louder. The two also skipped…yes, skipped to their positions in the field at the bottom of each inning. Now, the Brigade has seen players sprint, jog, walk and even flip to their defensive positions, but skipping? We’ll take it as long as the kids are having fun.
Attitudes like these don’t exist in a vacuum. It was evident that the SJA coaching staff creates an atmosphere that promotes hard work, learning and fun. Coach Mike gave sound instruction from the bench and highlighted the good things his girls did on the field. There were hi-fives and supportive words after every inning. On one particular play, the SJA third baseman missed a chance at a double play. She fielded the ball cleanly, but forgot to step on the base before throwing over to first.
Rather than yell at her for not getting the double play, Coach Mike applauded her for getting the sure out at first. She nodded to her coach in acknowledgement and got back in her stance for the next play. This was an example of excellent coaching. By recognizing what she did right instead of what she did wrong, Coach Mike helped his player maintain her focus and she remained in position to help the team. Wednesday’s awards were an easy SJA trifecta for the Brigade.
|From L-R: Big Sol, Socks, Kammi and Coach Mike|
The Sportsmanship Brigade is a group of Sports Commission volunteers who attend youth sporting events looking for acts of good sportsmanship. Athletes, coaches, parents, fans and officials who exhibit good sportsmanship are rewarded with a certificate of recognition and a gift card to a local business. For more on the Brigade, including scheduling and volunteering information, please visit sportsmanship.org or call 314-345-5130. Until next time…
Be a Good Sport!