GO CONFIDENTLY IN THE DIRECTION OF YOUR DREAMS
2004 was Afton's first time playing softball on a team. I was very proud of both her and Kelsi for trying out and then going ahead with something that was hard. Many of the girls on Afton's team had been playing for a number of years already so the coach thought it was a really good idea for Afton to attend a softball clinic that was being organized. There were going to have professional ball players giving them pointers on pitching, sliding catching and other techniques that would help them improve their game. Afton was looking forward to it, knowing that she needed the extra help. Then we found out it was on Sunday. I barely had to say a wore - Both Kelsi and Afton knew that they shouldn't go to the clinic, but to church instead. I know the coaches thought that this was something worth missing church for and they kept encouraging us to go. It made my heart happy that Afton stuck to her guns and went to church that day. During the next practices and as the season went on you could tell that the girls on the team had learned some valuable things a that clinic and I felt bad that my girls hadn't been there. I almost wished that I had let them go. I didn't want them to get frustarated and quit the team - I wanted this to be positive experience for them.
However i was impressed that Afton showed great determination in learning the game and doing EVERYTHING her coach told her to do. She prided herself on thins she'd learned and would often tell me (and others) on rule of the game or another. It was a big deal when she got her first base hit, scored her first run, stole home for the first time, caught her first fly ball, and tagged someone out, or the first time she was pitcher or catcher. the other moms and I enjoyed watching the look of concentration on her face as she prepared for the next play.
Even though there was no formal awards ceremony, at the end of the season the coach, assistant coach and team mom all agreed that Afton should get the trophy for "most improved game." She still may not have been the best on the team and definitely lacked many skills in the game of softball, but what she lacked in technique she make up for in DETERMINATION!