Article by: Georgina Pekin
Editor: Jerrick Torres
Cinematographer: Angelica Cucueco
Anchor: Will Batchelor
Bearcat softball players train hard from February to April, and compete in games and tournaments almost every weekend. The varsity softball teams will be travelling to Jakarta in mid April for IASAS, which happens to fall during ISM’s spring break. This may hinder the popularity of IASAS and the support the players will gain from the majority of students who will be travelling to holiday destinations or relaxing at home on BuzzFeed instead of watching IASAS. Out of all the sports teams, it’s been theorized that softball may suffer the most because of its reputation as the least entertaining and physically demanding sport. But where do these myths come from, and are they even true?
Bamboo Telegraph has investigated some of the stereotypes surrounding the softball team, and softball as a sport, and whether these are in fact true or just bustable myths. Some of the main stereotypes are that softball players don’t do fitness; they wear pajamas; they chew gum every game, and that softball is for old and lazy people. Before any of you die-hard softball fans become defensive, read on to discover the factual statements from some of ISM’s softball players and coaches, addressing these stereotypes.
As the coach of the varsity boys’ softball team, Mr. Highland has provided some insight into the origin of these stereotypes, and why softball has a much worse reputation than it deserves! Though the fitness required for softball may not be as demanding as that of other sports, Highland told BT that indeed, “It’s not your usual idea of fitness of constant running; it’s more of quick bursts of highly explosive movements like swinging a bat, sprinting bases or running down a ball, as well as diving and sliding. You train for these with explosive resistance training exercises, incorporating all the muscles, running with sleds, weighted twisting movements to simulate swinging, weighted squat jumps and cleans.” Varsity softball member, Hayden Landry confirmed the fitness training the team performs. “During a game, there’s a lot of short sprinting involved, whether it’s from base to base or running to catch a pop up. In practice, we prepare for this by running a lot of sprints towards the end when we’re tired.”
As for the supposedly unexciting and lengthy characteristic of softball games, Mr. Highland told BT that because softball has more opportunity for offensive plays than that of baseball, “there are a lot of scoring chances, exciting close plays at bases and at home as well as great catches.” Actually watching softball games proves that indeed clutch catches, fast springs and big home run hits can make a game much more exciting.
Lastly, in reference to the chewing gum stereotype, varsity member Grace Stevens proudly admits, “OK this one is definitely true. Maybe not in school so much because our coaches won’t let us, but gum and sunflower seeds are definitely a must have in a game. If we don’t have any, everyone looks forward to the food we’re going to eat after the game anyways.”