Softball, Teamwork, Pain And Torture
On Thursday, Sept. 14, gnats swarmed as the setting sun sent warm streaks through the grass and the cheers of softball fans and players alike echoed across the field. Around seven PM, the intramural softball opponents, Pain & Torture (PT) and MVP played against each other. The PT team players consist of graduate physical therapy students, who turned the abbreviation of their degree into clever pun for their team name. The team MVP, on the other hand, is composed mainly of players from Latin American countries such as Nicaragua, Honduras, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. Unlike Team PT, the members of Team MVP are unsure of the origin or meaning of their team name.
When asked about the meaning of their team name, Ivy Cooper (senior, psychology) says, “Honestly, I’m not sure. I think it just means most valuable player.” Despite the uncertain origins of their team name, the MVPs definitely started off the game strong by scoring several runs early in the game.
During the first few innings, the MVPs scored more runs than PT. To PT’s advantage, some students arrived to encourage their fellow PT students and friends.
Erikah Distan (second year, graduate PT) initially wondered why she decided to support PT since they see each other every day and take the same classes. Later, however, she expressed that a certain bonding forms outside of the stressful classroom where they all can “relax and chill.”
When asked why she came to support, Distan says, “You see a different side of them (her PT classmates)...you get to know them better.”
Soon enough, the supporters and friends of PT filled the air with strong team spirit full of shouts, cheers and affirmations of power and encouragement. Perhaps this PT spirit became the determining factor of the PT victory. By the end of the game, PT persevered into a triumphant victory with the final score: 13-4.
Witnessing the game, I considered the importance of team spirit in softball, as with many other sports. Most college courses do not implement teamwork and team spirit the way spots do. Perhaps it is the heat of the competition, the drips of sweat, the adrenaline of the bat swing, and the pestering of bugs that fosters team skills and bonding.
Cooper said, “It feels great to be part of this (MVP) team. You know we have our ups and our downs, but we’re always laughing. When it’s time to be serious, we’re serious. Even when we make mistakes, we’re all here to pick each other up.” Winning or losing, softball is fun and enjoyable because of team bonding, support and spirit.
For those who don’t know: softball intramurals have officially begun this month! Follow the posted schedule below, claim a team, and enjoy the games. The championships are scheduled for the first week of October. Find out who gets the winning t-shirt prize. If you are the non-sports type, stop by and cheer on your friends and classmates, or add to the team spirit. Trust me, the fun is contagious. If you are not American, like myself, and you have no idea what softball is (or how different it is from baseball), try visiting a game—you’ll discover teamwork and a piece of American culture.