“Great swing!” is heard over and over again from coach chris Bwy during the La Jolla coastal Bay Girls Softball League Opening Day games — an example of what the league for girls, ages 5-10, represents. While the girls will learn the basic softball skills of throwing, hitting, pitching and catching this season, they will also gain something far more important — self-confidence.
The philosophy behind this community-based league is that the girls have fun playing softball, increase their confidence levels and self-esteem, and strengthen family bonds. These goals are achieved through player development at practices held on the field at La Jolla Elementary School. We want the girls to exude confidence when they step up to the plate. To achieve this, they spend a lot of time working on their batting skills.
The coaches have been busy encouraging them to swing at any ball that crosses the plate. And they already are! The thrill and satisfaction of making contact with the ball is something that will resonate with them in the future. This is the beginning of life-long self-confidence.
The girls practice twice each week; first as individual teams, then both teams from each age group work together. Quite a few parents assist the coaches, which leads to building a strong sense of community in La Jolla.
What do these fun, high-energy practices look like? Sure, the players can be seen throwing and catching the ball, and there’s a lot of hitting with the girls taking mean hacks at the ball, but the best part comes at the end of each practice.
That’s the time for “Hit or Die!” — the girls’ favorite part! Each girl goes up to bat and is encouraged to swing hard at the ball. When a player misses a pitch, she goes into the outfield. However, she may get back into the hitting rotation if she catches a pop fly. The last girl left to make a hit wins. The end reward is taking hits at water balloons tossed by the coach!
The parents love watching the end of practice. The girls give it their best and thrive on the cheers from their parents. While our numbers shrunk this season, we are the girls’ softball league that can do it! We invite new girls to join throughout the season.