March 6, 2008 Terkel

Last night my softball team completed a long streak seldom achieved in the annals of sports. It’s the type of result that cannot be realized without a strong team effort and consistency of play. Despite the pressure and palpable expectation, we put on our game faces, played one of our best games of the year and loss for the 15th time in a row. That’s right, we went 0-fer, the perfect season. Apparently the losers don’t get lucky sometimes.

I’ve been thinking about this all day. I’ve never been on a team so arguably competitive yet so proven to be terrible. My new theory is to blame our mental preparation. Halfway through the season we had become so accustomed to losing that we were preconditioned to fail. I watched our best players go the way of our worst and our bad players struggle to remember their mitts. There’s no way to experience defeat that consistently without at least subconscious participation in the destruction. We went to play without expectation and walked away essentially unaffected, tacitly approving of our defeat.

In the future we need to work on our mental prep, poised to take advantage of those points in the game where we can tip the scales and get the W. It’s important to visualize the win, act as if and think positive. We should also learn to hit.