The Rotary Club of Pismo Beach / Five Cites
Mikayla Provence, First Place
Grade 4, Branch Elementary School
Teacher: Mrs. Debbie Handy
Life Lessons from Softball Using the 4-Way Test
“Mikayla’s up to bat to give that ball a whack! She’s a home run hitter and you’re never gonna get her!” This is one of the cheers my team shouts to me as I step up to the plate at our intense game of softball. It makes me feel really good because I know they are supporting me even though sometimes I am a little nervous. I have been playing girls softball for 6 seasons. I played for rec teams, All-stars, and a club team. Being on a softball team with such truthful, fair, friendly, and helpful girls who always use the 4-Way Test really makes it fun to play.
When playing softball, it important to always tell the truth. My hard-working coaches always encourage me and my teammates to think, say, and do nice things so that we can practice good sportsmanship and have a good attitude. I don’t say untrue things about the other teams because I want to have a good reputation that isn’t rude. I have also played against girls that I used to be on a team with. We love each other as teammates even when we aren’t on the same team. One time, a girl on the opposing team told me, “nice job!” when I crossed home plate. She told the truth and it was very kind of her to say that to me.
Being fair is a very big part of being on a team. It takes 10 people to fill up a softball field. There are usually 11 people on a team, which means that one person has to sit on the bench. Everyone takes a turn to sit out so that it is fair to all concerned. When I am sitting on the bench, I always cheer for the infield and the outfield. I cheer for the pitcher if she is getting stressed out, watch the plays, and try to help my team from the dugout.
One of the best things about being on a softball team is making new friends outside of school. My teammates and I have built great friendships by working together on and off the field. I’ve traveled to different places with my teams and bonded with my teammates during pool parties, bonfires, and every single challenging practice or game. We work together and have a lot of fun.
My teammates say things that are beneficial to all concerned. There is this girl on my team who always gives people nice compliments. For example, she told me, “you are a really good pitcher!” When someone was working on their hitting, she said, “nice swing, you are definitely going to get a hit in our next game!” When she says nice things, it builds our confidence and helps us be better players.
Playing softball isn’t about winning to me. I don’t care if I win or loose the game. All that matters is that my team does their best and plays fair. Using the 4-Way Test really makes this possible. We tell the truth, we are good friends, and we use our words kindly. I love playing softball and I am planning to play for many years to come. I keep learning valuable lessons about using the 4-Way Test that will help me for the rest of my life.