Playing Big Being Small – Guest Blog by Chez Sievers

Allow me to introduce Chez Sievers to you! I must start out by saying, Chez is a Longhorn, but I absolutely love her anyway. Chez is one year older than I am, and I played against her from across the diamond for 3 years- me wearing maroon, Chez wearing burnt orange. I remember Chez – not vaguely, but distinctly. Chez is a competitor. Chez loves the game. Chez knows the game.  Most importantly, Chez respects the game of softball. I am THRILLED for her to write from HER perspective of what it was like to be a softball player with her much shorter frame. I think this is something that many players go through, so to get her own words on here is my pure pleasure….

Playing Big Being Small

Throughout my life, I’ve heard every short joke imaginable. It used to drive me crazy! My father taught me such a valuable lesson in my young life. Because I was small I had to do everything harder, faster, and more efficiently. I grew up with two older brothers who never took it easy on me. At the end of every practice baseball/softball and basketball practice, we would end with a competition. I never won one shooting game or one hitting game. It was incredibly frustrating, but I always felt that there would always be a chance for me to win because I had the opportunity to compete.

When I was 11, I played on two basketball teams and two softball teams. I played softball for my Bellflower Bobbysox softball league and the Tustin Wildcats, which my first travel ball team. I was a starter on every team except one, the Tustin Wildcats. I was by far the smallest player on the team and I either rode the bench or played left field in the late innings. During the course of the season, I began to get discouraged. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong. Why wasn’t I playing? I hit and played whatever position they put me in.

Our national qualifier came around and I still wasn’t playing. The qualifier was double elimination. We lost to the Firecrackers and we were on to the next game against the Newberry Park Pumas. If we won, we would go on to Nationals in Oklahoma. I didn’t start, but I kept my head up and still supported my team. We were tied up in the bottom of the sixth with a runner on second. Tensions began to rise. That’s when I got the call to pinch hit. I put on my helmet, strapped on my gloves and grabbed my Steele bat. Finally! Here was my chance to play. As I walked up to the plate, the coach from the opposing dugout signaled to the outfield to move in. With a Cheshire grin, I dug into the batter’s box. I visualized crushing the ball in the left center gap hoping that they would be running for days. First pitch, ball. I stepped out and set my sights for the left center gap. Pitch two, I swung like my life depended on it. I crushed it into the left center gap for a triple. My adrenaline was pumping and my team and parents were going crazy. Pure satisfaction.

Looking back, I wasn’t bitter and I didn’t use my size as an excuse for why I couldn’t do something. In my mind, I was so hungry for the opportunity to compete. In my mind, I was fearless and 10 feet tall. I believed I could make every play on the field.

That was a defining moment in my playing career because I carried that mindset with me through high school and on to the University of Texas.

Playing at a high level no matter your size is all about your mindset and your work ethic. In life, you always encounter roadblocks, but it’s how you respond to those situations. You make the choice to overcome and persevere or give up. The power within is your greatest source of strength. If you believe in yourself and have the discipline to be great at everything you do, there is no limit to the things you can accomplish in this life.

You can find TONS of softball information on Chez’s website http://smart-softball.com. Her website includes podcasts with some of the TOP names in college coaching, instructional videos on hitting, instructional defensive videos, and her own personal blog. SO proud of her for what she is doing for our sport and her passion for the game!! Thanks Chez!! 

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Amanda Scarborough

My mission is to motivate, influence and help young softball girls in a positive way. I look to not only improve their softball skills, but also touch their lives at the same time. Welcome to my website, a place where I share my passions and illustrate this mission. Explore, find inspiration and be challenged.

3 CommentsLeave a comment

  • My daughter is 5’4″ and she loves pitching like you. Her name is Emily and she is 14 and a freshman in high school preparing for her first high school season. She has pitched against at the 18u level for the past year in travel ball. She is really tough with her accuracy and movement. And thanks to your drills and the squat rack at the gym her speed is really improving. Thank you for posting your videos on you tube. Can you send her a picture to put up in the indoor facility where she trains. 1682 sunset road. Oxford, NC 27565. Thank you for everything.

  • My daughter is 10 and loves to pitch. She started taking lessons about 10 months ago. She works really hard and is determined to be good at it. It’s amazing to me that she would even be interested in pitching because she’s so shy and tender hearted. But when she’s out there she’s totally different. She is about the middle in size. She’ll prob be around 5’5″ to maybe 5’6″. I’m 5″5′ and my husband is 5″8′ so there’s not too much of a chance for her to be real talk. I saw your video on you tube and your narrative was very inspiring. That no matter what you can make your dreams come true if you have the desire and are willing to put in the time. That goes for the parents too that sacrifice in their own way. I wouldn’t change it for anything though. I made a video with still photos of you pitching from YouTube and stills of her pitching next to each other in certain spots throughout the pitch. She pitches almost identical to you with the exception when presenting the ball. I showed it to her as an encouragement because lately she’s had picked up some bad habits. She just smiled but I know what that meant. She’s now working harder to be like you. You are an inspiration to her. Thanks for the article Why Fast Pitching Leaves So Many In Awe. It made me understand her so much more. You are right on this being very difficult and it takes a special individual to try it, love it, and be successful at it. But the rewards are well worth it. Even though she’s only 10 when she’s in the circle, I know there’s nowhere else she’d rather be.

    • Thank you for this!!! This is one of the best posts on my website ever…..especially cool that you printed out pictures and showed them to her by comparing her to me! Keep dreaming!

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