Never Give Up, Never Ever Give Up

Weeks ago, I was reminiscing and thought of a memory in my life that I look back on and realize it truly effected my life and softball career.  It’s a moment I know for a fact that a lot of young players go through – someone telling you you aren’t good enough or you’ll never make it.  I just don’t believe it.  The only way you won’t “make it” is it you don’t have passion for something and don’t work hard enough at it – with all my heart I believe that.  When you have passion for whatever your heart wants to take you, it drives you, it gives you direction and it gives you momentum.  Passion pushes you to your dreams and is the driving force behind your energy and motivation. 

Something that people don’t know about me: On my first travel ball team, I was the #4 or #5 pitcher- dead last. I was the pitcher who would throw against all of the really good teams because I threw so slow, and those teams struggled to hit slow pitching. If there were 13 players on the team, I would have been the 13th player to see playing time.

I wasn’t in the starting 9 on the lineup card. In fact, I rarely got at bats.

Oh, and also, I was told by another parent that I probably should quit pitching and I would never make it.

Fast forward 8-10 years after that. I earned a scholarship to play at Texas A&M as a pitcher and a hitter. My freshman year I was the starting pitcher for the first game of the season and threw a no hitter my first ever collegiate game. That year I was named Big 12 Player of the Year and Big 12 Freshman of the Year – the only freshman to ever have accomplished that in the Big 12. I was also named an All American.

People see me now as the All American who played at Texas A&M. I have been through so much more than just that. For the players who are told that you will never make it, I am living proof that if you love playing and are willing to sacrifice time, tears and effort to something you love, you CAN make it.

Lesson learned: Never, never, NEVER give up.

“Be so good they can’t ignore you.”

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Amanda Scarborough

Big 12 Freshman of the Year (2005)
Big 12 Player of the Year (2005)
Texas A&M Softball All American ('05 & '07)
Big 12 Pitcher of the Year (2007)
WCWS Appearances ('07 & '08)
Texas A&M Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee (2014)
ESPN Softball Analyst
The Packaged Deal co-founder

8 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Same kind of thing happened to my daughter (13yrs old now) we had parents and coaches tell us she wasn’t a pitcher, she was so slow, she almost never got to pitch in games. Then she broke both her feet one after the other so she was out for a year and a half, but she’s been practicing on her own at home and taking a lesson once a week and she getting much better! I think having those people say that made her more determined to prove them wrong! when she first started lessons she wouldn’t practice at home very much and was not progressing, but now she’s practicing at home and what a difference! I’m very proud of her for sticking with it! Thank you for your videos! your awesome!

  • This exact same thing happened to me! I was on a town league team when I was 12, and I pitched. I was the last pitcher they would put on the mound, and I only pitched about three innings that entire season. So many people told me I’d never make it as a pitcher(even my parents gent;y hinted at it). I did give up pitching to focus on hitting and fielding. Ironically, those two years were my worst two seasons EVER. Then I thought “Well, I like pitching, and I’m not going anywhere with the rest of my game, so let me work on my pitching and see if I can do that again.” Last year I worked really hard to get better. My family can’t really afford pitching lessons, so I used websites, videos, pictures, just anything that could help me. I’m happy to say that I was the starting pitcher for my high school JV team last year, and this year I might even be called up to Varsity(as a sophomore!!!!) So I guess moral of this long story is even if you can’t get lessons or if you’ve been told you can’t do something, you can if you try hard enough.

    • GREAT STORY, Rachel! You’re an inspiration to others out there! Thanks for sharing this story, so proud of you!

  • Thank you so much for telling this story. My daughter is on a team now and has been working on pitching all year. They just won’t use her unless they have to. When they did she was awesome. They just borrowed two pitchers from another team at our last tournament and stated to the whole team that we really needed some pitchers. I could see my kid just collapse inside. She is finding it hard to understand what she has to do to show them that she can do it. This story has her determined to work hard and hope that next year her coach will see what she’s made of.

  • Hi Amanda!! I needed to ask you something…
    Well first off Im a 12 year old Atlantic Arsenal softball player in South Jersey and just recently I got injured and had to stop playing for 3-4 weeks. I was tripped playing with my friends and I fractured my Tibia in my knee and strained my LCL. The doctor put me on crutches and I got a caste. Im still in this condition now… But it wasnt the injury that got me upset, it was that fact that I had to stop playing. And most importantly, the fear of hurting it again, and getting back out there when I feel like I have been falling behide… My doubt was/ is eating me alive, and thats why Im coming to you! Amanda, how do a conquer my self doubt when I get back on the feild and while I am still injured??? Positive thinking has always been hard for me and its effecting the way I play. And when my knee is healed, I want to be able to start back up again with confedience and self assurence!????…. Help. Please email me????

  • I’m on a pretty good team right now. We were personally asked to become the first Bombers team in Colorado. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I’m #1, my coach is very good at distributing equal time among all of us. However, I am the fastest pitcher and the first choice for a championship game. We’re a second year 14U team, but we mostly play up at 16’s. Last weekend, (yesterday) we played in a 14 tournament to qualify for nationals. A Missouri team was there, probably the best team there besides us. Our second bracket play game we had to play them, and coach chose me to pitch against them. About the 5th inning or so, we were up 3-2. That’s when they hit a homerun off of me. Then another, and another. They hit about 7 homeruns on me that inning. My coach didn’t have anyone warmed up, so I had no choice but to suffer through it. A parent of another pitcher started saying horrible things about me. Her daughter, Savannah isn’t very fond of me. She played with my sister when they were younger, and was always #2. Flashback to now, and she’s still runner-up compared to me. I’m really nice to her for the sake of the team, but her and her parents are awful to me. Her parents even spread rumors about my mom. That’s when I started to panic. I didn’t cry just yet, but I had had some problems of not being able to control my emotions on the mound when I was younger. After Savannah was warmed up, they took me out and I started bawling. My coaches were trying to cheer me up, but I couldn’t stop. Being hit off that much really sucks. The game ended up being 9-3 (yikes!). My mom began talking to me after the game, and I just blocked her out. I didn’t want to hear it. Then all of the parents came up to me. They told me to put it in the past, that despite all of those homeruns, I pitched fine. That’s when it hit me. I held that team for 5 innings. Those first 2 runs were unearned. We played on the smallest field. The centerfield fence was only 200. I forgot about it and finished the day with a smile on my face.

    My pitching coach always tells me that I can’t overpower everyone. Sure I’m 14 and throw in the high 50’s, but it’s all about the spin now. I guess I learned that pretty well this weekend. My mom sent me this article link after that tournament. I actually considered quitting a couple months ago, my mom kept putting pressure on me. Whenever I have bad lessons or games, I always end up being grounded. Being a key position means that you have to put in more time than others. I can’t spend time with my friends. I even missed my friend’s confirmation to play that weekend. I can’t spend time with my family unless they come to a tournament. It always seems as if my mom is shoving it down my throat. I even have to tell her sometimes; education before sports. But I realized that I wouldn’t quit for the world. My mom is my biggest supporter. I wanted to pitch at Texas A&M before I ever heard your name (crazy, right? I’m originally from Texas, so…)

    • Thanks for sharing your story, Kayleigh. We have all had those tough moments where it seems like we just cannot get out of the inning! It only makes you stronger!

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