5 SZ: A young Prodigy
Being a teacher's child can become handy at times. My Mama teaches in the Elementary school that I attend to as a Preschool teacher. My father, well, is actually a welder but the delagation and baseball/softball coaches sometimes asks for his help during tournaments.
A month had passed since Papa allowed me to play and today, our school's softball team will conduct a tryout for new members and I'm so excited. Lolo B, a family friend who I consider as a grandfather and also a baseball fanatic, already gave me a gloves to use.
Afternoon came and I ran to my Mama's classroom. My earlier excitement turned into fear when I saw the other aspirants. They are much older than me. Most of them are fifth and sixth graders. I am the only third grader to join.
"Ma, I don't think I can do it today. Look at them, they're bigger than me..." I looked at my mother and my tears are threatening to spill.
"Danna, look at me, they might be older but that doesn't mean that they are stronger. One more thing, you might be the youngest, they might be bigger than you but I know that you have the biggest heart for the game. You've been waiting for this moment for like, what? Three years already. You can do it baby. Mama and Papa will always be here," my Mama assured me and suddenly, my doubts are gone.
I went out of the room and walked into the field. I looked around, Papa ain't here. Where in the world is he? Oh well, I guess it's just me this time.
"Okay, the annual Provincial meet is coming. My former athletes are now in high school so new members will be selected today. I am Coach Fely. Goodluck and do your best!" the coach told us without even smiling. At first sight, I don't really like her. She's not the child friendly type of coach and I hate it. Oh well, it's too early to judge.
This is it! We started with stretching and body conditioning then the coach divided us in pairs for the next phase. A fifth grader was paired with me. She's not actually tall for her age that she's like a fourth grader.
I was astounded. My Papa is right. Not all can do this at the beginning and what's even weird to me is that, they are so afraid of the ball, the hand positions are not right. This is so frustrating. Luckily I saw my father. He's here now.
"Papa! You're here!"
"Danna, I would not miss this of course," then he pat my head.
"Sir Kent! Good afternoon," the older members greeted my father.
"Let's play catch. Let's show them how you do it," Papa said.
Papa threw the ball and I caught it with ease. We were enjoying that we didn't even notice that the other members are watching us instead of practicing.
"Danna, want to learn something new? I'll teach you how to get grounders," Papa said.
He taught me how to stoop. "Bend your knees and stoop down. Look at me. Throw the ball at me but let it bounce. Watch my movement."
I rolled the ball in his direction. He was so cool. I tried my best to copy it and he wasn't disappointed.
"Guys, look at this. Danna, come here for a minute. Introduce yourself to them," the coach told me.
"Uhm.. I am Danna, eight years-old, a third grader," you can see the shock in their faces.
"A third grader and she catches better than all of you. Danna, welcome to the team."
The coach ain't so bad after all. Or so I thought...