A couple week's ago, I caught an episode of Ellen with my daughter that had an unusually inspiring story involving college softball players. One of the players, Sara Tucholsky, tore her ACL after hitting a home run and fell to the ground in incredible pain. By league rules, her teammates could not touch her until the inning was over or she would be out. The opposing team’s firstbase player asked the umpire if she and another of her teammates could carry her around the bases instead so the run could count – he was puzzled but allowed it! So, Mallory Holtman and Liz Wallace carried Sara around all the bases. The run was allowed and Sara's team won the game. By the way, this was Sara's first home run ever!!
Here’s the segment complete with a clip of the famous carry around the bases. I love the cheering and clapping as the girls ‘round third base – by both sides!! And, the UTube clips of the same story (also worth viewing).
The comments on The Ellen Show website speak volumes of so much of what is good and not good in sports today:
- “Things can get very competitive and people can get down right nasty. I am a firm believer that sports should and can be fun as well as competitive, if you don't have fun the competition will turn you sour.”
- “It's an incredible thing to see that in today’s world of "it's all about me" philosophies that even rivals in competitive sports can take the time to show such amazing compassion.”
- “As the old saying goes..."It's not who wins or looses, it's how you play the game." Too bad more people don't understand that.”
- “This just goes to show that not all universities focus on sports and winning. Sportsmanship is more important than any win.”
- “Professional athletes take note. This is what sportsmanship is!!!!!!!!!!!”
A picture really does speak louder than words. Show this video to your kids. Make sure your kids’ coaches see this video. Any coach who thinks this video doesn’t represent the core of what youth sports must be has no business coaching our kids. This example may be on the collegiate level but represents the values we need to instill in all sports on all levels. These players’ parents and coaches are to be congratulated for getting it right. Those girls wouldn’t have had the value system to have come up with that idea on the spot if they had not been raised in some sort of child-centered, positive, team focused sports environment.
What’s beyond amazing is the fact that winning and losing were not part of anyone’s thinking. The game was about playing the game and doing what was right when it mattered. The outcome was not what was important. If that was the ultimate objective, Mallory and Liz wouldn’t have dared attempt to be so self-less. But, they were. They only thought of helping Sara, a girl they didn’t know, be able to credit the run she had earned. Fair is fair regardless of what team you are on.
The girls were sent to a spa by Ellen as a reward for this amazing demonstration of sport-womanship. Sara won player of the year and Mallory and Liz own an ESPY. In the clip, I was impressed by the modesty of these players which makes all these rewards even more deserved. They didn’t go out to win anything – they just went out to play softball the best they could with the highest degree of ethics possible.
One mom’s comment sums of this situation the best:
“I'm tired of seeing professional athletes that later are busted for drinking, drugs and other inapproprate actions. These are the role models I want my kids to look up to!”
I couldn’t agree more! Thanks, Ellen, for reminding us of what still is right in sports – and what we must make sure is present and accounted for in all sports leagues for kids of all ages...including the pros.