The Importance Of Protecting Your Face As A Fast Pitch Softball Player
By: Margo, Dean At HurdtU
What is the difference between softball players now and 15 years ago? The game hasn’t changed. There are 9 defensive positions, one hitter and the person who scores the most runs wins. What have changed are the girls playing. They are getting high level of training earlier in their softball careers. They are stronger, faster and elevating the game each year. What also is changing is how we see softball players. Softball is becoming more feminized. It is now cool for girls to become athletic and play sports like softball. With that being said, we must protect our girls from messing up their money maker. The reality is softball is a sport to help kids understand hard work and dedication and maybe in the future earn a scholarship to a 4 year college. Even though softball is growing, there are only five professional softball teams in the United States and the average salary is $5000-6000 a season. My point in sharing that information is there has to be a life after softball for the majority of these girls playing. We need to make sure our girls are safe about playing this game because a lot of things can happen when hard balls and bats are in the equation.
The Mind Set of a Pitcher who doesn’t want to wear a mask: You are the cool pitcher that doesn’t need wear a mask. You are tough and fearless. You feel as if you are good enough pitchers that you will never leave anything over the plate fat enough to be hit right back at you. You have total control of what happens after you release that ball.
Now let me tell you how expensive and dangerous this mind set it.
Risks Of Not Wearing A Mask:
Concussion: A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that affects your brain function. Effects are usually temporary but can include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination. Most concussions and other mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs) should completely resolve within one to six weeks. Some people, however, experience post-concussion syndrome (PCS) with symptoms lasting longer than this. Post-concussion syndrome can include physical, cognitive, and emotional problems, including headache, Dizziness, headaches, lack of concentration, annoyed or irritated and alter your child’s personality. Concussions also may cause depression. The average cost of a cat scan is $1200.
Broken Eye Socket: Symptoms vary, depending on the location and severity of the fracture, but can include: A black eye, with swelling and black and blue discoloration around the injured eye; possible redness and areas of bleeding on the white of the eye and on the inner lining of the eyelids. Double vision, decreased vision or blurry vision. Difficulty looking up, down, right or left. Abnormal position of the eye (either bulging out of its socket or sunken in). Numbness in the forehead, eyelids, cheek, upper lip or upper teeth on the same side as the injured eye, possibly related to nerve damage caused by the fracture. A puffy
accumulation of air under the skin near the eye, usually a sign that the fracture has broken through the wall of a sinus cavity, particularly the maxillary sinus, an air-filled chamber located inside the cheek below the eye. Swelling and deformity of the cheek or forehead, with an obvious dent over the area of broken bone. An abnormally flat-looking cheek, and possibly severe pain in the cheek when you attempt to open your mouth. After having surgery, you are bed rested two to four days then back to the doctor every week for three weeks. After the two to three weeks off, you must be cleared by a doctor due to the seriousness of the head trauma. The average cost $20,000 to $35,000.
Dental Work: Teeth are very important to anyone. If the ball so happens to hit your pitcher in the mouth. She risks knocking some teeth loose, losing teeth and cutting her lip and or mouth open. Depending on the status of your child’s previous dental work, loss of teeth will shift the others into available space and that $3500-8000 you spent on braces goes right now the drain. Plus if she loses any teeth, veneers average around $925-$2500 a tooth. Yikes, looks like little sally is paying for her own college and taking up chest instead of softball bat.
Broken Nose: Once the swelling goes down, you would be able to see a doctor to see if you need to get it surgically realigned. After breaking your nose you could have difficulty breathing, collection of blood, neck injury from the impact of the nose being hit and cartiage fracture. The average cost of a nose surgery is $5000.
Physiological Issues: A lot of pitchers not only have physical but mental issues after being hit so hard. They find themselves full of fear rather than just going out a pitching like they did before they got hit. This idea is dangerous because it affects the confidence and success of your pitcher. She will have to take time to overcome that fear of being hit again. Average cost of lack of confidence is almost every single outing she has on the mound. She will also fall out of love with the sport if it becomes more about being afraid than having fun.
On top of all these mental and physical issues is the time your pitcher is out recovering. This sport is a game of repetition. If her injury is to her face she have to sit out a signification time to recover. The one thing she can’t rush is a head injury. The time that she are out, other people are working. Other people are getting reps. She is now stuck on the couch recovering and not getting to work on her craft.
Even after she are released from the doctor, the time to get back to where she was physically is long. It could take 3 to 6 months for her head to stop hurting, for her concentration to come back completely, for her body to get back into pitching shape. The recovery even after the head is “healed” is something people don’t think about. It’s hard and frustrating road back to normal.
Perks of wearing a mask
· Safety- Your pretty face is safe from any of the things listed above.
· Confidence- with the protection of the mask, your pitcher is able to just pitch and not worry about getting hit in the face.
· Control- You can take control of your daughter’s future.
· Pocket books- You will save a ton of money wearing a $40 mask.
So in conclusion, parents, you have no idea what will happen after you release the ball. You as a parent need to take the necessary precaution to protect your daughter and keep her safe at all times on the mound. You don’t want to be at the emergency room thinking this could have all been prevented by just making her wear the mask. You daughter doesn’t want to tell a story at her wedding about how she nose is like this because she didn’t wear a mask that one tournament. You don’t want your kid’s grades to suffer and have her get behind in school because her concussion is affecting her learning. You want what is best for your child. Wear the mask. Every fight about it is worth protecting their face.