Sunday, August 2, 2009


One common cliche you often hear in softball is "our team plays down to the level of competition". I completely disagree with that statement. It's completely myopic.

Look deeper and the real Top Ten Factors on why the phrase "play down to the level of competition" is a Softball Fallacy are ....

10. The Play Up Factor
Weren't you ever an underdog? If so, didn't it make you want to try harder and play better? Maybe it isn't so much that your playing down to someone Else's level but rather maybe it has to do with your opponent picking up their game.

9. Bully Factor
Your used to beating up on the mothers of the poor of the world that when one finally stands up to you you crumble like a bully getting punched in the face.

8. Paper Factor
On paper your team is superior but the games aren't played on paper. You have to earn it on the field. The ball is round you know and it takes funny bounces

7. Luck Factor
Like Jay-Z famously rapped on the Blueprint album "They say when you play with skills, good luck could happen" you obviously need ability but luck is the X factor in any game. The Ump makes a call that goes their way, they get all the bloopers, the rain makes the ball slippery, your missing players, you hit the ball hard right at someone, .... all completely unpredictable lucky factors that can levy the playing field. As they say Shit happens

6. Excuse Factor
When I hear people say we are playing down to the level of the competition I just can't help but think it's just a weak excuse. Bottom line you still need to pitch, hit, throw, and run the bases. The other so called "weaker" team doesn't care if you can't throw a strike, hit lob ball, execute routine plays, stop running out grounders b/c they want to win. Stop making excuses and look in the mirror for answers on why your aren't good enough and pick up your game.

5. Trap Factor
Points 10-6 above fall under the Trap Factor which basically means your are way Overconfident. It's a humbling game so stay humble. stay busy, keep working hard.

4. Manager Factor
Did your manager warn and prepare your team properly? Did he manage to win or bat 14 guys? Did he play the best players in the right positions or did he just assume this was an easy win. Every manager is judged by his wins and losses and all managers know that you have to beat the bad teams and if you don't then that makes you a bad team.

3. Wrong Place Wrong Time Factor
Did you run into a team that was hungrier than you? A solid starter pitcher? A bad match up? Did all your power hitters pop up? A key injury occurred? If so then the cliche "every dog has it's day" would seem to be more appropriate than the egocentric "play down to the level of competition" saying. Upsets are part of the game.

2. Style of Play Factor
Some teams are more susceptible to let downs than others. Teams that rely on power hitting or dominant pitching can easily fall prey to slumps or upsets. Teams with scrappy hit the ball down offense combined with speed are able to avoid long offensive droughts. In addition, teams with flawless defense, like Contact, never give you anything they make you earn a victory.
and the Number One factor on why the phrase "play down to the level of competition" is a softball fallacy

1. No Expectations Factor
One thing underdogs have to their advantage is that no one expects them to win. They can play looser and don't play with the pressure of having to win. When things don't go a Favorite's way they play with the pressure of having to win to avoid the embarrassment of losing. Underdogs know (the smart one's anyway) that if they can keep the game lose until late they have a chance b/c the pressure is all on them (better team). The say pressure breaks pipes and favorites get tight so anything can happen

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