Winston & Damman APRIL 2018

On Your Side (810) 966-WINS (9467)

April 2018

Devoted to the Diamond The Winston Family’s Baseball/Softball Obsession

year between both of her teams. Zach’s team, which has been with Shawn since Zach was 8, tore up the Little League, placing third in the state in 2016. And Hannah pitched her heart out, even as her passions began to turn more toward theater and performance than sports. Though Hannah and Meghan have reached the point where I can’t coach them myself anymore, I still watch nearly every game. There are so many awe-inspiring moments with these kids. You watch them pull off something incredible and wonder, “Where the heck did that come from?” Both baseball and softball are difficult and complex sports. You constantly have to dust yourself off and get back in the game after making a mistake. Our kids have all grown so much, not only as athletes, but as people. These sports have given them the tools to work seamlessly with a close-knit team, moments with these kids. You watch them pull off something incredible and wonder, ‘Where the heck did that come from?’” “There are so many awe-inspiring

“Baseball is a game of failure,” my husband, Shawn, is fond of saying both to me and to whichever team he’s currently coaching. “Sure, you can bat a 300 average and make it into the Hall of Fame, but you’re still only connecting with the ball about 30 percent of the time.” Shawn has inspired me to fall in love with the sport, and as I coached my two daughters through their early softball careers, it became integrated into our family dynamic. Like Shawn says, it may be a game of failure, but that just makes our kids’ successes that much more exciting, and it teaches them important lessons about dealing with adversity. As April rolls around, we’re already smack-dab in the middle of the season — a hectic, thrilling time for the entire Winston clan. Still, it can’t possibly be as crazy as last spring and summer. My 11-year-old son, Zach, was competing in tournaments with Shawn as coach; my 13-year-old daughter, Meghan, was on two softball teams; and our 17-year-old daughter, Hannah, was with her high school team. It felt like we were on the road for 12 weeks straight, carting the kids around to tournament after tournament. Of course, it was worth it to see our kids give their all, with some pretty amazing results. Meghan’s Almont Attack team won seven games straight and went on to win the state championship. She put a whopping 75 games under her belt last

stick to their goals with single-minded intensity, and bounce back quickly when life gets hard. Before I met Shawn, I thought baseball was a slow, boring game. As you can imagine, he pretty quickly disabused me of that notion. As I learned the intricate strategies that go into every play, I became convinced it was much more than I’d imagined. And when my kids are involved, I’m there every step of the way. Though I may chauffeur my kids around all season, I’m happy to do it. The feeling of pride I get when I see them out on the field makes it all worthwhile.

–Nicole Winston

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