Magpakailanman all over softball last Saturday 2015

Summary of the Junior Softball World Cup

Two weeks with a lot of rain, a lot of experience and mixed achievements

The first world championship in softball with German participation is over and it is time to draw a resume.
But before I get lost in the details, I'd like to thank the great support from the German fan base, who celebrated their team as if they were winners, even when they played highly lost games. It was great to see smiling familiar faces again and again.
My second thanks go to denkwerk, without whose financial support participation would have been very difficult.
Thanks also go to the exceptionally large coaching staff who contributed their part to this tournament.

Unlike most other teams, the German national team did not have several weeks to prepare for the World Cup in Enschede. Most of the Whitsun training program fell victim to the rain and literally fell into the water. So it was only justified to start this tournament with very low demands and not too high expectations. You couldn't score a single point against the hosts from the Netherlands in the last preparatory games, but allowed quite a few and the Netherlands are not even among the favorites at the World Cup.

The German team was given the honor of playing the opening game of the 8th World Junior Championship against the Netherlands. An honor that also brings with it a high degree of nervousness. The warm-up is interrupted by an opening ceremony, which the team had to leave earlier in order to prepare properly for the game, and then all the fans - the stands were full.

The start of the World Cup was a bit nervous from a German point of view, but only briefly, because in the course of the first game a really respectable performance developed. The team collapsed in the last inning, but they hadn't let themselves be completely slaughtered and the audience had a really interesting softball game right up to the last inning.

We were not shown in the next game against Chinese Taipei. The game ended prematurely, but it wasn't marked by countless mistakes or an unbelievable number of hard hits by the opponents. It was found that Taiwan is simply superior in many areas and therefore deservedly won. Hopes for the future can be drawn from this game, despite the defeat, because in this match there were many young up-and-coming athletes who did their job really well for a first international appearance.

A rest day followed, which was used for regeneration. Gathering strength for the rest of the tournament was on the agenda. The weather wasn't exactly inviting for a trip to the nearby lake, but the on-site swimming pool did its job.

The historic event followed on Saturday, June 23rd. A German softball team celebrated its first victory at a world championship. With an 8: 6 over South Africa, the team wrote German softball history. This game also had its ups and downs. But in the end no one asked about the messed up start with a 3-0 deficit after the first half-linning, because cheers and tears of joy overlaid everything else. What followed is also part of a world championship with its bright colors and teams from all over the world. First, on the return trip with South Africa in the bus, everyone sang as much as they could and then performed a dance together in front of the hotel door - pure World Cup feeling.

Unfortunately, the team's performance flattened a bit after this victory, so that the positive impressions of the first few days could not be fully repeated. But also in the following games there were always nice situations that give hope for the future of German softball.

If you look at the other teams and their performance, one thing becomes clear: We need more training!

With regard to the national teams, this also means more training and games together. Above all, we need a high level of commitment on the part of the athletes, who also have to train more disciplined at home so that we can permanently improve our performance in an international comparison.

Uli Lauven