Netherlands' Saskia Kosterink: “Softball teaches you a lot about life”

Netherlands' Saskia Kosterink: “Softball teaches you a lot about life”
18/01/2022
Kosterink, who served as the Netherlands National Team Head Coach at the U-18 Women's Softball World Cup last month, is an Olympian who is working to develop the next generation of Dutch softball players.

In 2008, Saskia Kosterink made her dream, which is maybe the dream of all the athletes around the world, come true when she became an Olympian. She was part of the Netherlands team that participated at the 2008 Olympic softball tournament in Beijing, China.

As head coach of the Netherlands National Team at the WBSC U-18 Women's Softball World Cup in Peru last month, the 37-year-old is now passing on her wisdom and experience on to a new generation, one which she expects can become new Olympians.

Kosterink said for the Netherlands, who are consistent qualifiers for WBSC events, the U-18 Women's Softball World Cup is the type of tournament, which helps this process, especially in providing international game experience.

“I think playing on the world stage is everything," Kosterink said. "It's where the girls learn the most. Obviously, we have the European Championship, which is a good level too, but playing against other countries is where the girls learn the most and take those moments back to home and practice and learn more from that and get ready for the next stage. Playing these championships is the best for them”.

She is now working full circle. After having a successful career as a player she is now a coach helping the next generation to develop and she saw many positive aspects in the Netherlands' performance in Peru, where they won one game to finish seventh.

Kosterink admits that she has one eye on developing a team, which could take on the baton she carried at Beijing 2008, 20 years later at the LA 2028 Olympics.

“I want to teach them everything I know about the game and I still have so much passion for the game left. And if I can give that to the girls and help them be better and just be a little puzzle piece to reach their dream, I will be happy and satisfied. That’s all I can do to give them my knowledge. Hopefully, they learn and take it to the next stage,” she said.

Kosterink added that softball not only helps with a person's physical wellbeing and skillset on the field of play but it is also the help with life skills and character building, which is equally important.

“I think softball teaches you a lot about life. Is not just only about learning on the field, but also off the field...being a good teammate, showing perseverance, when it doesn’t go well you need to switch it, overcome and play the best you can we try to learn and teach to be the best person every single day. When you have a bad day, it still could be a good bad day so it's a good mindset. If something goes bad, try to make it switch it around and make something good about it."