New WBSC podcast: The story of resilient Argentina softball great Bruno Motroni

New WBSC podcast: The story of resilient Argentina softball great Bruno Motroni
10/03/2022
WBSC Men’s Softball World Champion Bruno Motroni speaks about how to persevere and succeed while working hard and building resilience in a new episode of The Global Game, the Spanish edition of the WBSC podcast.

After winning a pair of junior world titles in 2012 and 2014, Argentina was looking to win an international event at the top level. After years of knocking on the door, in 2019 Argentina finally claimed their two biggest victories in the history of the sport: the WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship in Prague, Czech Republic, and the gold medal at the Lima 2019 Pan Am Games. Catcher Bruno Motroni, one of the top softballers in the world, played a fundamental role in these achievements and the previous process. 

“As an athlete there’s no doubt that 2019 was my best year,” admitted Motroni, who hit .435 in the 2019 World Championship campaign. “I’ve been able to win a lot of titles at the club level, but personally I had the desire of winning a tournament with my national team. So 2019 was something special. To win it all in one year, after 15 years of trying with the national team, it was the best for us. It was crazy.”

Argentina had some heart-breaking losses in the years before their stunning win at the 2019 World Cup. They lost the Pan American Championship final twice, in 2014 and 2017, both against Venezuela. They also ended with the bronze medal at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games after losing back-to-back playoff games against Canada and Venezuela. And they finished in fourth place in the 2017 WBSC Men's Softball World Championship. Motroni identifies hard working as one of the keys to overcoming adversity and achieving their goals. “We hit a lot of walls before 2019, and we couldn’t make it a lot of times. But we kept trying, we never gave up and we kept working, convinced that it was the way. At some point the results would come.”

And 2019 was the year. Argentina finished the World Championship with a 9-1 record, winning a 10-inning thriller against Japan in the final to clinch the title. What was the key to finally win at the global stage? 

“Everybody knew that we could be world champions, we only needed to convince ourselves. We did a great job off the field, on the mental side,” recognises Motroni. “I believe this mental training was the final piece, it allowed us to believe that we had all it took to be world champions.”

Motroni was the captain of his Argentina national team for ten years. But in 2019, after the Pan American Games, he walked away from the position. “I lived ten years of growing, learning, and taking decisions for the good of the team. But after all this time, I was tired. Now I’m trying to support our new captain (Mariano Montero), keep working as any other player, and enjoying my last years as an athlete,” Motroni said.

On the individual side, Motroni also received important news after the 2019 World Championship in Prague. He was elected by his peers as a WBSC Athlete Representative on the WBSC Softball Division Board, a position he still holds.

“I’m very happy because it’s the first time an Argentine is in this role. But at the same time, it’s a huge responsibility. You must think, vote and work for whatever you think is better for the game. Not only for your country or your team, but the entire sport of softball.”

This year, Argentina will try to defend its world title at the WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup in Auckland, New Zealand (26 November to 4 December). How to continue after winning it all? “Getting to the top is only half the battle, now we need to remain among the best teams in the world. This is the biggest challenge we have,” he said. “This year we will play the Pan American Championship and the World Cup. Obviously we want to win both tournaments, we’re working on a daily basis to remain as one of the best teams in the world.” 

Motroni told that one of Argentina’s goals has been to play softball, an amateur sport, like professionals. “This is also our biggest legacy for future generations. This and the ‘never give up mentality’. We demonstrated that working in a serious way, working hard, with a plan and making a huge effort, you can achieve your goals. This is a great message that we’d like to send to younger generations as a national team.”