Cordes on team chemistry and individual talent

By Codi Warren | April 07, 2011, 12 a.m. (ET)

Leading up to the International Softball Federation IX Jr. Women's World Championship (19-and-under), December 6-17, 2011, in Cape Town, South Africa, USA Softball Junior Women's National Team members Cheyenne Cordes, an outfielder from Fairfield, Calif., and Chelsea Goodacre, a catcher from Temecula, Calif., will be blogging biweekly for

April 7, 2011

Cordes: What is more important? Chemistry or talent?

Hello Softball World!

It's me Cheyenne Cordes, and I am back for another blog.

I would like to start with a shout out to my USA Softball Junior Women's National Team teammate, Dallas Escobedo for a wonderful pitching performance against my California Golden Bears. You have a wonderful presence on the mound. You carry yourself with a confidence that would lead people to mistake you for a seasoned NCAA Pac-10 pitcher, instead of the freshman that you are!

Team chemistry over talent?

Or talent over team chemistry?

I feel that people these days don't understand the importance of team chemistry over the talent of the individual team members. You can take the best softball players in the world, put them on one team, and have them end up being unsuccessful due to a lack of chemistry on the field. Team chemistry isn't measured by the talent of the team as individuals on the field, because it is not about putting the best players out on the field at the same time, it’s about finding the right combination within your group of players. Team chemistry is measured by the atmosphere the players create and the perfect flow between the players on the field.

Fortunately, on Team USA we have great team chemistry. This is a rarity in the game of softball because every team that I have been on, we have had to work on the chemistry aspect of the game.

In Colombia, we were put out on the field with some girls that we knew very well, and other girls that we only knew of in the world of softball. Somehow, we took this wonderful opportunity, molded together as a team with great chemistry and a common goal, to win a Gold Medal for the United States. We accomplished our goal this past summer. We won gold in Bogota, Columbia defeating Canada in the Championship Game!

Normally it takes time to build, or create chemistry on the field.

Like I said, what we had on the USA team was definitely a rare experience.

One example of a team that needed time to gel together is my Rodriguez High School softball team, the Lady Mustangs. Everyone on the Lady Mustangs team plays for different ASA softball teams except for the three Lady Magic softball players, Marissa Escalante, Kiara Garcia and myself. The three of us go way back to 10-Under, and we know each other on the field probably as well as any three players. We have always been there for each other. So we had to get to know the 11 other players on the field. We needed to learn about them and the way they play.

During our practices, our scrimmages, and our first game we were faced the challenge of getting to know each other on the field. I knew we were starting to become a team with good chemistry when we played in the Victory Tournament in Elk Grove, Calif. We ended up taking first in the tournament defeating nationally ranked No. 1 (at the time) Elk Grove High School, and another nationally ranked team, Pleasant Grove High School. The flow and the feeling I had on the field with these girls in those three days was a familiar feeling that I normally experienced with my team of five years, Lady Magic, and my relatively new team, the USA Softball Junior Women's National Team.

The feeling of team chemistry is a feeling that I cannot describe in words, but when it is there you know it. The same things goes when it isn’t there, you feel it. Without team chemistry you feel out of sync with one another on the field and there is no flow.

Henry Ford says it the best, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”

When it comes down to it I’m happy I have girls who can work with me and deal with my big mouth always telling them what to do. I have been blessed with kind and wonderful teammates.

Thank you for reading my blog! I hope you enjoy my stories and opinions and if there is something that you would like me to blog about, feel free to give me a suggestion via the ASA Softball page on Facebook. Talk to you soon.

Cheyenne Cordes
USA Softball