Quick Hits

Quick Reads - Brief Softball Articles

A quick update on the progress of the Softball Journey book I have talked about over the years. While I cannot say the exact date it will be completed or published, I can say that I am working on it daily. I will complete the rough draft by the end of November and am hopeful to have it published by spring.

I've been asked what the difference will be between this blog and the book? The short answer is that the book will be all-inclusive and in chronological order from youth recreational softball through the end of a college career and all points in between. I also have much more to discuss, especially concerning the college recruiting process and college softball experience.

teammates friendsOver the past 4 years since I've been blogging trying to help parents through their (daughter's) softball journeys, I have received a wealth of encouragement and feedback from across America (and Canada). The goal of the blog and book is simply to help people with this experience. At times it can be frustrating witnessing people make the same mistakes each year, such as coaching their kids loudly from the peanut gallery with college coaches watching.

I have suggested to many folks that they might be interested in checking out my blog. I know that some have and others have not. You can lead a horse to water, right? That said, I intend the book to be much easier to make use of the information and pearls of wisdom I continue to acquire. It could also be used as a reference book, where at the moment your daughter is 10 years old, but in a few years you'll be more interested in the high school section.

In the meantime I will continue to blog about the things that catch my attention in the moment. Thank you all for reading, sharing and your encouragment!


In recent years I've seen more softball players experience burnout.  Last year there were 3 (varsity level) players from our club who had the ability to play at the collegiate level, but instead chose to quit playing travel ball.  I'm not sure if they're even going to play for their schools this year.

Our High School tryouts are the 2nd week of March.  After that, their next break won't be until the middle of October.  Think about that!

It pains me to see players go through this, because it's mostly preventable.  Yet more and more fellow coaches tell me of high school aged talented players who've burned out and quit the game.  There are many factors that lead to this such as year round practicing & training, college camps and tournaments. 

2016 coaching indy 1

Read more: Softball Burnout

You have tryouts, pick your team, collect money, have a few practices and jump right back into playing tournaments.  It’s like summer softball never ended.  That is except for the change in weather, girls going back to school and the constant player availability problems.  

The sport has grown so much that some teams play as many tournaments in the fall as they do during the summer.  You try to determine which tournaments to attend based on cost, exposure opportunities and the talent level of your team.  After that is figured out, because they fill up quickly, you pay and register your team.  Then it is time to practice.  Easy enough, right?

fall ball

Photo of our club inter-squad scrimmage day in the fall of 2016 (16u & 18u)

Read more: Fall Ball:  What I Hate and Like

jess right fieldThis is a follow up to the article, My Journey to Self-Confidence in Softball, written by 14 year old Jess Verran.  Jess is an aspiring writer and dreams of playing college softball someday.  After her first post back in April I challenged her to write about her experience on the Varsity team.  It was a pleasant surprise to receive this article last week. 

Her growing self-confidence and self-initiative has been fun for me to observe.  As a coach who writes and talks about teaching life lessons through softball, Jess's articles speak volumes to this.  I am very proud of Jess and hope you enjoy this post as much as I did.

What It Was Like Being a Freshman on Varsity

by Jessica Verran

Making the Team

As a freshman you can only hope to make it on the Varsity team.  During tryouts I was hopeful my abilities would prove I deserved a spot.  As I looked at the other players trying out, sizing them up, comparing myself – I grew more uncomfortable.  

Read more: What It Was Like Being a Freshman on Varsity

Every year it’s the same thing.  During their school seasons, players tell their travel coaches that they are ready for summer.  In the middle school years players may simply be excited to play the higher level of softball.  But during their high school years, there are often numerous issues that can cause players (and their parents) to just want it to be over.

This raises the question: What is the responsibility of the travel coach when a player tells him/her about issues she’s having with school ball?  

Read more: Responsibility of a Travel Coach

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