Quick Hits

Quick Reads - Brief Softball Articles

BaileyTis the season.  I wish all of you a very merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  Yes, Happy Holidays!  For me this is the time of year to spend with family and friends, relaxing, playing cards, enjoying holiday dinners, college football bowl games and recharging my batteries.  This year will especially be nice with my oldest daughter Lindsay and her dog Bailey visiting from her home in Texas.  Hayley will be home on break from Ball State with her newly adopted kitty Sylla.  Brooke lives and works nearby and will likely be requested to do their hair.  

That's what I'll be doing.  But, you may be thinking:  What about the camp coming up?  What about the lesson?  She can't miss that scrimmage!  She needs to do her tee work!  She has to be at practice!  Does any of that sound familiar?  

And there's no better time than the holidays for your daughter to be...just your daughter.

Read more: Perfect Time for Her to Just be Your Daughter

The natural progression for most of our softball journeys begins with the youth rec league and eventually leads to travel softball.  Regardless of your daughter's path to travel ball, in their younger years (10u and 12u) they're introduced to real competition.  Not everybody gets equal playing time or plays their favorite position.  There are winners and losers and only the champions get a trophy.  And just when you think you're getting the hang of things, everything changes.

They're structured with one thing in mind: Allowing college coaches to watch players they're interested in (period).

Diamond 9 Sun Classic Showcase in Orlando, FL - Wide World of Sports
This is a huge recruiting event with virturally all D1 colleges attending.  There are no brackets.  It's all pool play.

Read more: Exposure Tournaments - A Much Different Experience

Hayley CruthersEvery softball player of all ages has "stuff" they need to fix.  Whether they need to work on charging the ball, removing the dip in their swing or throwing a more consistent change-up, winter is the best time to fix those things (a.k.a. the off-season).  It is during this time that players who really go to work on improving their skills make the most progress.  They're the girls who show up in the spring surprising their school teammates, coaches and other parents. 

When they first learn new mechanics, it isn't always pretty.  They must be willing to fail, stick with it and not revert back into their old habits.

Read more: Fixing Stuff - It's What Winter's For

ring me hayA year ago the 2013 Mid American Conference (MAC) regular season champion Ball State softball team received their rings at halftime of the homecoming football game.  My daughter and her freshman teammates stood by and watched, since they were not members of the 2013 team.  I was not able to attend the team tailgate/cookout/ceremony, but she sent me a picture of her and a teammate with her ring.  She said, "I want one of those."

Read more: It Will Always Be About The Journey

Dad Support Group - Softball JourneyShe starts out as your baby girl.  Mom does her best to make her a little ballerina.  Instead, she becomes a Tom Boy playing more with the boys than the girls.  It is clear she's an athlete as she dominates other girls her age in various sports.  You get home from work finding her waiting for you to play catch or pitch to her.  She watches the ball games with you and becomes a fan of your favorite teams.  She's the boy you never had and/or the daughter who saved you from dance recitals.  And then one day it all begins to change.

Hot Tip #1 - Anything you say or do can and will be used against you forevermore.

Read more: Your Daughter Moves to the Dark Side: Help for Dads

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