Quick Hits

Quick Reads - Brief Softball Articles

No Joy in MudvilleFall ball is upon us!  Many of the newly formed travel teams are practicing and playing together for the first time.  There's usually great anticipation and hope for success by the players and teams.  Coaches, players and parents will be getting a preview of what's to come.  The first couple of practices entail players getting to know each other and their coaches, while parents do the same.  Just when it seems that "All is well in Mudville," in creeps the doubt.

(Photo from imdb.com)

Read more: Pushing the Panic Button

One year ago I launched the Softball Journey website with a mission to help parents through the Softball Journey, from the youth recreational leagues to school ball to college.  Since then I have written 52 articles and have received a lot of positive feedback.  It's exciting looking at the little "Who's Online" box in the right column and seeing over 300 people on the site at times. 

It's also very humbling knowing that the messages of some articles connected with people enough to be read over 30,000 times like, The Day I Quit Cheering for my Daughter and I Looked Down the Bench - The Whole Team was Crying.  Those articles have also been shared numerous times on Facebook and Twitter with people from coast to coast following Softball Journey.  

I've been told, "Man. You've totally changed my perspective and my mentality when I'm at a game.  I see things so differently now."  People have thanked me and encouraged me to continue my mission.  And one of the most touching comments was, "I couldn't stop crying after reading that article." 

I just wanted to thank all of you for reading and sharing these articles in the past year.  My goal is to continue writing one article per week.  As a varsity and travel softball coach and parent of a college softball player, there's no shortage of topics to choose from.  I will be also starting a newsletter in the near future, since many of you aren't into social media. 

And as for that book I swore I would write.  Well, in the past year I've started, scrapped and restarted the book 3 times.  I'm on version 4 now, so it's good that I learned a long time ago to lighten up and laugh at myself.  It's like my dad says, "If you're going to do something, do it right!"  And I do believe the current version of the book is just that. 

The whole process of writing articles, working on the book, Facebook & Twitter posts and coaching really makes me think deeply not only about softball, but life.  I've said before, "Softball is a game and game's are meant to be fun."  Should not the same be true for life?

Thanks again everybody!  Have a great 2014-2015 Softball Journey!


Greg Cruthers

Hayley & Greg CruthersAs a parent some of the things I yelled out onto the field at my daughter, all before the age of 14 is embarrassing. At times I let my emotions get the best of me. But, during the summer between her freshman & sophomore years, I changed. I used to look back with regrets. Today I look back and laugh. I have to laugh, because I can’t go back and change it.

This is the time of year when parents sit through team meetings with their travel softball clubs.  They are often asked to sign parent contracts, which include rules about parental behavior through the season.  And yet every year there are conflicts between coaches and parents, which in most cases really have little to do with the coaches.  My goal is to present you with the last parent letter you'll ever need.

Read more: The Last Parent Letter You'll Ever Need

Sigh.  I briefly discussed the nonsense that appears in the sports forums (everywhere) in the article I wrote about travel softball tryouts.  Here is an example hot off the Mlive forum.  This post leads you to believe the whole team and coach are now part of my club, the Mid-Michigan Firestix.  The problem is that it is entirely false.

It proves the point I've made about these forums.

Read more: Beware of the Babble

It seems like she just came home for the summer, but she'll be heading back to Ball State Thursday for her sophomore year.  The summer flew by with her last year of 18u travel softball keeping us busy with several 3-day weekends, open houses, her part-time job and evening workouts at the old ball field.  After she leaves I'll have to get used to the empty nest all over again, as will millions of other parents across the country.

She decides what she wants to work on, for how long or whether to take the day off.

Trunk of Softball Dad's Car

Back of my filthy Ford Escape: Bug spray, sunscreen, umbrellas, chairs, blankets, towels, first aid kit, lots of dirt and trash.  We pick up the home run balls after a workout to return the next time.

Read more: Empty Nest Time Once Again