Quick Hits

Quick Reads - Brief Softball Articles

Hayley Cruthers - 14u Finesse Fastpitch - TN NationalsI just read a great article on the Fastpitch Softball TV web site by John Michael Kelly titled, "Confidence: Why It Comes and Goes."  Kelly's web site, SoftballSmarts.com, is filled with valuable information about the mental side of the game.  He also coaches The Next Level 18u travel softball team, an ASA Gold & PGF team out of Southern California, which my daughter has played against.  I highly recommend checking out his web site.

Here's an excerpt from the article, "The bottom line for parent or coach is that sports confidence, particularly for a teens or pre-teens, will likely be a moving target and a roller coaster ride…up one day (or one inning), down the next. The important message is to understand that hers is not a blanket confidence or a blanket “lack” of confidence in any moment."

When she began focusing on good swings, rather than big hits, she slowly started getting her mojo back.

After you read the article, I have a couple personal examples to share with you below.  

Read more: Confidence - How You Can Help

Becca Borawski JenkinsHave you ever heard young female athletes discussing their body weight with each other?  I did recently and it got me thinking about the topic.  I found a very interesting article written by Becca Borawski Jenkins, a female athlete, editor and coach, that I would encourage everybody to share with their daughters:  144lbs: Why Female Athletes Should Toss the Scale and Get a New Perspective.  

The subject of weight is often a very emotional topic for girls.  Her brief article explains why female athletes should stop focusing on their weight.  She tells you why the BMI calculators and doctors ideal weight charts are essentially meaningless for athletes. 

Read more: Female Athletes - Forget the Scale!

I witnessed the most unbelievable example of bad coaching, poor sportsmanship and lack of class at last weekend's softball tournament that I've ever seen.  After a close call early in a game the head and 3rd base coach furiously stormed onto the field shouting at the field umpire right up in his face and nearly chest-bumping him and with much of the support of his team's parents and players.  I thought for sure this coach who was younger and physically dwarfed the umpire was going to beat the ump to a pulp.  It's moments like these which contribute to the negative stereotypes associated with youth sports.  I was embarrassed for my sport.

They'd learn that it's better to control their emotions behave with class.

Read more: Lessons Learned from a Hot-Headed Coach

Bad Weather BluesThere is one absolute certainty when it comes to your softball journey:  It will be affected by bad weather.  It will result in countless delays, reduced game time limits and cancellations.  You'll not only see game cancellations, but entire tournaments.  For the larger tourneys where teams have the opportunity to fight through the loser's bracket to play the winner of the winner's bracket for the tournament championship, this can especially be frustrating.  Bad weather often forces tournament directors to cancel all remaining games in the loser's bracket.

It was an amazing, yet terrifying thing to witness as we could actually see the flames.

Read more: Bad Weather Blues

2014 Most Popular Fastpitch Softball BatsAfter a week the poll I posted closed and the results pretty much match what I observed at last weekend's tourney.  Louisville Slugger and DeMarini are the most used fastpitch softball bats right now.  Easton seems to have lost a lot of ground in the past couple of years.  All others are in the minority.  I suppose I should point out that most of my observations were watching 18u teams play.  

Since we couldn't depend on that bat I was forced to buy another.

Read more: 2014 Fastpitch Softball Bats - Final Thoughts