Quick Hits

Quick Reads - Brief Softball Articles

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

Jessica Verran and Coach Greg CruthersI recently challenged one of the players on my varsity team and in the softball club where I coach to write an article for the Softball Journey blog.  I told her she could write about whatever topic she desires.  What she wrote should be required reading for all coaches and parents of not only softball players, but athletes of all sports.  I am extremely proud of this young lady for accepting my challenge, taking the risk of being criticized and for having the courage to share her thoughts and feelings with the world!

I am my toughest competition and critic.

Her name is Jessica Verran and she is an aspiring young writer.  Jess is a freshman varsity player at Swartz Creek High School and member of the 14U Mid-Michigan Firestix softball team.  She is a talented pitcher, first baseman, outfielder and hitter who I am certain will someday realize her dream to play college softball.

Read more: My Journey to Self-Confidence in Softball

Well, I am already late for many of you in posting this brief article.  Sorry.  It’s just that “up North” we aren’t thinking about school tryouts just yet.  The first official day of high school spring sports in Michigan is March 14th, 2016.  We still have a few weekends of Winter Workouts to go.

I recently exchanged email with a reader from Arizona.  His daughter just completed tryouts for her high school.  So, I wanted to post some links to past articles I’ve written concerning tryouts, while adding some information about transitioning between travel and school softball.

Winter Workouts in Michigan - Travel Softball

Read more: Winter Workouts End and High School Tryouts Begin