Quick Hits

Quick Reads - Brief Softball Articles

What Was Leyland Thinking?

I am a life long Detroit Tigers fan.  There are many times throughout the course of a 162 game season that I question manager Jim Leyland's decisions.  Last night's ALCS game #2 was one of those times.  The Tigers were up 5-1 at Boston at the end of 7 innings played with the probable Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer pitching brilliantly.  He showed no signs of being tired or losing his stuff, but had 106 pitches.  Leyland went to his bullpen in the beginning of the 8th inning, playing the numbers games with right-handers and left-handers.

As many Tigers fans did, I went to bed angry, disgusted and dumbfounded.

Read more: 24 Hour Rule - Close Enough

Baseball, Softball or Any Youth Sport - It's All About the Kids

Mike Matheny played college baseball at the University of Michigan and is now the Manager for the St. Louis Cardinals.  Frustrated by the evolving culture of youth sports he proclaimed, "The biggest problem with youth sports is the parents."  He and ESPN created a 4 minute video that I've linked to in this article summing up his philosophy for youth sports, which was aired during the 2013 little league world series.

Mike Matheny Manifesto

Read more: The Matheny Manifesto - A Must Read for Parents

But, My Other Coach Says....

Help Me - I'm ConfusedA coach that you take your daughter to for hitting or pitching lessons is instructing your daughter to do something one way, while your other coach is giving completely different instructions.  So what do you do? 

I have been through this situation personally many times.  This may be one of the most difficult and frustrating things you will encounter over the years, especially if all the coaches really seem to know what they are talking about.  It is far easier to deal with if you believe one of the coaches to be less knowledegable than the other.  However, it can still cause issues between you and your daughter's coaches, especially when you both have strong opinions on the matter.

In either scenario the biggest challenge is deciding how you and your daughter should handle it.


Read more: Mixed Messages from Coaches

It Would be a Long Day

Greg Cruthers & Hayley Cruthers - Ball State University SoftballMy wife and I left the house around 6:00am Saturday morning to watch our baby's first games as a Ball State Cardinal.  The drive takes us just under 4 hours to get to Muncie, Indiana.  It was a chilly morning, but not a cloud in the sky as the day went on to become almost 70 degrees. 

They would be playing a double header, but we had no idea whether she would get to play or not.  They've got 20 very talented girls on their roster and are expected to contend for another Mid American Conference Championship next spring, so the incoming freshman will have an uphill battle to get any playing time.

One thing for sure is that it was going to be a long day as at some point after the games we would have to say goodbye to our baby and drive back home.  It's something parents just like us have been doing for many years before us and will continue to do after this part of our journey is over.

Read more: Parents of a College Softball Player

No Time for Breaks?

You and your daughter may have heard this advice from a coach, player or another parent, "If you want to be the best you can be, you've got to practice and put the time in.  There's no time for breaks."  The problem with this well-intentioned pearl of wisdom is that it is partially true.  Your daughter will need to practice a lot to be the best she can be.  However, if she doesn't take a break now and then, she will either risk becoming burned out or injured.

If you don't believe me, try swinging the bat 100 times off the tee every night of the week and let me know how that works out for you.


Read more: Breaks - Your Daughter Needs Them