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1 Hand or 2?

April 1, 2022 | Comments Off on 1 Hand or 2?

At a young age, players will learn basic fundamentals for catching a ball. A fundamental that is taught is to use your throwing hand to trap the ball in your glove. This is the best way to secure a catch, mainly because it is more difficult for younger players to close their gloves. I’ve seen many players grow into their teens thinking that a second hand is unnecessary since they can close their gloves and make a secure catch. They are considered both right and wrong. 

If you receive an excellent throw or catch a ball in the outfield that is easy, you should always secure with your throwing hand. This is because, in moments where you will have to make a catch and quickly get rid of the ball, your throwing hand is already there. This ensures that players get the ball out of their glove as quickly as possible. 

When players receive a bad throw or field a ball to their forehand or backhand, they must use only their glove hand. Trying to secure a bad throw with a throwing hand can shorten a player’s glove range. For example, if you’re playing first base and the throw you’re receiving is wild, you may have to stretch your legs and arm as far as possible. Our arms are connected to our shoulders, so if you stand with your arms out in a T form and try to touch your glove hand with your throwing hand, you will pull your glove hand towards you, shortening your range. When teaching players to play first, an essential skill is that they work on many glove work without their other hand.

Why Body Language Matters

March 25, 2022 | Comments Off on Why Body Language Matters

When we play softball, we must accept that the game is filled with unexpected situations. Nobody knows when or where the next hit will be, so you’re playing a game of what-ifs. Great players react and adapt to the unexpected as if they’ve done it a hundred times over. When players make an error or strikeout, they have to accept what they’ve done and move on with a clear mind for the next unexpected play. Some players remain composed and ready for the next chance, while others may show bad body language signs.

We’ve all seen the kid that slumps their shoulders or rolls their eyes after making a bad play. This shows us negative body language, and it can tell us a lot about the player just by looking. Players who exhibit negative body language after a bad play indirectly show us that they’re in an emotional state; they’re probably lacking confidence in themselves. They’re probably in their head and not ready for the next unexpected play. Negative body language can also spread to the rest of the team. At this moment, your teammates know exactly how you are feeling, and they will also start to lose the confidence in you to make the next play. Many pitchers express that it can be frustrating when seeing negative body language behind them because pitchers want to trust their teammates to make plays. Showing positive body language instills confidence in a pitcher to hit their spots and give their defense some outs. 

Along with how body language can affect your team, it can also affect your chances of getting recruited. Like your teammates wanted to see confidence in you, your coaches do too. Coaches want to put the best 9 on the field, and even if you are the best player physically, it can’t make up for the self-doubt in your mind. This isn’t to say that the best players never have doubts, but they’re great at not showing it and accepting it to move on. Coaches want competitors that will get back up when they’re knocked down and come back fighting harder. 

The Importance of Goal Setting

March 18, 2022 | Comments Off on The Importance of Goal Setting

Throughout all sports, goal setting can be an essential part of success individually and collectively. Goal settings help players look to achieve specific things and allow themselves to see their growth. Teams can use goal-setting to unite their team for a common goal. Below we’ve listed 4 types of goal setting that softball teams can do. 

  1. Short-term goals: Short-term goals create an opportunity for players to achieve things in a shorter time. Players can have multiple short-term goals at one time. Short-term goals can include hitting for .500 in a tournament, or even as simple as hitting a ball opposite the side than usual. Short-term goals are usually things that can hope to be achieved within a few days or months. 
  2. Long-term goals: Long-term goals are suited for teams or players looking to see growth within a more extended time. Long-term goals are used mostly for goals that will take a lot of time and effort to master. For example, a long-term goal could be to bat over .350 in the season. Another example of a long-term goal would be to increase your pop time if you’re a catcher.
  3. Individual goals: While softball is a team sport, aspects of the game ride on individual performance, such as hitting and pitching. While it may be a team effort in the end, it takes individuals doing their personal job to create a collective win. Individuals’ goals can include working on arm strength which would require putting a lot of time into long toss to increase strength. An individual pitching goal could be to throw your change up for a strike 70% of the time. 
  4. Team goals are fundamental in this game because having a cohesive team chemistry can make or break teams. Winning is a group effort, and it goes smoothly when everyone is on board to do anything they can to help their team. Team goals can also set expectations for performance. For example, if a team sets a goal to win a state title, the expectations during practices and games will be high. Players will have to play every game and practice with the intent to get better enough to win.