The Slow Season is Amongst Us!

This is the time of year every softball coach has been waiting for.  It’s also the time every softball coach can’t wait to get rid of.  That’s right… From October – January: The SLOW SEASON!

This is the time we’re devising our plans about how we’re badswinggoing to dominate the softball world.  How we can develop a certain player to reach their full potential now that we’ve all  had a chance to digest what has happened over the last 6 months. This is the time we think about how we’re going to change a persons swing, batting stance, throwing motion, etc in order for them to take names once the season comes around.

Over the years, I’ve noticed the girls respond better after breaks so this year I’m totally switching it up.  After our last tournament, I told the girls to totally forget about softball until it’s time to think about softball.  I can do that because the parents are AWESOME. Even if they won’t be doing softball related activities, the parents will keep them active in other sports or activities that allows them to develop other motor skills. For now, we’ve earned a much needed time away from softball!

I guess I understand how a break in sports is needed to reassess and grow and learn from the previous season.  There’s something about alone time that makes us a better player. I can’t describe it but I just know there’s some explanation for how we come back better after being away from a routine for an extended period of time.

Before, we’d still do hitting lessons until around Thanksgiving and start back after the first of the year.  However, this organization is really like a family so we’ve been in contact with each other throughout the downtime and will be having a holiday party (pc correct) with girls from both teams. That should be FUN and I’m really looking forward to it.

Now onto softball… We’ve narrowed down our off-season practice/conditioning location and times. I’ve been busy getting our older team into more quality organizations and tournaments as we’re coming upon the college recruitment years. We’re going to start going to college showcases and invitationals this year so we’ll really get to gauge ourselves against some of the best competition in the country.

There’s a lot of prep work that goes into getting to this point. I feel our entire structure has been based off of the work smarter/not harder concept.  imgresBecause we’re taught technically sound mechanics in everything we do, we don’t practice as much as other teams.  I’ve heard of teams having 3-4 practices a week 3-5 hours long (per practice). We’re lucky if we get 2, 2 hour practices in any particular week. It keeps the girls fresh and excited to practice while preventing burnout.  From January – April we hit the ground running HARD! We’re re-honing skills and fundamentals inside as well as implementing new plays, situations and/or techniques.  It’s a formula that’s worked in our favor for years as I feel the girls are all better from it.

Another thing I’ve observed over the years is that I really start to understand something once I’m teaching it or explaining it to others. For THAT very reason, we’re going to have the younger Ambush do all of the off-season workouts WITH the older Ambush.  I’m going to have the older girls teach and demonstrate and take ownership in some of the development of the younger girls and their fundamentals.

Hopefully, during the process, this accomplishes 2 things:

  1. (the obvious) Both parties learn from it and start to really understand why we do certain things as the older players will be held accountable.
  2. It’ll also help with their mentoring and leadership skills to where they learn to communicate with others they’re unfamiliar with as well as their peers. Hopefully that communication will take place in the field. They’ve been pretty good with that as of late.

We’re building something here! I LOVE IT!