Tips for helping her start this season on the right foot.
Now that the holidays have come and gone, it’s time for your daughter to keep her eyes on spring training. Of course, softball season never ends, but the holidays do take their toll. And now it’s the perfect time to work on building up core strength with proper conditioning, revisit the fundamentals with batting and fielding drills and even for your daughter to develop those finer skills outside of scheduled practices like base running, targeted bunting and slapping.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.
Before the big hit, before the winning run, before state champs, there’s practice. And consistent practice is what separates the good fastpitch players from the champions. If you haven’t already, reach out to your daughter’s coach for recommended conditioning and drills. In the meantime, here’s a few softball workouts to get your daughter started for the season.
- Jumping Squats — Standing shoulder-width apart, squat until parallel to the ground and jump as high as possible. Land and reset into the next squat in one fluid motion for 10 reps. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat for 10 sets.
- Walking Lunges — Standing shoulder-width apart, lunge forward so the knee of the front foot is directly above the foot while the back knee just touches the ground. Be sure the back is kept upright and repeat for 4 sets of 20 lunges with a 30 second rest between sets.
- Skydivers — Lying on the stomach with arms outstretched and legs together, lift the arms and legs a few inches off the floor at the same time and hold until failure. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat 10 times
- Slow Motion Batting —Standing at a bat’s distance away from a wall with toes and torso pointed toward the wall, go through a swing in slow motion. The bat should get close but not touch the wall all the way through full extension.
- Fielding —Go through the full motion of fielding an imaginary oncoming ball with attention to footwork and throwing, remembering to step toward the ball with the glove hand to shorten the transition into the throw.
- Mirror Pitching — Standing 10 feet away from a full length mirror, have your daughter ball up a sock and pitch into the mirror. Being able to see the motions will help her focus on proper technique, checking for positioning, ramping up, arm path and delivery.
After your daughter’s worked on the fundamentals on her own, a great way to prep for the upcoming season is to team up with other softball moms for a scrimmage game. It’s the perfect time for your daughter to try out new positions if she’s newer to fastpitch softball, practice team drills and get comfortable in a game environment.
IT’S ALSO A MENTAL GAME
Training can get competitive and intense, so be sure to remind your daughter why she’s playing in the first place: for the fun of it, to be with their team, and of course, to do her best. This will help her to not only be physically prepared for the season, but mentally too.
EMPOWER HER PERFORMANCE
Winning from within starts in the kitchen. And the better the choices your daughter makes for her dinner plate, the better she’ll perform at the plate on the diamond. Fastpitch softball is a demanding sport that requires endurance, explosive speed and strength—so what you feed your daughter should feed her success. We suggest:
Lean proteins (chicken, salmon, etc.)
Slow-burning carbs (brown rice, oatmeal, others)
Modest amounts of healthy fats (extra virgin olive oil, avocados, etc.)
Colorful veggies (broccoli, carrots, eggplant, more)
Of course, if she and/or your household have special dietary restrictions, you should honor those, too. And most importantly, she needs water. Lots of water. In addition to staying hydrated throughout the day, The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends student athletes should get 8-12 oz of fluid 30 minutes before activity and every 15 to 20 minutes during activity. After practice or the game, your daughter should continue to rehydrate until she isn’t thirsty.
GEAR UP FOR GREATNESS
What gear fit your daughter last season may not fit her this season. Even if she hasn’t grown out of last season’s softball equipment, there’s a chance it’s old now. So go through all of her gear with her and see if there’s anything that needs to be replaced, tossed or even bought for the first time.
To make shopping for new fastpitch softball equipment as painless for you as possible, check out our official 2019 softball season shopping list! It’s got all the safety gear, attire and even girls’ softball bags that she’ll need to play like a lightning bolt this coming season.