"The Greatest Gold-Mine Of Softball Tips, Tricks, and Advice!"

Are You Doing Your Homework?

By Kris Massero

They say a picture is worth a million words. I hope this picture says a lot to you. This picture could be interpreted as a killer workout, which it was, or it could be caused by a player that didn’t do her homework. She didn’t do her work on her days off from me. I give all my girls goals, homework, things they need to be doing to reach the goals they set. But I’m going to be really honest, those goals can only be accomplished by YOU. I have learned a hard lesson throughout my years training athletes; their goals depend on them. I used to get frustrated when they wouldn’t stick to them but now it’s all or nothing. Goal setting is pretty black and white, either you accomplish them or you don’t. You do the work or you lag behind. Here’s the truth, if you don’t want it bad enough someone else does. Some other girl will be happy to start over you, to run faster than you, be more aggressive than you, hit more consistent than you. You have plenty of girls waiting to take your spot. It’s the hard truth but it’s THE TRUTH. So you can either die during every workout because I’m not going to baby, or you can put your big girl panties on and do the work.. What is it going to be??

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Advanced Stats Analysis: Times-Through-the-Order Penalty in Women’s Softball

By Jon Nachtigal

For professional baseball hitters, the third time is the charm. When a pitcher has gone through the lineup twice in a game, hitters in baseball typically have adjusted to a pitcher’s repertoire and display much better statistics in their third at-bat. Analysts calls this the times-through-the-order penalty (TTOP).

Does this penalty also apply in women’s college softball? I have had the opportunity to look at this with a couple of Division-I coaches in the past and here are the numbers I’ve accumulated so far according to batting average.

1st 2nd 3rd 4th
113/456 (.248) 97/355 (.273) 57/241 (.237) 18/55 (.327)

If there’s a TTOP in college softball, it appears to come with the fourth time through the lineup. After seeing a pitcher three times, batting average in that instance jumps by 90 points.

One question that comes to mind is why TTOP is lower the third time through the lineup in softball? My theory is that if a pitcher has weathered the increased batting performance between the first and the second times through the lineup, then they are having a successful outing and are likely cruising at that point.

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Don’t Do This in the On-Deck Circle

IMG_0059Right now, it’s the best time of the year to watch softball on TV. Tons of game on ESPN.

These young ladies are a pleasure to watch and they’re great role models for the younger generation. Every parent and coach should encourage them to model after these elite ball players.

However, they’re humans. In rare instances, they aren’t always role models. In a game I was watching recently, the coach was making a change (meeting the home plate ump) and you could see the on-deck preparation of the upcoming batter.

I was stunned at how BAD it was. She was going through the motion, wasn’t focused at all. Every swing she was doing was nothing like her regular swing. Overall, a textbook example of what NOT to do in the on-deck circle.

What is the purpose of the on-deck circle? To get ready.

Just like your shouldn’t half assed a warm-up, you shouldn’t half assed your preparation for an at-bat.

In the on-deck circle, especially seconds before you have to step up to the plate, make each swing count. You shouldn’t be swinging just for the sake of swinging.

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Softball Injuries – Don’t live with Pain

Softball Injuries - Don't live with painI was once young but recently my body has been telling me i’m slowly getting older!!

For years, whatever i did, I never got hurt (or barely). However, in the fall, my back started to hurt a bit which was followed rapidly by my right knee. Now that these issues are taken care of, my right achilles tendon is starting to act up.

These are caused by a various factors: overuse, lower body tightness (lack of flexibility), repetitive stress from running and training, some muscle imbalances, postural deficiencies, etc.

Bottom line, I am now like a used car. Things break down. I have to take even better care of myself.

Whenever something hurt (meaning painful), i always tell my athletes or their parents to seek care quickly if it still hurts after a few days.

Pain isn’t normal. It’s the alarm system of your body. It’s your body telling you it needs your attention right now. Ignore it and the problem will just get worse.

I walked the talk. I did what I preach. In each case, I consulted with qualified therapists and i was able to get rid of the pain fairly rapidly.

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Listening to Music

Softball player listening to musicYesterday, i also happened to watch a game on TV. During the broadcast, they showed another team that was getting ready to start their warm-up.

You could many players with a headset on listening to music. Listening to music has long been used by the best athletes in the world to get mentally ready to perform at their best.

Use music. It is a powerful motivator and will energize you. It also helps you stay focus by blocking outside distractions.

Players – use music to get yourself mentally ready for games and practices.

Parents – encourage your daugther to listen to her favorite music on the way to the game or practice and don’t be offended if she puts headset on. It will actually help her. Or listen to her music in the car!

Coaches – you should encourage this practice among your players to get in the zone before the game starts. You should also allow team music during team warm-ups. This will have a positive effect on their mindset.

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Softball Pitchers Need Constant Maintenance and Tune-Up

bigstock-Softball-Pitcher-in-middle-of--26211452The season is around the corner and I want to point out something important.

You see, our bodies, just like cars when they’re brand new, they’re in perfect condition. However, with use over time, they wear and tear.

This is even worse for athletes involved in sports that require excessive use of muscle and joints. After years of abuse their body breaks down. Think of former football players or MLB catchers with major knee problems in their early 40’s.

Pitchers are at MAJOR RISK of suffering of such excess use. Their body will tear and wear faster than other softball players.

Pitchers are like Nascar rides – they constantly need maintenance and tune-ups to perform at their best AND prevent them of breaking down given the extreme conditions in which they peform.

A pitcher’s body is no different. It’s a high-performance machine that constantly need to be maintained and tune-up. If not, their performance will suffer and they WILL breakdown. It’s not if, but when.

And this maintenance has to be done almost year round, even during the season. Of course, you will not workout as much in-season but you want to maintain the machine during the season.

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Thinking of Hiring a Trainer? Make Sure They Have That Credential!

Are you thinking of hiring a local trainer to improve your game and get you fitter, stronger, and faster for softball? If so, be careful.

While many trainers can do a decent job of getting people in shape and mean well, most of them lack experience and knowledge for working with serious athletes. All you get are generic programs that are neither suited for athletes and neither effective for softball players.

If you are going to hire a local trainer, make sure to look for someone who has extensive experience working with athletes and who is certified with  the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCS) as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).

Holding the CSCS certification is a pre-requisite is you want to work as strength and conditioning coach in any educational institution. Trainers working with college teams and athletes hold this certification.

cscs1

Trainers for Athletes

Unlike other fitness certifications, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCSs) are professionals who apply scientific knowledge to train athletes for the primary goal of improving athletic performance, not the average client at the local fitness club.

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A New Hitting Training Aid You Want to Know About

First, I have to make a confession: “Hi, my name is Marc and I like stuff.”

Just like most grown men, I especially like tech stuff. And as a softball coach, I like testing training aids. Granted, some of them can be pretty bad! However, you always have a few good ones!

That’s why I’m excited to tell you about a brand hitting training aid i discovered a few weeks ago.

In 20 years of coaching, i’ve seen a lot of training aids and have tested dozens of them. I was also an early adopter of video analysis technology (Dartfish, Rightview Pro, Coach’s Eye Mobile App, etc.). Needless to say, I’m not easily excited by new stuff anymore.

This new hitting training aid is an exception to this. Truth is, I really like it. It’s just great. Really.

zepp-softballIt’s call ZEPP.

It’s a little nifty tool you hook to your bat, take a swing and instantly a 3D display of your swing shows on your mobile device. No more needs for cameras, laptops, or wires to do an in-depth swing analysis.

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How to do a Head First Slide in Softball Quickly and Easily

Sliding is one of the most important aspects of baserunning in fastpitch softball. Any player or team highly skilled at sliding will be much more effective on the bases and score more runs. Five slides are commonly taught:

  • Bent-Leg slide
  • Pop-up slide (variation of bent-leg)
  • Hook slide
  • Back door slide
  • Head first slide

Many players and coaches think that the head first slide is  hard to master and only the “naturals” can do it easily. Nothing could be further from the truth.  Coach Dalton opened my eyes a few years ago and showed me that head first sliding can be taught to any player. He can literally teach any player how to slide head first  in a matter of minutes!

Coach Dalton is a baserunning and short-game specialist. He’s he author of what many believe to be the best baserunning and short-game material on the market: The 5-DVD Series Winning the Short Game. You can get it at Get Dirty Fastpitch.


Here’s a a truly excellent 3-part by Coach Dalton on how to learn to perform a head first slide in softball.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

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Need MORE Piching POP?

A few extra MPH makes you more dominant!

A few extra MPH makes you more dominant!

Are you ready for Christmas? I’m certainly not. Guess what? I’m guy and i am sometimes at last minute to buy my Xmas gift!  Oh well, at least, I’m assuming it! LOL

Today, I’m working out of a nice little coffee shop in a trendy part of town. I was talking to my friend trainer Barry Lovelace on Facebook and we were talking about how popular his Pitchers’ POP training program is.

It’s his best-selling program.

I have no doubt why it is immensely popular with pitchers, parents of pitchers and pitching instructors, it works!

So, even though we did a promo a couple weeks ago, he thought it would be a good idea to offer you an early christmas gift ! And I fully agree.

Here’s OUR early Christmas gift for you:

1) Pitchers’ POP Training at 25% OFF – save quite a few $$$ !

AND…

2) Amazing Free Bonus –  a hard copy DVD of Core Strong 13 – Barry’s other best-selling core training program for athletes!

With these two combined, you’re going to pitch faster and have more explosive power!

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