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Softball Tips – Finding the Right Team

By Ken Krause, Life in the Fastpitch Lane blog

choosing a softball teamYes, it’s that time of the year again. The fastpitch softball summer is season is coming to a close, and with it players (and their parents) are starting to look at next year.

For some, the decision will be easy. They like their team, they like their coaches, they want to stay right where they are. For others, it’s not quite as clear-cut.

If you’re in the former group, congratulations. Glad to hear it, although this article probably won’t be of much interest to you. If you’re in the other group, though, you have a lot to think about in the next few weeks (or days).

Where you go likely will depend on your situation and what you want out of the game. If you’re a starter but just unhappy with the coaching, or with some of your teammates, or some other general aspect of the team, you may just be looking for a change of scenery. But if you feel like you haven’t been getting a fair opportunity, you may have to make some tough decisions.

One of the toughest is to leave a team that consistently has a winning record. Winning is fun, no question about it. As Nuke Laloosh would say, it’s more fun than losing. There’s a chance, especially if you move to a team that is just forming, that you will suffer more losses than you’re used to.

So at that point you have to make a decision — would I rather play and maybe lose, or sit and win? It sounds like a no-brainer but it’s really not. Our society is very win-oriented, and losing more than you’re used to can get to you after a while. You have to be strong to accept the idea that playing is better than not playing, no matter what the outcome.

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Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst

By Ken Krause, Life in the Fastpitch Lane blog

There are any number of thing in this game that confuse and astound me. One is certainly the love some coaches have for the sacrifice bunt. Get a runner on first with nobody out, and the next hitter up, regardless of her batting average or OPS will be called upon to lay down a bunt. But that’s a story for another day. group-shot

Another is the incredibly horrible things some coaches will say or do on the softball field. These otherwise polite and reasonable folks will go absolutely crazy at the slightest provocation, sometimes abusing umpires and other times their own players. But we’re not here to talk about that either today.

No, what amazes me is how year after year some coaches will go through their seasons relying on one pitcher, or one key position player, as if the possibilities of illness or injury cease to exist during the season.

It’s easy to see this during the high school season because team and pitchers’ records are posted in the newspaper. If the records match, or are close — the pitcher is 32-4 and the team is 34-4 — you know you’ve found one. I know of a couple of teams in my area that were like that last year.

I look at a team like that and say they’re just one sprained ankle or case of mono or bad set of grades away from their season being over. And why?

Because their coach was so obsessed with winning that he/she didn’t put a backup plan in place. He/she didn’t give anyone else game experience, didn’t give the team a chance to get used to someone else, didn’t find out what his/her team could do without the stud in place.

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