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College Softball & Beyond

College Softball & Beyond: The Making of a Professional Softball Player.

Kristyne Sandberg graduated as a professional in Health & Physical education back in December 2012 from the University of Georgia. A few months later, Kristyne was back to school together with most of her other softball friends; not as students, but as player and some as coaches! She wasn’t peculiar; many others are keenly following that path.

But have you ever wondered why ladies do to strive to join softball teams in college? Why some drop their scholarly careers to become professional softball players? In this edition I will examine the main reasons why many people should be encouraged to exploit their as a means of living. In so doing I will seek to try to answer a few popular questions like:

  1. What’s so special about playing softball? Why do people love people love it even?
  2. How can I be a professional softball player?

What is so special about softball?

It is best suited for ladies: Among the easiest games for any lady to learn and get hooked to is softball. Though it isn’t the simplest game, it surely doesn’t necessarily require a lengthy training and vigorous practice to learn. It only requires passion and a willing ness to advance every day. The divas often have a tongue in cheek statement that “…a girl’s place is at home…” when referring to softball catchers. Wow! Why can’t you too join them at “home”?

You can learn it even as a grown up: In softball, one must not necessarily begin learning it when young (though it is highly recommended), but can develop passion and lean it eventually.

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Who is Stealing All Our Good Softball Pitchers Away?

Who is Stealing All Our Good Softball Pitchers Away?

There is a drought in this world today that it is widening daily even here in America. It is not the drought of food; rather the drought of softball pitchers. A few years ago, several ladies desired to be pitchers. Pitching in High Schools, colleges and club teams was a highly competed position and many ladies yearned for it. But a series of practices have been shaping a different turn of events whose result is the shortage we now experience. Today, teams are regularly advertising for pitchers left, right and center (unlike 10 years ago). The adverts we regularly read proof either a decline in passion for pitching, insufficiency of pitchers or both of the two. This has triggered me to ask this question: where are the days when softball pitching used to be fun for divas? Which dracula just ate all our ambitious pitchers away?

After a keen observation on the current trend of practices, I was able to find out a few reasons why this has been so and proposed a few ways we can employ to avert this impending “drought”.

Why did the rain stop raining?

Disasters do not just happen; they have to be triggered by a series of events. In order to address this issue, it became very necessary for me to recognize major changes that may have fostered the overall shortage of pitchers. Here are a few of the select issues I could pinpoint as leading to this.

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Top Health Benefits of Playing Softball

Softball is generally known as a sport played by only women, and currently, it is one of the most popular type of sports for youth girls. Apart from the little league competition, many leisure leagues provide the chance of co-ed softball teams to get to play. Also, this sport is a very popular and common summer time sport for many. Softball is a fun and simple game that you can learn and start playing immediately, but it still has its mean health and fitness benefits. If you are a common softball player, you are probably in good shape due to the various benefits offered by the game. We are going to look at the top health benefits that you will have once you start playing this awesome game.

Total Body Conditioning

When you compare softball and other types of sports, you will find that softball is way more involving and needs the players to have a variety of skills, thus ensuring that the body gets the perfect total body conditioning that they need. Fielding, throwing, running and swinging all need a coordinated effort by the body muscles, which means you entire body gets the necessary workout that it needs.

Anaerobic Benefits and Strength

If you have watched a softball game, you will quickly notice that every single action that is involved in the game is a vigorous action. Throwing, hitting, running, quick lateral movements and jumping, are some of the explosive actions that you will see in a softball game. Apart from these, the players will also need throwing and acceleration power. All these activities that take place during the game serve as an ideal foundation to build the muscle power of the body.

Upper Body Development

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Excellent Sport with Many Health Benefits

With over 300 calories burned up during a softball game every hour, the game is an ideal platform for those who want to stay lean and also bulk up. This will mainly depend on the frequency that you play the game. One will be able to stay healthy and maintain a sharp and agile mental capacity. Research has proved that those who play softball have a better chance to perform better in their studies. In the end, playing softball has long-term health merits, plus you have a reduced chance of getting osteoporosis, plus reduce the chance of getting cancer. If you want to play softball, there are certain skills that you need as a player, which is speed, strength, power, agility, among other types of abilities.

Role of Nutrition in Softball Training

With the right kind of nutrition together with the adequate softball game exposure, you will be able to increase you overall health level as an individual. If you are a softball player, it is vital that you have the proper balance of carbohydrates, fat, and proteins in your diet. Carbohydrates will provide you with the essential energy that you muscles need during the game. However, softball does not demand much aerobically (compared to other types of sports), so one does not need to consume high quantities of carbohydrates. Protein is another great source of energy, but it is not recommended that you use it as your primary source of energy. As a player, you can rely on lean meat and other sources such as eggs, fish, and chicken, as an efficient source of protein. This is ideal since the body will be able to maintain and repair the muscles. Fats also play an important role in the health of the player. It is ideal for hormone production, protection of internal organs and so much more. The best sources of fat out there are seed and nuts, together with olive oil and canola oil. As a softball player, it is essential that you have the right kind of diet so that you reap the health benefits of playing softball.

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Softball: How It All Began

In unlikely circumstances, softball begun at a football game. The game of softball borrows from a number of games such as boxing, boating and football at least as far as the history is concerned. The first game was played on Thanksgiving Day in 1887 at a Yale versus Harvard game. Over time, the initial elements used at the first game such as the size of the bat and ball has considerably changed. The story behind the creation of softball goes something like this –alumni from both universities sat in a Farrugut boat club nervously waiting for the football game outcome between the two university teams. Eventually, Yale won the game which prompted a Yale student to playfully throw a boxing glove at a Harvard student. And the game of Softball was born.

At the time, the bat was a broom stick and the ball was the boxing glove. The initial playful game caught the interest of the rest including a reporter for the Chicago Board of trade known as George Hancock. And it is George Hancock who encouraged the continuation of the game after the Harvard student had swung at the glove. He remarked “play ball!” The location edged in history as the birthplace of softball is Farrugut boat club, Chicago, Illinois. It is the same place where the first sets of rules were drafted and eventually adopted. Later on the game was leaked to outsider around the area and further on to the Midwestern region.

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Softball Beginner Drills: How to increase the softball Bat Speed

One of the fundamental skills of a hitter is that of handling a bat. Usually, hitters are trained to hold a bat and hit in an almost similar way that result to the same bat speed (40 – 45 mph). This is a very good practice when beginning your tuition as a hitter. Nonetheless, there is always a notable distinction between pro hitters and novice hitters by examining just the agility of hitting (bats peed). Often, expert hitters always win by hitting easier, faster and accurately whereas learners don’t.

A study that was carried out by Ralph and Karen (Human Kinetics, 2012) to examine the relationship between the bat speed and the performance of a team’s has affirmed this popular hypothesis [1]. According to their publication on the research, a faster bat speed is likely to boost the chances of a team’s win by almost a half. Thus, this edition seeks to enlighten you on a few proven tips and drills that will help you or your team to increase your chances of winning through increasing the bat speed.

Points to remember …

Hitting is an art. It isn’t majorly a talent as many would love to put it. It is therefore important for any hitter to remember the following before reading further:

  • That all hitters can become perfectionists, as long as they practice regularly
  • The tips and drills below are only effective if practiced not if read.
  • Most of the drills and tips are greatly effective if shared and practiced by a partner/friend. So, don’t be solo, share this.

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Hitting Drills to Increase Bat Speed

Drill #1:  Training with a Hitting Tube

Aim:

As noted before, the training drills that will increase the strength of a player will ultimately increase the bat speed as a consequence. This drill aims to strengthen the forearms and the elbow of a player.

Implementation:

  • Suspend a hitting tube vertically in position letting the tip of the tube be close to the approximate height of the height of striking.
  • Keep striking the tube slowly gently and gradually increase the magnitude of the hits and the speed.
  • Keep increasing until the tube gets to an uncontrollable speed; which will happen when the tube hits you.
  • Keep doing it for at least 10 minutes.

 Note

  • If you are playing with your friends, keep adjusting the height of the tube relative to the height of the player.
  • Never use a hitting tube that is too heavy to break a bat or hurt you in the case of swinging.
  • Never use a hitting pad with a rough surface as it is likely to damage your bat.

 

Drill #2: The Heavier Ball on Tee

Aim:

Just like Drill #1 above, this drill too aims to develop stronger elbow and arm muscles of a player. But besides the two, this drill will also seek to train accuracy when hitting. As a coach, you can as well use this drill to train beginners on the softball hitting essentials.

Implementation:

This drill requires to be practiced in a batting cage or a well aerated enclosed place. It can be practiced best when training with a coach; then again, you can try it out with a friend but ensure you are never doing it alone. Now proceed as follows:

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Little Known Facts About Softball

Little known facts about softball (differences with baseball)

Baseball is better known than softball perhaps due to popularity of the game in the major league. On the other hand, softball is a very competitive college sport with many similarities to baseball but a game on its own nonetheless. Softball is usually played by female players but that does not make it a lesser game. Baseball rules are quite easy to understand because it is watched by millions of people who love the game. But the same cannot be said about softball; some of its rules are not widely known.

This article will elaborate on some of the little known facts about softball.

Balls are heavier and larger

The balls used in softball are heavier and larger than those used in baseball. They have a tendencies of adding some weight especially when wet. As such the officials have to watch balls keenly they might have gained some weight after rainy games or practice. Furthermore the balls might vary in weight depending on how long they have been in use –technically when they are worn out.

The pitchers in softball can play in numerous games

Notably, baseball pitchers pitch overhand while pitchers in softball do it underhand. Therefore, unlike baseball, softball pitching isn’t strenuous as baseball pitching. This means a pitcher in softball can play in multiple games without getting strained easily.  However, a pitcher in baseball needs to be relieved by other pitchers because of the effort required to accomplish his task on the pitch.

Unlike baseball, pitchers cannot steal bases until the pitcher is actually pitching

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How to Pitch in Slow Pitch

How to Pitch Slow Pitch Softball.

Softball is among the fastest developing games in the current world. It is estimated (by The American Journal of Pediatrics) that just about 8.6 million teenage American girls actively participate in softball. Either, The National College Athletics Association (NCAA) records that already 147 countries worldwide play softball. In 2016 (Next year) softball will officially be included as one among the games played in the World Olympics. Sadly, despite that popularity, most softball fans and players never understand the two popular types of softball pitching techniques (fast-pitching and slow-pitching). This edition seeks to outline the slow pitching technique and later discuss some of the popular drills for slow pitch softball.

Slow Pitch Softball vs. Fast Pitch Softball

The main difference between slow-pitch softball and fast-pitch softball is drawn mainly from the frequency of movement when pitching and the eventual tactic in scoring. Slow pitching is also a counter approach to fast pitching.

  • Speed: Fast pitch softball includes a high speed of movement and requires a similar response from the opponents. Slow pitch on the other hand requires a lower and more tactical approach when playing.
  • Winning approach: Fast pitching technique wins mainly from utilizing a fast game momentum. On the other hand, slow pitch softball relies entirely on tactical moves.
  • Popularity: Fast pitch softball is the most popular technique of pitching followed by the slow pitch technique. Some teams however embrace both the two.

1, 2, 3 … in Slow Pitch Softball Approach

When trying out soft pitching for the very first time, one needs to focus not only on the speed, but also in the grip, the initial posture and the way of winding and releasing the ball.

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Softball Performance Tips – Passionate Softball Player

Understanding the rules in softball

There is always confusion between the game of baseball and softball and it is with good reason. In essence, they are variants of the same game but with minimal differences. One major difference between the two is the fact that soft ball is pitched underhand while in baseball it is pitched overhand.

The differences between softball and baseball

In terms of the ball sizes, softballs are bit heavier than baseballs. They too come in white and sometimes in shades of yellow or green. In softball the games last for seven innings while in baseball it typically lasts for nine innings. Furthermore, the softball field is smaller than the baseball field. The other recognizable difference between softball and baseball is the size of the bat –in softball the bat is shorter and with a larger barrel than in baseball.

In the game of softball we have slow pitch and fast pitch; slow pitch is whereby the ball is pitched slowly into the air. On the other hand, fast pitch has the ball being pitched fast enough. Mostly, this latter kind of pitch is played by women.

Understanding the rules of softball

A typical softball game comprises of 7 innings and two halves. The first half and the second half are divided depending on the home team and the away team. The away team will bat during the first half while the home team does it during the second half.

There are three probable outcomes when a pitcher pitches to the batter; one they might get 3 strikes. The three strikes is where they throw the ball to the strike zone and the batter misses, they throw 4 balls consequently making bad pitches outsider the strike zone or they walk the batter by striking them with the ball.

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