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College Softball – Are You Willing to Do What It Takes?

Oh man!  Sorry Cindy, I can’t help you there because I don’t get it either.  I could go on and on and on about this subject, but let me just touch upon the flurry of thoughts that immediately ran through my head when I read her tweet.

First of all, forget “practice on their own.” I see so many young softball players today who *think* they are on their way to the next level or *say* they want to play in college and yet they can’t even make it a point to give their best effort during TEAM practice!

Read this and think about it: When I compare college practice to youth practice, I’m sure you’d agree that, for the most part, college practice is  far more demanding.  What you may not realize is that on top of this more demanding practice, every college player that I personally know puts in time OUTSIDE of the required team practice time to train. If you’re having a hard time with the concept of putting in “your own time” for training now, when you’re regular team practice isn’t nearly as demanding as it will be in college, how do you expect to survive in the college environment where practices are longer, harder, more demanding AND the rest of your teammates are ready and willingto put in the extra time on their own on top of that to get better?

Who cares what I think? I’m not a college coach. You’re right, I’m not…and probably neither is your travel ball or your high school softball coach.

HOWEVER, if any of them are telling you you’re not doing enough or that you have work to do because you’re not where you need to be yet, I highly suggest you LISTEN!

Why should you listen to them? They aren’t the college coach you’re trying to impress right? You think some college coach is going to be impressed with you because you got skills?

You know what? I’ll admit, you might be right.They may very well be impressed with what they see on display at a tournament here or there; or on film that you send them. But what about when they begin seeing you day in and day out like your coach does?

Wake up call coming up in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…

 

If your coach…

  • who is NOT a college coach
  • who does NOT have the same high standards or expectations that college coaches do
  • who’s livelihood does NOT depend on coaching your team…

If he ain’t impressed…What makes you think a college coach will be?

Yeah, maybe you’ll get there, but then what?

Then you get a major kick in the butt because all this time you’ve had your mind and ears closed to what your coaches have been trying to tell you? Because you’ve been under an illusion about your own skills and work ethic? Because you thought your cannon for an arm and your big bat were going to be enough to “Wow” those college coaches beyond belief that they would blindly overlook the flaws your coaches see?

Look, I’m not saying this to be mean or disrespectful. I’m saying all of this so that you, hopefully, get the wake up call BEFORE you fall flat on your face in college and have to figure out how to scrape yourself up off the ground.

The transition to the college level is tough enough when you are well prepared. I believe that no matter where you go, no matter how good you are, it’ll be an adjustment. If you go in unprepared or under-prepared, college can be tremendously overwhelming.  College is a different pace, a different routine from what you’re used to.  Pile all that up with your lack of preparation on the softball front and you may start doubting whether or not you really belong there.  Players quit playing and drop out of college because of this kind of thing.  I don’t want this to happen to you.

Do the work NOW to prepare yourself as much as you can for the journey ahead. Listen to the feedback others are giving you and use whatever you can to make yourself better.  If the situation you’re in is a cake walk and isn’t challenging to you, find a way to challenge yourself so that you’re not shocked by the obstacles you may come across in the future.  Practice dealing with and overcoming adversity now so that you’ll be able to tackle it head on in the next chapter of your life, whatever that may be.  There is a lot to enjoy after high school BUT you have to be willing to prepare now in order to reap those rewards at any level.

Kevin Eaton
 

Keavin Eaton lives with his wife and two boys in New Orleans, LA. He has a bachelor’s degree in Phys Ed from the University of New Orleans and a Master’s degree in Kinesiology from the Louisiana State University. As an athlete, Kevin competed in many sports including wrestling, rowing, speed skating and bobsleigh before finding skeleton. Opinions expressed by Kevin on Play Famously are his own.

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