Fastpitch Prep Tips: The Mystery of the Missing Practice Balls

Every coach has dumped out a bucket during practice looking for the “good” balls.  Where did they go? Coach Tory has the answer.

Every team faces a very serious and constant threat to its financial wellbeing. In most cases, it’s an inside job.

Tell me if you’ve seen this story before.

Practice seems to start off about the same way each day. Players meet, talk about the events of the day or week, and begin to stretch.  After stretching, team members grab partners and balls and throwing ensues. After the team finishes up their throwing, it’s time do some defense.

This is where the plot thickens.

Coach heads to the bucket to grab a few good balls to hit infield and outfield practice. There must be at least a couple good balls left over from the last game, right?

Upon further investigation, often dumping out every ball in the bucket, Coach finds little more than a couple balls that look like the dog has chewed on them, after they sat out in the rain for a week. A look of concern, anger and frustration crosses his or her face. How can this be?

Of course, the coach asks, “Hey, what happened to the good balls?”


So with a shrug, the coach grabs a couple of semi-round balls and starts working on defense. Frustration grows when, no matter how hard you try, the mush balls you’re stuck with can’t really be hit to the outfielders. Still, you muddle through practice.

After you finish up with the team, you send the pitchers and catchers to the bullpen to get their work done. Wait for it! It’s a miracle!! Out of thin air, what appears?

You guessed it. The nearly pristine balls you were looking for.

What’s the moral to the story? Look inside every gigantic catchers bag and you will find at least six, but more likely a dozen, really good balls.

They often justify this hoarding behavior by saying they are looking out for their pitchers but I’m not so sure. If you need a good ball for defense, just look inside the biggest bag in the dugout. You will never be disappointed!

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