Have you ever heard of a parent encouraging their child to come inside and sit in front of the TV? How about, “Hey sweetheart, could you please spend a little more time staring at your cell phone?” Or, again, having a coach ask one of her players to give up some time in the cage or on the field to sit in front of her computer.
I know it sounds crazy! Crazy like a Fox!!
Players of all ages are presented with an amazing opportunity these days. Thanks to ESPN, ESPN3, SEC Network, Big 10 Network and all the social media outlets. They can watch all the fastpitch softball their hearts desire!
And I believe they should.
But there are some qualifiers.
We are not just watching the game for fun! It’s OK to cheer for your favorite team or player but that is not the only objective.
We’re watching to see specific things:
Watch the players that play your position. See how they prepare for each play, where they go when the ball gets hit, how they communicate with each other, and how they back up plays.
Watch how hitters use a hitting routine to prepare themselves for each pitch. See how they incorporate their team philosophy as they approach each at bat. We are watching to see how they handle a marginal call by an umpire.
Watch how the pitcher attacks the strike zone. See how the pitcher and catcher work together. Check how the pitcher reacts to a marginal call by the umpire.
See how the players on the bench interact with each other. Observe how the bench players stayi involved in the game so they are ready when their chance comes. Notice that their are some players who never leave the bench and others who never leave the line up.
So kids, you have my permission. No, you have my encouragement to spend some time watching the game on TV, on your phone, on your computer, or on your tablet. There’s a wealth of information you can learn about this great game from watching college players play it. Many of you aspire to play at the college level, so take advantage of the opportunity!!
About the Author: Tory Acheson brings a wealth of knowledge to the Fastpitch Prep staff. He has coached at all levels of the game, including the last 25 years at the college level at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside, Tennessee Tech and Kennesaw State. He began his coaching career at the high school level spending 9 years Whitnall High School in Greenfield, Wis. and is now working as a professional softball instructor.