The word routine means different things when you think about the game of Fastpitch softball. One version describes a defensive play that we believe should always be made. It’s a routine play, right? Well, one person’s routine is another person’s adventure.


The other place we see the term routine used is in our mental game preparation.  We use a routine to mentally rehearse a play or swing or pitch. The two are tied together in that a good mental game does in fact make the routine play routine!


All players should use routines in their pre-play preparation! Always! 


A good routine should include:


1. A deep breath and slow exhalation. The deep breath clears the head and oxygenates the brain. It also greatly helps with relaxation and focusing on the task at hand.


2. Repeating positive thoughts and actions statements to themselves.


3. Planning for the situation that they face, whether on defense, at the plate or in the circle.


4. A focal point that allows the player to concentrate on a specific thing that blocks out distractions.


5. Flushing away any negatives and returning to a positive thought pattern.


If you want the game to be routine you better develop a good one!


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.