One of the things I keep seeing from players and their parents is the idea that a player has “earned” a break. That because a player has been working hard for however many weeks, months or years that they have the right to take time off to recharge their batteries. Now don’t get me wrong, everyone needs a break every once in a while, but let’s get real about what a break is and what the costs are.
A very wise person once said, “If I stay ready, I never have to worry about getting ready. If I stay ready I never have to worry about not being ready!” And I couldn’t agree more.
One of the questions I always ask when a player tells me she needs to take a break is, Why? Are you injured and need time for your body to heal? Are you burnt out from the pressure of playing? Or are you just ready to take a break because you feel like have already done enough?
If you’re injured, you do need to get healthy. If you’re burnt out, it isn’t going to be solved by time off alone, you have bigger issues to deal with. And if you feel like you have already done enough, worked hard enough or have put in enough time you might be playing the wrong sport because fastpitch softball is a sport that is like a million piece jigsaw puzzle, it never ends!
The beautiful part of this is that you can stay ready and still take a break at the same time. How, you ask?
Vary your training schedule. You can still do enough work while feeling like you are taking a break.
Rethink your goals. If you aren’t willing to grind then you might not need to be a starter or all-star or All American. There is nothing wrong with playing for fun or recreation just know that’s what you are doing!
Just don’t make the mistake of thinking that taking time off doesn’t have a risk attached to it. If you take a break and the person you’re competing with is working their tail off, I think you can see what very well might happen. Stay ready!!