This time of year everyone is thinking about recruiting. Colorado has become the hub of all things softball for a couple of weeks each year because so many players and parents are hoping to be seen by college coaches. College coaches come out in great numbers to find the players who will make up their future rosters.
Over the years, I’ve done dozens of recruiting seminars and have tried to share some of what I have learned with softball players and their families as they embark on this process.
There are many things that I hope these players and families will take away from these sessions but none is more important that what I call the “14 Commandments.”
What are the Commandments supposed to accomplish? To help the next wave of potential softball players avoid making the same mistakes others have made.
No. 5: Run hard!
How many times have you heard that a player is 2.6 seconds, home to first? Or, that a player has great speed, gets a great jump on the ball, is super quick?
I know, all the time.
Here is the problem. Most kids do not run hard most of the time.
If you are a player who claims to be fast, you need to show off that speed every chance you get. Every time!!
So, you hit a ball to the pitcher and you stop running hard after a couple steps because you assume you are going to be out. You just wasted a chance to show off your speed. That college coach who just got out her stop watch to time you learned nothing about your speed.
Oh wait, she did learn something – you are a quitter!!
College coaches don’t really care that you are out by 20 feet, they want to see you bust it al the way to the bag, giving it all you’ve got. If you quit 10 feet down the line, you may not get another chance to show off the speed you want that coach to see.
I’m slow! No one care about my speed. Wrong!! If you are a slower player, running hard shows hustle!! You can be a slower runner and still be a great base runner! By running hard every time, you create opportunities to take a base and put pressure on the defense.
What’s the moral to the story? Running hard shows character. Don’t you want to show off your good character? I know you do!
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, Wisconsin and is now working as a professional softball instructor.