We recently had one of our former players come back to visit with our current travel ball team. This player is knee deep in her freshman year and has learned a great deal about what it really means to be a Division I softball player.
The message was a simple one and came across as clear as a bell.
Players need to get ready for the challenges that await them when they go to college. They need to prepare physically by working out to get in the best condition they have ever been in. They need to polish their softball skills to the highest level they have ever been. And they need to prepare themselves mentally for the challenges that are awaiting them as they embark on their collegiate career.
I recently saw a post of social media outlining the daily schedule of a college athlete and it was pretty daunting. Morning workouts, afternoon practice, study hall, meetings, film study and travel were all played out. It was a very busy day, every day.
What does it mean?
Being a college athlete is a job. It might be the best job a player ever has, but it is a job. It requires an athlete to work hard at being an athlete, period. And the most important thing is that an incoming player must prepare themselves before they ever start “working”.
Players who are heading off to college this fall need to get ready. Work hard. Don’t fall into the trap of being underprepared.
No one has ever told me that they feel like the worked too hard to get ready. Many have told me they wished they worked harder.
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.