Episode 15 – Taking A Break
Today I am going to talk about the benefits of taking a break. Weather you are a coach or a player, taking some time off can give you a breath of fresh air and motivate you to get going again for the next segment of your season. We are talking about the importance of taking a break and allowing your mind and body to recover. I often hear of young teams who are practicing 2-3 times per week during the off season with batting on one day, fielding, and pitching on another. Let me tell you what happens with these athletes who are basically year round softball players.
Even though many will say, “she loves the game and just wants to practice, I am just helping her” The truth is that the body and mind operate independently sometimes from our emotions. Your athletes may not be tired now but as they move through the season, you will see more errors occur and possibly even experience some emotional disruptions as the team spends so much time together. They may even appear to be listening to you less as you talk to your co coaches about how they just don’t seem to be focusing.
Young teams especially need to not only have a break, but they should also be participating in other sports until the age of 14-15. Softball, like most team sports is a late specialization sport and they need to continue to develop their athletic abilities through different activities than the ones they are participating in with softball. Agility, coordination, balance, speed and flexibility are all important components of being a good athlete. Technical and tactical skills can be easier developed when your softball players have been training in various sports creating a well rounded athlete.
If young athletes only play one sport, like softball, their abilities may be limited if they chose to play another sport later. We all know that not every athlete is going to play in the Professional Fastpitch league so it is our responsibility to ensure that they continue on in sport as adults and that we have given them every opportunity to develop the skills that will enhance their sport experience and keep them active.
The bottom line is, we want to keep kids in softball for as long as we can, so we need to make the experience as enjoyable as possible without over training or saturating their experience. I believe that there is in fact a possibility of too much ball and it can create dropout before they get to their peak performance potential which in softball is not generally until around 21 years old. There has been questions about why kids are dropping out of softball around 15 and I think this is definitely one of the reasons. So in my opinion, if you want your kids to peak at the right time and to stay in this awesome sport, give them a break. A total break where they can enjoy other sports and other activities as well.
If you have anything you want to have added there or anything you want me to discuss here simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org See you next time.