Every Mets fan, let alone every baseball fan, dreams of instilling their passion for America’s greatest pastime in their children. If your daughter has gotten involved in softball, there’s no doubt you’ll do everything you can to ensure she excels. From equipment to practice, advice to support, there are numerous ways you can ensure she gets better each and every practice, and more importantly, enjoys her time on the field.
Get Her the Right Equipment
As she advances in the world of softball, her equipment will need to advance with her. A hitter is only as good as her bat, a catcher only as good as her mitt. If she’s moved onto fastpitch softball, you’ll need to replace her slowpitch gear to ensure she’s well prepared for the transition. If she’s moving into different fielding positions, be sure to have her try on various types of gloves; while the differences between fastpitch and slowpitch gloves are minor, they’re present and can make a difference, especially in high-level play.
Make sure you also check out different bats that can provide the power she needs on the plate. There’s much to be said about taking your time to find the perfect fit for her equipment. When it comes to softball bats, you’ll want to have her try out a few options before purchasing. Head to a local batting cage and have her try hitting with different types of bat, wooden and metal both. There’s a huge difference between slowpitch and fastpitch softball bats, so consider her league and regulations, and make sure she understands the difference in feel and power between the two before making a purchase.
Take Her to Games
The more passionate she is about the sport, the more likely she is to want to try harder to excel. What can inspire more passion than attending a high-level game that shows what hard work can do? Whether she’s 5 or 15, taking her to a softball or baseball game in your local area is sure to get her excited about softball all over again. No one can deny the thrill of watching a nail-biting play, chowing down on a hot dog and sipping on stadium lemonade. Try to get into the Celebrity Softball Game, head to a Mets game—hint: you can find inexpensive resale tickets at Stubhub if you don’t have season tickets—and don’t forget to check out the collegiate games going on in your area.
Finessing Her Skills
There’s no better way to help your daughter improve her softball game than practice. Run drills with her on the weekends and practice off-days. Note: Be sure your drills are fun and enjoyable for both of you—think of these sessions as bonding time with the added benefit of practice; not the other way around. If you make it too stressful, you’ll take away her passion for the sport, and make it work without benefit. Softball isn’t just about physical aptitude; her mind needs to stay sharp for plays that require split second decisions. Buy her books about softball technique from BarnesandNoble.com, help her focus on concentration with memory games, and be sure she’s getting enough sleep every night.
As mentioned earlier, it’s a great idea to head to the batting cages as often as possible to build up her hitting skills. However, there’s more to making contact with the ball then simply following through. Great swings require an immense amount of core strength, so it’s important she works on her overall fitness. Join a gym as a family and make a commitment to strength. You can find a bevy of gyms that offer inexpensive family gym memberships. This will benefit your whole family, and give you all the opportunity to focus on your health and happiness.
Don’t Be “That” Parent
You know exactly the parent we mean. Don’t be the dad or mom that gets out there and screams obscenities at umpires and coaches for calls you would have done differently. Keep in mind that your child simply needs your support. Cheer when they make a great play, keep up their spirits with positive encouragement, but don’t overdo it.
If your daughter plays softball and you want to find ways to help her get better and stronger, while encouraging her love for the sport, use these tips and strategies.