1. Intro to strength and Speed at an early age:
Have your daughter fall in love at an early age... with getting stronger and faster than her girlfriends and boy classmates. Enroll her in a speed or strength class that is age appropriate and will challenge her beyond her gym class activity.
Females mature faster than boys (both physically and emotionally). By the time your daughter turns 13, her movement patterns and strength and speed thresholds will be place. Don’t wait - plenty of sprinting, weight training and cardio is a must to become an above average HS softball player and beyond!
2. Get her away from rec friends by age 13:
If your daughter is the best player on her team, find her a new team. Challenge her and surround her with other motivated players who want the same thing she does: to be at the top of the softball food chain at 17 and play college softball.
Coaching your daughter is fun, but you have to ask yourself if and when the time has come to let her play somewhere else that long term benefits her and gets you out of those verbal wars with her!
3. Team practice skill training:
Invest and find time to improve her offensive and defensive skills. Because someone played college softball doesn’t mean that their teaching and training model is the best fit for your daughter. Great advice: Fire your pitching coach and hitting coach after 18 months if your daughter is not the best of the best at her age. Within 18 months, your well-intended coach/trainer will have shared every bit of knowledge to your daughter. If she doesn’t get it by then, she never will with that coach or the coach never hit the right buttons to take her out of her comfort zone. It's great that your daughter really like the coach, but the bottom line is results!
4. Play another sport:
Don’t give up all the other sports! Track, soccer and basketball are great off-season sports for your daughter. She needs to learn how to compete and deal with adversity and she also needs a break from softball!
5. Hit or speed
College coaches love hitters and girls that can run. If your daughter is an all-round athlete she will have many opportunities to play beyond high school. Invest in her hitting skills and her overall fitness!
Too early for all of this? The Top 30 college programs in the country are compiling lists right now of who the really good 2019 HS grads are to recruit this summer! Crazy but true....