I recently received an email from a mom who’s daughter is 12 and plays on a 14u travel team. Apparently, the team plays multiple games a week but does not conditioning. Inevitably, her daughter is experiencing back pain.
Like me, this mother thinks softball players need conditioning to play well AND prevent injury.
I think she’s spot on about that!
Her question to me was, “Do you think I should find her a team that does conditioning?”
My first response is NO. You will never find a team that provides EVERYTHING you need. Conditioning, in my opinion, happens to be one of the EASIEST things you can do on your own. I think ALL athletes should do core training!
My kids do their most significant conditioning on their own time. I do not rely on softball coaches to condition my kids. Many coaches are busy teaching softball skills and don’t have the means to condition their team and coach the game.
That said, I do believe that conditioning is an important aspect of running a team and I believe good travel ball teams find ways to help increase the overall athleticism and fitness of their players. If you’re looking for a team that’s run better than the one you’re on now (for various reasons), you might consider looking for one that actually DOES conditioning. I’m not talking about a team that does conditioning just for the sake of doing conditioning or because they think they’re “supposed to.” I’m talking about finding a team that does it, not only because of the physical benefits for the team, but also for the mental game benefit, the team building benefits, and because the coaches’ philosophy and core values are further supported by the conditioning program.
Now, if you happen to be in a similar situation, here are two things that may help you:
1. Grab your own core training program for softball
(on special right now at 30% off with coupon code 2013)
This program is used a lot with pitchers but is NOT only for pitchers. It’s great for ANY softball player and my girls (as well as players I coach) do these type of exercises to build strength, power, and endurance, as well as to prevent injuries. I’ve heard parents say their daughter used this program after an injury and it helped her get back to good softball playing shape! You can use it any time of year and it’s easy to incorporate into your schedule.
USE COUPON CODE 2013 at checkout to get your discount
2. Read my thoughts on switching teams
Switching teams is a topic that comes up a lot and I think the most important thing is that you figure out what you want most from a team. As I said before, NO team/coach is perfect. You have to decide what you want most and look for a team that provides that. Conditioning, in my opinion, is something you can easily do with/for your child on your own time.
Here’s the article I wrote on this topic…READ NOW
Hope that helps!
Stacie Mahoe shares lessons learned from decades around the diamond. Enjoy her unique insights on softball and life from years as a player, coach, parent, and fan of the game.