Tuesdays Top 10 – Things to do in the OFF Season
Say it in’t so, right? But for many of us – colder weather, snow and other such catastrophes of Mother Nature – are pushing us to what is (or what used to be known as) The OFF SEASON.
You know, that time of year where teams dis-band for a little while, and girls everywhere trade in their bats and gloves to pursue other sports like basketball, volleyball, swimming. Or simply to rest, take a breath, give their body time to regroup and heal and strengthen and enable their parents to start restocking their piggy banks and put a few fewer miles on the family car.
The off season! As awful as it may seem, the offseason is actually something that is a necessary evil. No matter how much your daughter loves softball, the reality is that her body needs rest. For many parts of the country, travel ball seasons start early, run through summer and bump into school ball or fall ball. And this is a heck of a lot of stress on the body and the muscle groups used so routinely by softball players.
As much as you may be tempted to NOT take an off-season, and no matter how much of the “No holds barred – ultra competitive, my daughter is training to be the best softball player in the world and she’s only 9, kool-aid you may be drinking these days….the reality is that nearly every single person who knows about the human body, will ask you to consider REST as an off season option.
Today, we give you 10 things to do during the off season, as to make it feel a little less off! And number one is…..
1. Rest! Seriously. Their bodies need it. Crave it. You are doing more harm than good by not taking some sort of break. 6-8 weeks would be fantastic.
2. Aerobic exercise. There are far too many people out there more considered with how far a kid can hit or thrown, whilst not being too concerned with their all-around cardiac health. Aerobic classes, running, work out videos, yoga, walking – all of these can enhance your game more than you may think. This is a great time to get in shape, to strengthen your muscles and core and enhance flexibility.
3. Pick up another sport. Who cares if you haven’t tried it before! This idea that you have to be specialized and an expert in ONE sport by the age of 12 is simply ridiculous nonsense. Explore other things. Take up another hobby. You might be surprised just how well you can play other things.
4. We don’t expect you to not get together with your team at all. How about take this time to do some off season bonding. Go zip lining together, have a Christmas party, meet up at the gym to do workouts together or jog. Go the movies, or shopping together. This pre/post season bonding can go miles in keeping your team together and striving to work together for ONE GOAL!
5. Volunteer some of that extra time away. Hold a camp for really young girls as a team and help teach the fundamentals. Visit a senior center and spread some cheer. Have the girls cook meals for people in their community who may be in need. Think of useful ways to fund-raise for your softball passion. Find a way to give back to someone or something else for a while. The girls NEED to learn this, as so much is being given to them throughout the entire year that ‘most’ take for granted. Give back.
6. The off season is also a great time to learn a new softball skill. We say don’t quit your lessons completely, but definitely tone them down a little bit. Have your hitting instructor work with you on new skills, or learn how to improve your out of the box or pop time. Wanna learn to slap, now is the perfect time? Pitch? Rest for at least 6-8 weeks and then try to pick up a new pitch or so to carry forward? New skills on the ballfield take time to develop, and the off season presents a great time to make them game-ready.
7. Have the kids set pre-season goals. Sit down with your daughter or team, and have the plot out 10 things they would like to see happen in the next season. Realistic goals, especially written down – can help them to focus on self-improvement and gives them something to work on. Additionally, by allowing them to make and set some personal goals and WRITE THEM DOWN and discuss them, they take accountability for them. Goal setting is a huge characteristic of successful people. And while it’s easy to say, “I wanna win,” this year – it’s far more difficult and thought-provoking to have the players pony up and set individual goals for themselves.
8. Catch up on that social life a little. Softball players miss out on a lot at times, and have to say no to doing things because of practice, games, tournaments etc. (It’s totally worth it!) Take the off-season to let them just BE A KID AGAIN.
9. Catch up on all the things that don’t get done around the house during the softball season. Have the kids help! We know a team that gathers all the girls together and spends two weekends- raking each others yards and tidying up things for the parents, cleaning out garages and having a yard sale etc. as a way to say thanks to all the parents for giving up so much of their time.
10. Go to softball camps and clinics at local colleges. Great time to do some individual showcasing.
And last but not least….did we mention REST? Take it easy. Enjoy the holidays. Focus on school work. Sleep in on the weekends. Take an art class. We promise that any and all REST you give your body and mind
Build a snowman and send us a picture. CLEAN YOUR room before you take Instagram pictures. BUY our new and awesome fastpitch shirt while it’s on SALE. Write a book. You get the point….REST!