As national fastpitch softball tournaments around the country approach in late July every team, player, coach and parent sets their sights on winning a championship...or at the very least playing their best ball and representing their team, organization, league or state well on the biggest stage of the season.
If your athlete is playing at the 14u travel level or above she will likely be playing in front of numerous college coaches scouting players looking for the very best athletes they can offer scholarship money to.
As well, parents will make their biggest financial investment of the season to attend these national tournaments.
In other words the stakes couldn't be higher for every athlete to play her best when it matters most! Well, if that is the goal...how does she get there?
In my experience in coaching over 1,200 fastpitch softball games the outcome of most every game is decided on six or so pivotal pitches or plays over the entire game. That's right, only a handful of moments decide the outcome of any game, any time.
Therefore the players and teams that can execute and perform their best during these pivotal moments will be the most successful. Make sense?
We've all seen it, haven't we? The bobbled ground ball with two outs that lets the winning or go ahead run score. The based loaded opportunity late in the game for a hitter that ends up in a strikeout (or for a pitcher an 0-2 count that turns into a three run double on a poorly located screwball). These are all moments that define success or failure for team or player every time they hit the diamond.
Here are the 5 essential keys for your athlete and her team to shine during their upcoming national tournament (ignore them at your own risk!):
1. Prepare - Since it seems like every national tournament is located in some far flung hot and dry/humid location prepare for extreme weather. Hydrate a few days BEFORE the tournament. Adjust to time zone changes and get plenty of rest. Try to keep the same sleep schedule as at home (hard I know). Nationals can also bring numerous games and long, long days...so mentally prepare for it. Remember, success lies at the intersection of preparation and opportunity; and since opportunity is always present the player and team most prepared will likely prevail!
To continue reading this post please go to: http://www.softballsmarts.com/2013/06/5-keys-to-being-superstar-at-nationals.html.
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