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Thread: Off Season: Gym vs Softball Specific

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    Softball Junkie julray's Avatar
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    Default Off Season: Gym vs Softball Specific

    Just curious in regard what's more effective in the off season. Through out a softball season a girl swings the bat over a 1000 times and throws a ball just as many. Is there any point in off season to continue .. or should you focus on power/speed training using weights, medicine balls, sprints etc?

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    Always learning... Eric F's Avatar
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    What's this "off season" thing you speak of???

    Seriously...My DD was off of softball for a bit over a month after her final tournament in July. She continued to go to her strength training sessions, but all softball-specific work stopped during that time. I would have liked to see her continue to take a few swings once a week, and throw a little, but she needed the mental break as much as a physical one.
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    Softball Junkie julray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
    What's this "off season" thing you speak of???

    Seriously...My DD was off of softball for a bit over a month after her final tournament in July. She continued to go to her strength training sessions, but all softball-specific work stopped during that time. I would have liked to see her continue to take a few swings once a week, and throw a little, but she needed the mental break as much as a physical one.
    Up north we don't get to enjoy the 12 months of ball that you do.. lol. Softball ends in Sept with tryouts... shuts down until May. Of course starting in January there are indoor practices and such to get ready for the upcoming season. I am thinking from Sept - January. Maybe it makes sense to give the body a rest from the softball movements and work on strength. We can also focus on any necessary technical adjustments during this time?

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    Certified softball maniac FP26's Avatar
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    DD typically takes 6 to 8 weeks off every fall/winter. During that time she focuses on strength and agility. She may hit once in a while during that time, but it is more for fun than actually working on something in particular. She will not throw at all during that time (she is a pitcher). When she is not actively in a school or travel ball season, she also tends to focus on strength and agility, but also works in hitting, pitching, and fielding. When she was younger, I developed a schedule for her. But eventually she became the master of her own schedule. I am just there to help her when needed. When school and/or travel ball starts, strength and agility sessions are more limited.
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    I can talk softball all day mudrunner's Avatar
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    Like Eric, my DD had a couple of weeks off in August and that's about it. They will play a few outdoor tournaments until early November, and then do one indoor tournament a month December through February. Highs school ball starts in March, and travel ball in June & July. Rinse & repeat lol.

    That said I think weight training should start to be a pretty important part of any athletes routine by the time they are about 14. Your off season would be good time to focus on that, but I would still include some hitting.

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    Softball Junkie Dabears17's Avatar
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    My daughter shut down except for pitching lessons from August 5th to Sept 1st. Unless she gets into a slump during fall ball, she's probably taking a break from hitting lessons until January. She is playing JH softball until about Oct 5th, practicing 4 times a week. Her club team is playing in 6 tournaments between Sept 8th and Nov 11th. They practice on Monday nights, strength and conditioning Wednesday nights, practices Saturday morning when not having a tournament. Except for strength and conditioning, her team will probably shut down from Nov 11th to about Jan 14th or 21st.

    She'll do probably take a break from pitching lessons for 2-3 weeks around Christmas, otherwise do it basically year round.

    As an 8th grader I would prefer a club schedule that except for weekend practices was dark from Nov 1st to about March 1st, to allow her to play school sports, but that isn't how it works around me.

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    Checking out the clubhouse misty's Avatar
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    Julray,

    We're also in Ontario. And we certainly have a unique seasonal profile versus what folks down in the US have.
    Basically, we have an 8 month off season, with 3.5 month playing season. Sometimes you'll see that extended to 4 or 4.5 months of playing if teams head south in April and get lucky with weather.
    My girls also play rep hockey, so, as softball winds down, hockey is kicking off. So they don't get much downtime at all.

    That being said, in my opinion, the long off season offers such a unique opportunity to improve and develop "skills" proficiency. It is the perfect time to put in some fundamental changes to skills like Hitting, Throwing, Fielding. It gives enough time to have a rightly switch to the left side. A pitcher to work on a new pitch, etc....
    We schedule skills training with instructors in the off season, and never in the playing season. There just isn't enough time to make changes stick if being made during the short playing season.

    What the annual season plan does lack, is getting the same amount of playing experience that US players get. I find it very funny when parents new to travel ball complain about all of the tournament weekends they have to dedicate in the summer, in lieu of cottage weekends. I mean, c'mon, we trained for 8 months, and only have 3.5 months to actually play. The summer is not the time to go away and take a vacation. Do that in March

    As for the fitness aspect, because my girls play hockey, they don't really need "extra" fitness sessions during the winter. For girls who aren't doing any other sport during the winter, I could see a need for it.

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