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College Winter Break:


Ex "Expert"
Feb 25, 2009
Players are starting to come home for Christmas and so, I'm sure some of you can post some of the impressions of your dd's first semester of college ball. Others can post about current or past experiences. Here are some observations since many of my former players are wanting to come in and hit.

  • The facilities at the various schools greatly vary. Some players are hitting and fielding on turf. Others off of gym floors and with only a turf mat. It does seem to moving toward more players having turf facilities.
  • The level of instruction greatly varies. One player said that her coach never coaches hitting. They have a hitting coach. Apparently, that person is more supervisor than coach. Another said that they get filmed all of the time. One said that they get filmed the first week and that is it.
  • Most schools hit with wood during the off season. Many do the overload/under-load stuff.
  • I'd bet it is about 50/50 that schools get a transfer in after break. I know when BB played, 3 of the 4 years she played, they had a transfer in after break.
  • The weight-room has become extremely important. I can't say that one player plays in a program that does not lift and lift seriously.
  • One thing I thought was shocking was that it seems various schools are all over the place with regards to monitoring players and their grades. However, for every player, that freshman year has required some type of study hall.
  • I thought it interesting that for some schools, you have to earn your practice gear for spring ball.
  • Player equipment varies greatly. Most schools have some type of bat program. Many have some type of warm-up program. Even fewer have some type of glove program. Shoes seem to be consistent in all programs. BB was fortunate that they had just about everything a player could ask for. Thank goodness. She went through bats like crazy. Her senior year, she broke four.
  • One troubling aspect of what I hear from players coming back is that most don't talk much with their academic adviser. For BB, she stopped in that office all of the time.
  • Finally, a few players area always shocked that the coach is not the same as they were when the player was recruited. LOL
It would be interesting to see what others have to add.
Jul 16, 2013
DD is currently in finals week. We are picking her up on Saturday for winter break. So far she is definitely enjoying the overall experience. She is very happy with her choice of major as well as the softball team; coaches and players. Listed below are some other various notes. Keep in mind that she is D3 so some of the items may vary.
* She is extremely happy with the facilities. The University she is at is using a nearly brand new turf complex. The on-campus weight room and practice facilities are also quite nice.
* The coaches work with the players on many of the fundamentals, but don't really mess with something if it is working. What I mean is that they have not challenged DD in regards to hitting or pitching mechanics. They seem pleased with what she is doing in that regard. I plan to work with her as much as possible over winter break, and she has several lessons scheduled with her pitching instructor.
* Weight-room is extremely important. They have various programs for fall, winter, spring, and summer and vary the program somewhat based on the player's position. For example, the pitchers do much more in regards to 'arm care'.
* She cannot stop talking about how much assistance they have from beyond the coaching staff. Several trainers and physical therapists are highly involved with the athletic programs. They do not have a team lifting session without at least two trainers in attendance. When they are doing an exercise that requires a spotter, that spotter is always a trainer, not another player. The trainers are constantly monitoring their form and technique when lifting, and correcting them if they are doing something incorrectly. As a parent, I am absolutely thrilled that the staff is this involved. The physical therapists spend a great deal of time with the players and help them with any needs they have.
* She is at a private D3 school. Academics are extremely important. The coaching staff is very much in touch with each student and helping with tutors and other things when necessary. They also help coordinate meetings with advisers when necessary. The head coach is very close with some of the advisers. One adviser is actually a recently graduated ex-softball player.
* The school provides a pile of gear as far as shirts, shorts, jackets, etc. But most of the typical softball gear is the players responsibility; glove, bat, etc. They do provide helmets and bags. Cleats are provided at a huge discount.
* She was also surprised at how close the team has become this quickly. They have players from 5 different states so it is a wide range of backgrounds and personalities. However, they often have team gatherings, team dinners, and other events. And it seems many of them hang out together even outside those events. One thing that surprised me is that girls from various grades also hang out together. I was a little concerned that cliques with the older girls would have already formed, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Obviously they know each other better and some are even roommates, but they have been very welcoming to the freshmen class.

Honestly, I really don't have anything negative to say about the experience so far. I think DD made an excellent choice of schools; both academically and athletically. The transition has been harder for DW and myself, then for DD. She was extremely ready to be done with high school and is very happy with college.


Ex "Expert"
Feb 25, 2009
Cannonball.. can you explain the wooden bat ?
Sure, some college teams hit with composite wooden bats that are typically -3. My dd grew up hitting with a wooden bat that was drop 0. I took athletic tape and taped the end of it until it was zero. The thought process then is that it forces a hitter to hit with their core and not their arms. We hit with wood on my HS team during practices against both live arm and in the cage. BTW, we also hit with a CamWood Bat which incorporates a lot of the same principles.

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