"Practice? Are you fucking kidding me? Dude this is softball. Get a life."
I hear that all the time. Well like it or not, many very good players practice.
The "You Don't Need to Practice Softball" mantra is a fallacy.
Castillo took batting practice 24/7 till the cows came home.
I've seen Eric "Cabezza" Espinal taking 50 ground balls before games.
Many pitchers practice with a heavy ball to increase strength and velocity.
Mickey and Eric have a religious defense drill routine before every game.
Will from the Westlanders goes through an Olympic triathlon before and during games.
When he is not playing, Gilberto Gonzalez does pitching and batting practice on a consistent basis, then gives his son a baseball workout, then after all that runs about 2 miles till he gets home.
So what makes a good practice?
Top Ten Things that make up a good softball practice
10. Purpose - Know why you are practicing? Are you working on your throwing, hitting the other way, practicing a specific pitch. In other words, have a plan.
9. Weather - Sorry but practicing in the middle of an August day in 100 degree temperatures is stupid. After 6pm workouts in the summer or cool weather (no rain) is common sense .
8. Convenience - no need to travel to Australia. a practice field or yard should be close by and easy to get to.
7. Field - You need space, privacy, and safe conditions. A somewhat closed area is preferred if your taking batting practice b/c covering a whole field with 2-3 guys is ridiculously unproductive and difficult.
6. The Company you keep. Workout with guys that are not lazy and have the SB fever. In Spanish they are called "fievrues". Hardcore players.
5. The After Practice Party - Practice hard with the goal of hanging out hard afterwards is cool.
4. Heckling/Trash Talking/Jokes - you gotta have fun while your busting your ass.
3. Innovation - Add a little spice to the hum drum workout by using new drills, practicing game situations, use new gear/equipment.
2. Tryout - invite new players to practice. Its a good non pressure way to see what someone new has got. One of the funnier practices I attended was a guy's wife who kept emailing Blonde about how good her husband was. Blonde invited him to workout and the guy should up with a Modell's sports bag that contained a brand new glove and cleats. Bad sign. The guy was terrible. I'll never forget him
and the Number one thing that makes a good softball practice
1. Running - when in doubt Run. Everyone loves batting practice, You stand there, hit the ball, and then someone else fetches it. But real practice involves moving. Running is not fun. It's hard work, but it will make you feel better, keep your legs and wind strong, get your system going. So always incorporate IF and OF defense in any practice.
They say practice makes prefect, but softball/baseball is a game of imperfection. Practicing reduces the number of times your imperfect... unless of course your a headcase :))))