College Softball Demands

Discussion in 'Softball' started by Vol Horn 4 Life, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. Vol Horn 4 Life

    Vol Horn 4 Life 5,000+ Posts

    As some of you know from my previous posts my daughter plays competitive softball at the highest level. She had zero interest in playing four years of ball in college because she wants to be a pediatric physician however she does want to play for her first two years while she gets her basics out of the way then transfer to UT to finish her bachelor's degree.

    She wanted to play competitively at the JuCo level and finally committed yesterday to a JuCo in Colorado who has won a regional championship two of the past three years playing in the JuCo college world series.

    After many camps, campus visits, conversations with coaches, etc I wasn't really prepared for the conversation we had yesterday with the coach my daughter committed to play for almost immediately after getting the offer.

    Four days a week starting in August begin at 4am ending at about 7pm including strength training, agility training, specific position training, classes, study hall, softball practice and academic coaching then they have to do study time on their own. Coach said she would need to live on 6-7 hours of sleep a night and the rest of her time was structured. I asked about free time and he said yeah she won't have any.

    During the fall they will play about 15 games to fill that "free time" and in the spring its about 45 games not including post season tournaments with little schedule change.

    I guess I say all this because I know she will be judged by others for going to a JuCo instead of following others who play at places like Texas. I'm here to say that playing at any level of college softball at a competitive level can require a commitment like nothing I've ever imagined. Before saying she just played here or there do the work and find out what that player went through before judging.

    I'm not looking forward to the call when she thinks it's overwhelming because I know it's going to happen.
     
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  2. Driver 8

    Driver 8 smoooove

    Wow that seems ridiculously excessive for any sport but I have no clue what college athletics is like - do you know if this is common or this particular school is unique?
     
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  3. racerx5908

    racerx5908 500+ Posts

    Thanks for sharing. It's an interesting perspective on "just a juco".
     
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  4. Vol Horn 4 Life

    Vol Horn 4 Life 5,000+ Posts

    Honestly I'm not really sure. Other coaches have talked about the demands of a college player, but this is the first one to actually lay out the typical day in the fall. For a while my daughter was working out with Taylor Ellsworth but when school started last fall she disappeared. Finally a few weeks later my daughter got a response back apologizing that she had so much going on with school and softball she couldn't continue.

    Based off that and our conversation Friday this seems pretty common. Maybe he was exaggerating some to see if she would wince, but that kind of excited her. I would assume the load would lighten some in the spring when the season gets under way, but I didn't think to ask that question.
     
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  5. Vol Horn 4 Life

    Vol Horn 4 Life 5,000+ Posts

    Also the thin air in Colorado making the ball travel farther is for real. She hits the ball hard but in a three bucket evaluation session she hit 10-12 balls about 240-250 feet. In the softball world that's a monster bomb and she's never hit it that far before.
     
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  6. zztx1

    zztx1 < 25 Posts

    Our daughter played competitive softball in high school and she was too small to play for a winning power 5 conference school. She was a high achieving student and also did not want to let the sport dominate her college life. She did many summer camps at the higher academic schools like Notre Dame and heard coaches say you cannot do sciences here and play. Labs are too hard to fit in during the season. One camp at an Ivy showed her softball players going to med, law and other professional schools. She decided to go that route and the practices were very regulated and limited. Game play was the time when you had to take a lighter load because you never knew what time the buses would leave or get back. Games were often rescheduled due to weather. Her team did go to the NCAA tourney twice and now she looks back on those days as some of her best experiences. Several of her friends are in med school now.
    Some of our friends went the juco route and it turned out that their schools often had less control over practices. Coaches really worked the players hard and they had big rosters. Some even had travelling rosters and home rosters. Juco coaches are trying to make it to the next level so some are really tough.
    One of our friends coached a high school team that won state many times. He always said 80% of college softball coaches are simply poor coaches. They do not know how to prepare players, practice, or coach the games. I think that is completely true. For softball players, there is no pro league to speak of as a career, so getting an excellent education is really important.
     
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