Although many major softball players can make the game look effortless while on the field, I believe my success comes from intense training off the field. Because the competition is so intense, and the over all talent of players continues to improve, I feel as if I need to train six days a week in the off season. My training away from the field consist of three parts. I hope after reading this article you will try my training techniques (adjusted to your body weight and workout abilities) and see positive results on the playing field.
1. Stretching: you should try to stretch the entire body at least two times a day. Stretching after running and before lifting is very important. When the muscles begins to gain flexibility it will help the growth of the muscle as well as enhance your performance. Obviously if you don't take the time to stretch, and you pull a muscle preventing you to play at your best, you are hurting the team as well as yourself.
2. Aerobic conditioning: I do two types of running. I jog 10 to 15 minutes before I left to warm up my body and build endurance in my legs. I also do sprints after my weightlifting. After Monday and Thursdays weightlifting you will notice that I do a baserunning drill. This accomplishes two things at once. Not only do I get my sprints, but I also work at my baserunning skills at the same time. Aerobic conditioning can only benefit you on the playing field. Here's an example: you hit a ball and falls for a single, but because you are hustling, you stretch it into a double. On the next pitch your teammate gets a base hit, and you third-base coaches waving you in the score. Because of your off-season conditioning you score easily, but if you're out of shape you might not have scored because you were still tired from your hit. Proper conditioning can also be an advantage if your team falls into the losers bracket, and is required to play many games in a row. If you are in shape, your play will not suffer.
3. Weightlifting: obviously the stronger you are, the harder and father you will hit the ball as well as throw the ball. I always do warm-up sets, on initial lifts, and unless I lift maximum weight with good form.
Training to be successful in your favorite sport can be easy if you want to become an average player. If you want to become as good as you can be you must have tremendous desire and discipline to push yourself to the limit. I've always had the attitude that you have to work harder than everyone else to have a chance to become better than everyone else. Obviously this does, not happen, but in the same time you will be improving and be very happy with your play.