College is right around the corner. For some softball players that means college tryouts are about to begin! Tryouts can be some of the toughest weeks you will ever go through in college; but will be well worth it once you make the team. Here are a few training tips on what to focus on before heading off to college.
There are four main training categories for softball: Offense, Defense, Cardio, and Weight Training.
For normal training sessions, I would only do two categories per day and actually only train 3-5 times a week. But for you, this is a cram session! Expect to do a lot of running, throwing, and hitting during tryouts; so make that your training focus! You may run the most you ever run all year during the first weeks of school. Coaches like to implement lots of vigorous running workouts to test players, get players into shape, and to weed out the weak players. For your next two weeks, I would recommend running as your main focus. Make sure to include long distance 1-3 miles and short sprints in your workouts.
For long distance, run outside. The tryouts are going to be outside so get used to the weather. For sprints, focus a lot on running the bases. It is almost guaranteed that you will be timed from home to first. You may also be timed on home to second, home to third, and around the horn. Even if you’re not timed, the coach may still just want to see your footwork on the bags; and therefore make you run them.
For weight training, I would not worry on this as much or at all. Weight training will probably not be included during tryouts. But, expect it to start immediately once you’ve made the team. Each team usually has its own lifting regiment it follows, so you may never actually use my recommended lifts. One again, I would not focus at all on this area before tryouts since it takes days for your body to bounce back after these lifts. But for future use, here are some of the most beneficial lifts for softball training (Click on links to see videos on how to do the lifts):
- Weighted squats
- One legged squats and lunges
- Straight leg deadlift
- Box jumps
- Power clean
- Clean and jerks
- Ab Bridge
- Arm raises
- Dumbbell shoulder press
- Triceps Extensions
- Reverse pull-ups
Go to the batting cage, hit off the tee, hit softball toss, practice bunting, and take practice swings. Get your body ready for swinging the bat at practices that can last four hours at times. Hopefully, at this point you have your technique ready for tryouts. You just need to worry about swinging with endurance and being able to take a lot of consistent cuts.
Similar to offensive training where you should have you techniques ready for tryouts at this point. You also need to prepare your throwing arm for long enduring practices. Find a throwing partner and get a lot of throws in before tryouts. Remember to throw short and long distance. If you don’t have a partner, grab a bucket of balls, find a target, and throw to that. You need to build endurance in your arm muscles. If you are an infielder or catcher, you will also need to build some endurance for squatting. Take lots of grounders, do timed wall squats, and get used to bending those legs!
After each workout, don’t forget to stretch!