No matter where you live in this wonderful world, and yes – Softball Excellence has followers from all over the world! – you probably enjoy the holidays.
Do you know the 5 things you’re going to need in order to make sure your softball survives the holidays?
The holidays mean different things to different people. Some people absolutely LOVE decorating. They love putting up lights, decorating the tree, having carols playing and entertaining. Other people love the togetherness of the holidays, while others simply like the time off from school or work.
Whatever camp you fall into you want to make sure that all the time off, decorating, eating and travelling don’t mean your softball skills suffer. Whether you’re a coach or a player you want to make sure you enjoy the holidays, but that you come out the other side better than you went in. So, let’s check out my Softball Survival Guide for the Holidays:
- Enjoy Your Family – Softball is a team sport and our family is our most important team. Too often softball takes us away from our family so the holidays is a great time to put softball aside (at least for a while) and focus on the important people in your lives. Nowadays we’re all so stressed for time. Nobody ever seems to have enough of it so the best way to tell important people in your lives how much you care about them is to spend time with them. Get away from the TV and spend time talking at the dinner table, or going to the park or zoo, watch a movie together, play cards. There’s a ton of things you can do with your family that will really mean a lot to you and to them. The funny thing about time is that we never get it back. Once it’s gone it’s gone. So spend time with the important people in your life over the holidays – you’ll be so glad you did!
- Rest – Recharge your batteries. As softball players and coaches we’re very competitive people, which usually means we’re also very busy. We cram our days and our lives as FULL as possible and feel if we’re just chillin then we must be wasting time. Well that might sound good if you’re trying to win a contest at the Type A convention, or actually trying to do the work of 5 people, but in the long run, all that running around wears you down, keeps you from sleeping, and generally makes you less-able. So, give yourself a break. Sleep is a vital part of our body’s ability to stay strong, so take some naps over the holidays. Turn off that ever-churning brain and give it a rest. The holidays will be over soon enough and you can jump back on the hamster wheel called life and start churning away – but do your best to get some well-deserved, and very needed rest.
- Stay Fresh – Don’t let the relaxing feeling of the holidays allow you to lose any knowledge or fitness or skill that you no doubt spent the entire year creating. Keep up your fitness up by creating a workout schedule for the holidays and then sticking to it. While point #2 said Rest, it didn’t mean never leave the couch until after the New Year. The hardest part about getting in shape or learning something new is starting. All the pain and effort and struggles that come with transforming and reshaping your mind and body are not things you want to go through again when the holidays are over. You’ve no doubt gone through them already so avoid the need to start all over again by staying fresh. Your holiday workouts or practices don’t have to be as long as your in-season ones but try to sneak in at least 20 minutes of something every other day. Keep your mind fresh by reviewing your notes or planning some practices or thinking about some strategies. Keep your skills fresh by working on your pitches or doing your T work or taking some grounders in the garage. Our Curve and Screw Ball Hitting Trainers and Power Pods are great for practicing your swing indoors. Do whatever you can with whatever space you have to do it with to avoid losing ground and going backwards. Stay ahead over the holidays by staying fresh.
- Come Out Better – Use the time away to gain an advantage. Learn something new. Expand your brain, stretch your skills and improve yourself. Read a new book, watch a new online drill, or tinker with a new pitch. Come out of the holidays smarter and better then you go into them. It doesn’t have to be a HUGE improvement. You don’t have to read a 500 page book or learn an entirely new pitch from scratch. Make the learning possible and fun. Make it small and interesting. Challenge yourself. You don’t have to be perfect to improve; you just have to keep trying when your first effort gets messed up. If you’re a coach try to learn in the method that you enjoy most. If you love reading then find some online books (eBooks) or hard copy books that might improve your knowledge. We offer both varieties if you haven’t read them yet, so they might be the perfect place to start.
- Be Thankful – Take time to be truly grateful for all that you have. Tell the people in your life that have helped make it possible for you to play or coach or be involved with softball “Thank You“. Lots of people make sacrifices so that you can play or coach softball and the holidays are a great time to give back to them. Someone might drive you around to practices and games all year so maybe a nice afternoon with that person at a coffee shop treating them special and talking about them would be a great way to say Thank You! Someone might watch the kids and take care of the house while you go off to practice and games so maybe a special day getting a massage or a nice dinner would be a nice Thank You! Don’t overlook the power of a handwritten note. With all the texting and email these days people very seldom receive hand written letters, and when they do, they really stand out. So stick out from the crowd by taking the time to sit down this holiday season and write a special note to each of the people in your life that you are truly Thankful for. It might be the people that make it possible for you to be involved with softball, or, it just might be the people you pass every day and simply take them for granted. Thank You’s have a lot of power and really mean a lot to the person receiving them as well as to the person giving them. Give lots of Thanks this holiday season!
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