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Whether you played softball in school or you’ve never played a game in your life, outdoor softball leagues are incredibly beneficial in many ways. You get a great workout, the ability to talk to people who share your interests, and the self-confidence that comes along with learning a new sport. Below are five tips for anyone who might be new to outdoor softball leagues to help you get the most out of your experience.
#1 – Use the Right Equipment
Some of the things to make your outdoor softball experience an enjoyable one include a glove, a softball bat, some softball cleats, and maybe a batting helmet. Finding shoes and equipment that properly fit you is important for keeping you safe and preventing things like blisters or broken bones. Be sure to break in your cleats and your glove prior to your first game since this will keep you far more comfortable.
#2 – Practice Throwing before the First Game
No matter which position you play, you will need to be able to throw a softball. This is something you can practice year-round, too. Perfecting your mechanics as much as you possibly can will make you a better player, and in turn, you will become an asset to your team. What’s more, if you learn the right way to throw before your first serious practice or game, you can greatly reduce the risk of a shoulder injury.
#3 – Remember to Run Bases Aggressively
One of the biggest mistakes new softball players make involves the player being indecisive or taking their time while running bases because they think they are in the clear. You should always run the bases as if you are running away from an angry bear to prevent an unwanted out. The feeling that comes from knowing you likely would have taken that base if you applied yourself a little more is disappointing, so always do your best.
#4 – Warm Up & Cool Down
If you aren’t warming up and cooling down before and after sessions, you are putting yourself at risk for injury. The most common injury on the softball field is a shoulder injury, and in many cases, this sort of injury can be avoided with proper care and attention. Other injuries include elbow, wrist, back, and knee issues which are often caused by failure to warm up or cool down.
#5 – Learn How to be a Versatile Player
Everyone on your team probably has a favorite position or role they may excel in, and you are no exception. However, no matter how exceptional you might be at knocking home runs over the fence or stopping runners at first, you must learn to be a versatile player. Learning at least one other secondary position will make you an incredible asset to your team.
Being new to outdoor softball leagues can be stressful to say the least, but with the tips above and the right attitude, you are far more likely to be viewed as a valuable part of the team. When you feel valued, you can build self-confidence, and that spills over into everything you do in life, whether at home, at work, or out on the field.
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