What’s the deal with conditioning and HS tryouts?

This is the week for high school tryouts. And with it come the interesting stories.

I’ve heard from several of my students who told me that much of their tryouts were spent not showing their skills, but running, running running.

Not to go all Seinfeld on you, but what’s the deal with that? I know tryouts for the most part are perfunctory. Most teams, especially varsity teams, are chosen well in advance. Still, wouldn’t you think that coaches would want to take as long a look at the skills of their players as they can, to make sure no stone is left unturned?

All I can figure is they’re trying to weed out the girls who are just dabbling, or trying softball for the first time. That’s a shame. A school sport should be more inclusive, at least at the lower levels. Why make it miserable right off the bat?

Some schools have trouble even fielding teams at all levels. Running the girls to death is no way to get them out. It’s not that I’m anti-conditioning. It’s an important part of sports performance. But why not ease them into it? Or build up to it? After all, it’s not soccer or basketball. It doesn’t take all the much endurance to play our sport. Conditioning is not the game-changer it is in continuous motion sports.

Start with a reasonable amount and work your way up. Better yet, work conditioning into skills training to maximize your efficiency. With a little effort and imagination it can be done. And that way, you’re not turning off kids who might otherwise be able to make a real contribution to the team.

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About Ken Krause

Ken Krause has been coaching girls fastpitch softball for nearly 20 years. Some may know him as a contributing columnist to Softball Magazine, where he writes Krause's Korner -- a regular column sponsored by Louisville Slugger. Ken is also the Administrator of the Discuss Fastpitch Forum, the most popular fastpitch discussion forum on the Internet. He is currently a Three Star Master Coach with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), and is certified by both the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and American Sports Education Program (ASEP). Ken is a private instructor specializing in pitchers, hitters, and catchers. He teaches at North Shore Baseball Academy in Libertyville, IL and Pro-Player Consultants in McHenry, IL.

Posted on March 5, 2010, in General Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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