So, what did Softball Santa put under your tree?

Now that we’re a few days past Christmas/Channukah/Kwanzaa/Winter Solstice, I’m wondering what Softball Santa brought you. Would love to get a little dialog going on this topic. I’ll start.

I received a dozen Jugs Lite Flite balls and a dozen TCB balls . The Lite Flites are actually for vision training, not hitting. I will be marking them with the numbers 1-4 in black and red Sharpie and adding them to the ones I already have. That way the girls won’t be able to cheat by remembering which balls have already gone by and guessing by process of elimination. 

The way we’ll use them is to shoot them through a Jugs pitching machine and have the girls try to identify the color and the number on the ball as it whizzes by. Sounds impossible, but actually it’s not.With a bit of practice and effort you can actually see the number as well as the color. It’s a nice, cheap imitation of the expensive Vision Trak training that uses tennis balls and a specially designed machine.

The TCB balls are for hitting, obviously. I’ve heard a lot of good things about them. If you hit them square they fly well. If you’re off a bit, they deform momentarily and you know you need to improve your bat path. I’m anxious to try them out at the next practice.

The other thing I received is a copy of the book The Talent Code . It’s about how top performers are made, not born with innate ability — and how you can create them too. Watch this space for a more detailed review.

So that’s me. What did you get? And what are you still looking to get?

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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 December 30, 2010, in Coaching, General Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. The original TCB balls didn’t seem to hold up all that well to the beating they took (we used them a lot) – the hole plug would pop out. I’m hoping the new “Hole” version will be just as useful but without the durability issue. Conceptually, these have been a terrific tool for us, notwithstanding durability issues.

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  2. Received a red No Errors E2 Catchers Bag. It is huge, however, holds all my gear with room to spare. Love the big wheels and the shelving system and external zip away hooks. Can’t wait to take it to the field.Also received a red and white Easton Natural Two Tone Grip helmet. I paired it up with my red Rip-It Blackout face guard (got the face guard in the fall). It looks awesome…Lastly I received two softball T-Shirts and a Peace Love Softball bracelet…On a different note, we used the TCB softballs in the fall. They were awesome for pre-game where there is little space to practice all of the hitting drills. We will use them indoors in a few weeks, when we start back up indoors…

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