Rolling bats no substitute for hard work

Got an interesting text today from the mom of one of my fastpitch softball hitting and pitching students. She was out at a game, and her daughter was apparently putting on quite a hitting display. Someone else there was impressed and thought that she had a doctored bat. He was talking about getting his daughter’s bat “rolled” to help her out.

The mom had no idea what it was, and asked if she should get her daughter’s bat rolled too.

Of course I immediately answered no and explained it is illegal. (That’s right, it is against the rules for those of you considering it.) That was enough for her, and she was glad she checked. But as she explained why she was asking it brought up an interesting point.

There are no shortcuts on the road to success, but people still continue to look for one. Rolling the bat is one of them. I’m sorry, but there’s no substitute for quality teaching coupled with hard work.

That’s what the girl whose mom contacted me has done. We’ve worked together for three years, ever since she was 10, and during that time she has made amazing strides — a little bit at a time. The display she put on today was the result of all that time and effort she put in, not a bat that had been doctored.

Yes, it can be tempting to try to get that quick edge. But rather than paying someone to treat a bat, instead invest that time, money and effort in actually learning how to hit. The results will be a lot more satisfying.

As for the mom, if you knew her you’d know how horrified she was to find out she’d even considered doing anything illegal. As she said, she and daughter want no part of cheating. Glad she asked before she did it!

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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 April 29, 2012, in General Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Love that comment Ken. We live in a society that is looking for the quickest and easiest way to get things done with the least amount of efforts.In sports including in softball, that translates into athletes who literally have to learn what is hard work. Hard work is now something they must learn as it ain’t as much part of our regular life as it used to. Spoon-fed kids have it easy in most areas of their lives. In sports, there is no real shortcuts possible. It is a tough awakening for many of them to learn to work hard.

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  2. Very true, Marc. Everyone wants the easy way. But there is no easy way to softball. People can look at it this way. The umpires can take away your rolled bat. But they can’t take away the technique you’ve worked to achieve.

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