Softball Never Ever list

As at least some of you know, my day job is working for Amendola Communications, a PR agency that specializes in healthcare and health IT products and services. (How many thought softball was my day job?) Through that I have become familiar with many terms used in the healthcare industry. Hillary tag

One of the most interesting is the concept of “never events,” which are things in healthcare that should never happen because the lead to adverse outcomes (healthcarespeak for death or serious injury/illness). From that comes the concept of the “never ever list.” This is a list of things doctors in particular should never, ever do in order to avoid never events.

Why am I talking about all this? Because the topic came up (in a way) at a catching clinic I was conducting today. I saw a catcher do something and told her she should never, ever do that.

That got me to thinking. Maybe it would be a good idea to create a “never ever” list for softball. So with that in mind I’d like to ask the larger softball community – those who read this blog, members of Discuss Fastpitch and anyone else who would like to participate – to help me put together a great list. It would be something coaches could copy, print out and hand to their players to ensure they’re playing to the best of their abilities.

If you’d like to play, please leave a comment, either below on Life in the Fastpitch Lane or on DFP. Just a few ground rules.

I’m not looking for things like “don’t take lessons (or listen to) so-and-so,” or stay at such-and-such a hotel or play at a particular tournament. That’s what apps like Yelp! are for.

Instead, I’m looking for things where a decision is involved, especially during a game but also around it. I am thinking about making this an upcoming Softball Magazine column too, so if you contribute and would like to be credited under your real or screen name, please include that with your contribution.

Ok, to help get the ball rolling here are some of the things I think should be on the “never ever” list. The first one, incidentally, is the one that kicked off this whole idea.

  • Fielders, never ever pick up a ball on the ground with your glove.
  • Fielders, never ever block the base without the ball. That is obstruction and it’s being called more and more. Get the ball and then get into the baseline.
  • Fielders, never ever throw to a base when it’s obvious there is no play. Only bad things can happen. Instead, look for another play or eat the ball.
  • Hitters, never ever swing at a pitch you’ve already decided to take (unless you already have two strikes).
  • Hitters, never ever use more bat than you can swing quickly and well.
  • Pitchers, never ever do wrist flips. They are a waste of time and make you worse, not better.
  • Pitchers, never ever force a follow-through (hello elbow).
  • Base runners, never ever slide directly into a tag. Do a slide by, turn and go back, do anything but let yourself get tagged out.
  • Base runners, never ever take a lead off third in fair territory. If the ball hits you, you’re out. If you’re in foul territory it will still hurt, but you (or your replacement) will be able to return to third.

What would you add? Players, you are welcome to add to it too. Don’t let the coaches have all the fun!


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 20, 2016, in Coaching, General Thoughts and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. A great list as something to review, but I’ve found during a game you need to tell them what you want them to do…. not what you don’t want them to do. I’ve found that girls will forget the ‘never’ and do it.


  2. Yes, you wouldn’t present it that way in a game. This list is more about how to get them thinking in the right way in practice so they can make better decisions. You can present it as “always do X” but the idea of “never do this” seems to grab their attention. It’s a yin and yang. Instead of doing X, do Y.


  3. My partners and I are in the process of opening up a new girls tournament place softball camp located in Cooperstown, NY. The camp will be modeled after Dreams Park and Cooperstown Allstar Village which currently exists in the area. With the team we have assembled it promises to be the premier softball facility in the world. We would like to distribute a survey so we can see the needs and wants of our potential patrons as well as their families are. I am not interested in obtaining any sort of list and if you feel more comfortable distributing the survey thats ok. I would welcome a conversation if you could be so kind to call me at 516-578-0800 to discuss.

    Thank you,
    Perry Ferrara


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