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.
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!