The 2017 D1 college season is almost here! Most teams will be cramming in a few extra rounds of batting practice off of live pitching to get ready for the first weekend. The first weekend is always an exciting one filled with a compilation of different emotions. The freshmen will be jittery as nerves and adrenaline take over. Sophomores and Juniors will be calmer because they have done it all before, and the seniors are embarking on the beginning of the end.
For those who only tune in for the spring college softball season, these athletes have been preparing mentally and physically as a group since they set foot on campus back in September. In the fall, teams are allowed 20 hours of practice a week with a maximum of four hours per day. Most teams will participate in three hours of softball practice with an hour of weight lifting and/or conditioning added on.
Once the fall games wrap up, all college teams enter an “individual’s” period, where they are only allowed to practice as a team for eight hours a week. Only two of those eight hours of practice can be softball related, while the other six hours can be supervised by weight lifting and conditioning staff members. Athletes can during this time, practice on their own along with fellow teammates. Accountability is a huge piece to a team’s eight-hour success.
In the middle of eight-hours comes winter break, where the athletes get to return home for almost a month. Typically, most D1 college coaches will schedule a conditioning or weight lifting test that the athletes are aware of for when they come back from winter break. Again, this holds the athletes accountable to stay up on their physical game while they are away.
In the second week of January, 20 hours of practice a week start up again. Most teams during this time will take advantage of having their pitchers throw live at-bats to the hitters and put the team into live scrimmage situations to simulate games. This is extremely beneficial because the players haven’t been in a live game situation since their fall games wrapped up.
Then in the blink of an eye, February rolls around and the 55 games college softball regular season begins! There will be pre-season tournaments happening all over the country for the first six weeks. On average, four to five different teams will play at one location all over the country. We at Fastpitch News will do our best to post pre-season coverage to keep fans up to date on how their favorite teams are doing.
Conference games are set to begin in the last week of March. Until then, we wish all of the team’s good luck, show the nation what you’ve been working on for the past five months, and fans stay tuned because we have a lot coming your way!