There will come a time in every softball players career where advice and coaching from parents will run out and getting help from an expert will be needed. There are softball instructors for everything, whether it’s pitching, catching, hitting, slapping, infield, outfield, or running technique, chances are there is someone in your area who specializes in one of those fields.
Softball instructors are usually former players who played at the collegiate level and beyond. They are considered to be the best at what they did on the field, and many find a home and a career path giving back to the next generation by providing instruction after their career ends. Male instructors will also almost always have a background as a player, in men’s fastpitch or baseball, and have learned and studied the game as well.
There are several steps to be taken when looking for the instructor who will be the right fit for your daughter. “How do you even go about finding an instructor?” is a common question asked by many. Word of mouth is the number one way to find an instructor in your area. Don’t be afraid to ask around; chances are many pitchers in the same area see the same pitching instructor. Below is a list of ways to find the right instructor and to determine if he/she is the right fit for your player.
Research: If finding an instructor through word of mouth doesn’t work, the next option would be to take to the internet. Often, instructors will have websites for clients to access. Those searching for an instructor may be able just to google “softball pitching lessons near me,” and they will be directed to the website. Doing research is important when it comes to finding a new instructor. Don’t just read up on what is offered by the instructor, but also read up on the instructor. This will help parents determine if the instructor is qualified and they will also learn about the instructor’s background, which may be similar to the current player.
Give it a Try: Once you have a few potential instructors narrowed down, it may be helpful to give them all a try. Don’t just settle on one instructor right away based on what you hear and read about them on the internet. Everyone is going to have different experiences and journey’s in softball. Try a few different instructors and then determine which one your daughter responded better too, or which one you both feel is the right fit. It’s important to consider the player’s opinion because she will be the one working with the instructor.
Did you Learn?: The purpose of seeing a softball instructor is to learn new skills and a mindset that you can apply to your overall game. You should always leave your lessons with your instructor having learned at least one new thing or have improved one percent on the day. If players are improving one percent at each lesson or practice, they will be well on their way to success. Keeping a notebook in a bat bag to jot things down afterward is an excellent way for players to filter out what they learned at the lesson and they will have it to look back on. If you are continually learning and developing with an instructor, this is when you have the right fit.
Finding the right softball instructor can be a challenge, but once you find the right fit, your player will be well on her way to developing and pushing herself towards the next level. It’s important that at the first meeting, goals, and dreams are discussed with the instructor. Getting everyone on the same page needs to happen first. Communication and trust are also key. If your player has a hard time communicating or trusting the instructor, this may not be the right fit. Do your research, give multiple instructors a try, and reflect on what you learned. If you do all of these things as well as trust the process, you will find the instructor who is the right fit.