As a young player I did not understand the game of softball like I do today. My success back then was a result of hard work and my father’s influence. He always had a plan and a method for how and why to do things. I just did what he told me the same way every player does what her coach tells her to do. My dad did encourage me to think for myself about the game in all of its important details though, and become a ‘student of the game’. To him, every practice and every game was a learning experience and an opportunity for me to grow as a player. When I was in middle school he arranged for me to practice with the local high school team so I could learn from girls who were older than me. He took me to watch players like Dana Sorenson (a then future Stanford graduate and NCAA World Series pitcher) and other high school and college athletes so I could see how they played the game at their levels. He even taped games of the Atlanta Braves when Greg Maddox pitched so I could see how to dominate batters with just location and off speed pitches like Maddox did. As I matured I began to understand my dad’s thinking and his methods. I started to understand why it was so important to consistently be able to hit my spots and work ahead in the count as a pitcher and to look for a good pitch to hit early in the count as a hitter. I, myself, began to recognize the tendencies and patterns of opposing pitchers and hitters and understand what pitch to call and what pitch to expect. These ideas that I learned from my dad were greatly instrumental to my softball success and now they are available to you in What’s the Count?. The game is the same at every level and the things I learned early on I still use today. The methods and plans my dad teaches to his travel ball players are the very same ideas that I try to instill into my college players. From the recreational league to the collegiate level what sets the great players apart is their mentality. With the growing popularity of our sport it has become commonplace for players to improve their physical skills through camps, clinics, and private lessons, but there seems to be a void when it comes to improving their mental game. This book will fill that void and provide you with the softball mentality to become a ‘student of the game’ which will give you an advantage on your competition and maximize your full potential as a player.
What’s the Count? focuses totally on the mental game, and specifically on how to get the advantage in the ongoing pitcher/batter battles. This book will educate you on all aspects of these battles and provide you with detailed step by step plans to get the advantage in them. If you are a pitcher it will tell you how to keep and increase the advantage you start with at the beginning of every at bat. If you are a batter it will tell you what is required for you to take the advantage away from the pitcher and have it for yourself. The book is complete with ideas, definitions, and terms required to understand the plans, handy lists of dos, don’ts, and goals for both the pitcher and the batter, and authentic real-life stories to exemplify the use and effectiveness of the plans.
The very best players are able to recognize and understand the tendencies and patterns of the game, process the information, and formulate plans to maximize their success both on the mound and at the plate. What’s the Count? formulates and provides these plans.
Head Softball Coach
University of Nevada at Las Vegas