Softball Pro Tips From an Amateur

A few posts ago I made mention of a co-ed softball team that I was asked to join this summer.

Not to brag, but as a last round draft pick (a.k.a. after the team was formed and after they exhausted their substitutes for a few weeks they brought me on full time), I bring a lot of knowledge to the sports table. Buckle up because I’m about to learn you some pro softball tips.

First and foremost: my credentials. I played eight years total of T-ball, baseball, and softball. Assigned to the outfield for optimal clover picking in my early years, my last few seasons spent on the field were at first and catcher. Unlike those pansies who see their careers end with devastating injuries, I honorably retired from softball just before high school because I was afraid of the fast pitching. No shame in my game, friends.

Now, on to the life changing softball advice I have to offer all you newbs.

Wear a hat. And sunscreen. As someone who mostly avoids going outside when the temperature exceeds 80 degrees, I must urge you to protect yourself. I would advise eyewear as well, except I’ve left two different sunglasses at the ball park two different time, never to be seen again. I can’t be trusted with more than a hat. But maybe you can.

When batting, don’t chuck your bat haphazardly. The catcher doesn’t appreciate that… I might’ve heard one squeal the last time I awkward flung my bat and took off for first……..

Hit the ball far. Hitting is not my strong suit. I used to think my strong suit was fielding but then I missed two pop-ups in the same game so I think my strong suit might be warming the bench. Or cheering on others. I got off topic in this paragraph.

Hit the ball far, part 2. Listen… I am out of breath every single game because unlike the rest of my team who all power that softball into the grass, giving themselves plenty of time to run, I barely chip it and send it right to the pitcher. Thus, I’m running balls out (pun intended) to first to try and make it safely. I am successful 50% of the time. Don’t take this as a weakness, though. It’s called strategy. GEEZ.

Use a glove that is less than two decades old. I won’t lie, I’m not 100% sure where my glove came from. I know when I first started playing ball I had a black glove and then I got this tan one- but I don’t think we bought it. I think it might’ve been passed down from a relative. All that to say, the former owner got the benefit of padding and structure. My glove is a very, very limp piece of leather. And I think it’s actually a baseball glove. (They tell me there’s a difference.)

Learn the positions. We all know first base and third base, but do you know which field is left and which field is right? Honestly, I don’t either. But I play in one of them. It’s the one behind first base and when a lefty steps up to the plate everyone on the field side-eyes me nervously.

Learn your place. Are you the all-star? The comic relief? The comedian? I like to think I’m the quiet one that keeps to myself and smiles awkwardly if an unfamiliar teammate sits too close to me. (I kid. That was my place but I know everyone now, lol.)

I think those are enough tips for a Tuesday. I don’t want to overwhelm you. Obviously feel free to reach out if you have any questions. Myself or one of my many agents will get back to you promptly. Email me at audreyhasn’tplayedsoftballin+15years@whydidisayyes.com*.

😜

**Not a real email.

NASCAR Racing

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that roughly 100% of you don’t want NASCAR and have never been to a race… nor would you ever go to a race. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this post will go Pinterest-famous or I’ll be a Twitter sensation and everyone will flock to this post and drink in the knowledge of this avid race fan.

Either way, I write what I write because I like it. Hopefully you read what you read because you like it.

NASCAR_tips_racing

There are multiple races driven on a race weekend, but I’m going to limit these tips to the Sprint Cup series (a.k.a. the one you’ve heard of that Jeff Gordon used to race in). Also, for the sake of time, I’m going to assume you’re at a day race. Sometimes they race at night (and it’s awesome), but most of the races start around 1pm. So let’s do this…

| 1 | Pick a driver.
If someone has dragged you against your will into a race track and you could not care less who wins, then you’re going to have a crappy time. Even if you don’t know the names of the men (and woman) in the cars, you need to pick one. The excitement comes when your guy is flying around turn four and passing all the cars. If you really absolutely don’t care, allow me to suggest a few drivers that tend to pass others (verses be passed): 48, 18, 4, 30, and 22.

*I am not a fan of most of those guys, but there’s no denying they win a lot.

| 2 | Wear sunscreen like it’s your job and RE-APPLY often.
Most seats are in direct sunlight for the entire +/- 4 hour race. You’re essentially on an aluminum baking sheet for the hottest part of the day with no shade. I guess if you like to tan this is great news… but if you belong to The Proud Pale People of America Association like I do then this is what you’ve been training for. Last weekend I reapplied 50 spf every 20 minutes to my legs, chest, and arms. I had it on my face, too, but I never attend a race without a hat. (The sun bleached and ruined my hair once- ugh.) I’m proud to say that after two 6 hours days in the sun I am still borderline ghostly.

| 3 | Pack all the good (light-weight) snacks.
The hands-down best part about a NASCAR race is the fact that you can byob. And byof. As long as it’s not in glass, you can bring your beer, pop, water, chips, trail mix, pb&j sandwiches, etc. into the track via cooler. Usually we consume lots of adult beverages (as do those around us), but this weekend was SO HOT and we inhaled the water bottles.

NASCAR_gif

| 4 | Go shopping between laps 1 and 100.
Once you pick a driver it’s time to fully commit. NASCAR has recently changed their merchandise set up. Once upon a time the different drivers/teams had trailers that were set up similar to a fair or street festival and your bopped from one to the next buying t-shirts and koozies. Now they have a large roped off area where there are different driver/team sections under a tent (similar to a craft show) and you collect all the gear you want to buy and pay for it all at once in the cash-wrap tent. The new set-up is easier, but I bet it’s crazy crowded when +30,000 people are scrambling for a Jimmie Johnson shirt before the race. That’s what I suggest shopping after the race has started; it’s a ghost town.

| 5 | Be ready for anything.
One year it rained and we had to go home and miss the race. One year it rained and they didn’t start until 8pm. One year it rain halfway through, they red flagged the race (paused it), and picked it up once the rain quit. One year I had to buy a sweatshirt and a blanket to stay warm and this year I was in a tank top and shorts. Sometimes it takes 5 minutes to clean up a wreck and sometimes it takes 20 minutes. Honestly, you never know what you’re going to get when you walk into that race track.

Items you will definitely need: ear plugs, sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen.

Ok, I know this post won’t appeal to everyone, but if you’ve made it this far, I thank you 🙂 I promise I’ll get back to the norm next week.

Have you ever watched a NASCAR race? Have I sparked your interest at all? What sports do you shell out money for?

audielou.com_signature