9 ½ weeks

I took my first softball lesson less than a month after the fall softball season ended. Now we’re a week into February and pitchers and catchers report to Lakeland in a month. My season usually starts the first week of May, which is closer than it sounds.

Anticipating my own propensity to procrastinate, I’ve begun a list of what I want to accomplish in my training between now and my own Opening Day at Davis Park.

  1. Learn to dive. This one cracks my husband (the natural athlete/soccer star/6-year-old state record holder) up. I was literally absent the day my high school team practiced diving, and now, as a 30-year-old, I need to catch up. I’m a bit apprehensive—when I reminded my coach, he said, “Oh, no, I have to put you through that?” Since my midsection and ribs have made it this far unscathed, I suppose it’s time for some gut checks—literally.
  2. Buy new cleats. My current cleats have been stretched by years of playing outfield, where the grass is almost always wet. Over the past few months, I’ve done even more damage to them: the leather of the instep is shredding from dragging my right foot at the end of a throw, etc. And the actual cleats are worn down so far that I slipped a handful of times last season in the outfield. Now the only question is, which cleats do I buy? Obviously, the hot pink Jennie Finch Mizunos are out of the question. Why aren’t baseball cleats as cool as soccer cleats?
  3. Run outdoors more often. Confession: I love the cardio machines at the YMCA, but the treadmill can suck it. Now that I’ve discovered how pleasurable it is to run outside when it’s above 20 degrees, I don’t think I’ll set foot on the blasted belt again. If all goes according to plan, I’ll start this season in shape and injury free—the first time I’ve been able to say that in, well, 12 years or more.
  4. Master the inside out swing. Who knew Rod Allen wasn’t making things up when he showed us Miguel Cabrera’s “classic inside out swing” on all those slow motion replays? High, outside pitches have been my bread and butter for the past 4 seasons, but one benefit of finally learning how to REALLY swing a bat means I am also learning how to send an inside pitch opposite field. Last week I managed to send one tailing sharply into right, and my coach said, “That’s how the big boys hit.”

Between my “to-do” list and my training, I’m hoping I can tick a few items off my season-long list, like knocking one off the fence and hitting a stand-up triple.

Stand-up, of course, because I’ll want to keep the new cleats clean.

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by kmmattison and kmmattison, The Idler. The Idler said: To-do: learn to dive, master inside out swing, get new cleats, all before baseball season starts: http://t.co/ZqMbxFb […]

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