The fan is part of the game. I’ve seen some good ones, some “not so good” and some really “BAD fans”. The good ones cheer for all girls on their team and respect the opponents. They create positive cheers and chants and praise the great plays on the field. They’re kind, supportive and encouraging. They’re not afraid to compliment a great play from the opponent. They can actually change the momentum in a game.

At the College World Series I was a guest of one of the Washington families and saw it first hand with the Parents of the Head Coach actually started cheers in the stands to raise the excitement. The noise and excitement gave encouragement to the girls. Be the good fan!

The “not so good fan” sits in the crowd and just watches the game. Some actually sit with their arms crossed not participating in the chants or the music or the plays being made on the field. They don’t cheer or get excited about anything. They show up late and leave early and get up and down during the game interrupting everyone else’s view. They’re just not involved.

The “BAD” fan screams at the players when they make an error. They criticize the coaches and the players. They yell at the calls the umpire makes. They think that they know everything there is to know about the game. The worst ones actually make derogatory remarks towards the athletes. They’re rude to the other fans. They’re usually the loudest person in the stands. Every team has one, are you the “BAD” fan?

Be the good fan. Be the person that initiates the fun in the stands and for the players. Be the fan that supports all aspects of the game. Cheer for your players not against the other team or players. Support the coaches on and off the field. Cheer for a great play whether it was made by your team or the other team. It is ok to be disappointed in the loss or an unfortunate play but it is how you handle it that makes it a good experience.

Being a good fan will let you enjoy the journey, have fun along the way.

cheri-naudin (3)Cheri Naudin is a National Scouting Report Scout in Northeast Texas.  Cheri is also the mom of three practically grown children.  Two of whom have played collegiate ball.  She is also still very involved in coaching and individual instruction.  For many years Cheri has been entrenched into the collegiate softball world.  She talks with college coaches on a daily basis about her athletes.  To talk with Cheri or another NSR scout, go HERE for a FREE evaluation.

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Don’t forget to be a kid! I have been involved in sports for the majority of my life first as an athlete, then as a coach, and now as a scout. I have seen the landscape of athletics change since I was a kid. When I was a young athlete you played your sport locally for your town and if you were good you made the all star team. You played a few games and then eventually you lost and enjoyed summer. You went on vacations with your family, went to parks, swam, etc. Now I see kids playing year round without a break. They play in local leagues, travel ball, go to camps, tournaments, you name it. I understand, especially as a scout, the need for some of this. Coaches are tough to get in front of, but at what cost? No not money but health, mentally and physically. Kids can get burnt out due to playing too much. I see summer schedules where the kid doesn’t have one weekend where they aren’t playing in a tournament or going to a prospect camp. This seems like what most people would call a job. We played because we loved the sport, but it wasn’t a job that I did every day. I would play baseball then turn around and play whiffle ball or basketball, maybe a great game of kickball. I was able to see my friends, go places with my family, or sometimes just relax. I see kids having to stop playing nowadays because of injuries or who have just lost the desire to play the sport they loved. So how can this be prevented? Let your kid be a kid. Don’t start too young in these travel leagues that want all of your time. If you must or want to play, look for teams or organizations that will allow you to play in a few tournaments over the summer. That only practice a few times a week. Why would you need to play travel ball every weekend at age 8? Tell me what coaches or scouts are there to watch your kid? I have read study after study and not one shows evidence that your sons or daughters are more likely to play in college due to playing travel ball at a young age. My daughter didn’t start playing lacrosse until her eighth grade summer. She made varsity her freshman year and was named all state by senior year. She went on to play in college and is currently a four year starter for her school. She played travel her freshman through junior year not before. She has had her injuries but still is able to play and I’m sure will continue to play as long as she can. The point is that you can still play at a high level starting later on. You only get to be a kid once. Remember what is what like back when most of us were growing up? Yes, I know that some kids just want to play as much as they can but please don’t forget to let them be a kid also!

Brendan Kennedy
National Director of Lacrosse
Area Director New England

 

brendan-kennedy (1)Brendan Kennedy is a  National Scouting Report Scout with an emphasis on Lacrosse.  Brendan lives in Maine and helps athletes in that area as well as Lacrosse athletes all over the United States.  If you would like to be evaluated or have your child evaluated, go HERE.  NSR helps athletes in ALL sanctioned NCAA sports get the college opportunities they deserve.

 

Be Positive. Create an environment where you emphasize the positive. Hang out with others that are positive. Recognize the positive. View the world around you and all the good that it has to offer. When you see the positive you get to experience the greatness around you. Every issue that is brought forward has a positive option, choose that option. It is like forks in the road if you turn positive then you are traveling on the highway of positivity. If you choose the negative road then it takes several positive turns to get back out on the positive highway. Are you driving on the positive roads? It is your choice to make. Assert positive action in your behavior and your body language. When you are positive and genuine it creates positive results. Show positive characteristics. What comes around goes around. When you extend positive energy you receive positive energy. Especially in a leadership role, when you extend positive behaviors and actions you will get positive results. Think about it, think of the last time you had conflict and image a different effect if you had chosen the positive road? What would the outcome have been? Try being a Bully of positive! Wouldn’t that make for a fun day? Try it, choose the positive highway today.

Be Nice. Be Kind. Be Helpful. Be Friendly. Be a Resource. Be Happy. Be a Listener. Be Genuine. Be Valuable. Be Positive. Be Confident. Be Competent. Be Honest. Be Consistent. Be Thoughtful. Be Considerate. Be a Giver. Be Humble. Be Ethical. Be Forgiving. Be Respectful. Be Prosperous. Be Promoting. Be Supportive. Be Sincere. Be Loving. Be Healthy. Be Trustworthy. Be Funny. Be Interesting. Be Inspirational. Be Classy. Be Instinctive. Be Inspirational. Be Glorious. Be Likeable. Be Authentic. Be Complimentary. Be Brilliant. Be a Leader. Be Grateful. Be Abundant. Be Motivational. Be Visionary. Be You. Be NSR.

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I get asked often “What does it take to be a College Softball Player”.  Not from a recruiting perspective so much as from a mom’s view, I will try to provide some insights.  Just my perspective, not to recreate conflict or long rebuttal’s, just a mom’s perspective.

I have spent the last 6 weeks attending College Pre Season Tournaments with my daughter’s team.  My daughter has played intensely since she was 5 years old.  Is it really for you?  If so, here’s my advice and thoughts.  I am speaking to the athlete as well as the parent in my thoughts below.

The amount of work and responsibility is beyond what you hear or think about.  Teach your daughters TIME MANAGEMENT, TEAMWORK and HARD WORK, NO EXCUSES and BALANCED PRIORITIES.  Student athletes need to embrace these and own them and make the decision to make it!  And, each of us has their own balance.  Decide what level your balance is at and whether your child has the GOD given talent to perform at the level you’re expecting them to.

We often speak about “The Journey” and what a great life it is.  We hear stories of how fun playing the game in a big stadium in front of the crowd is.  What fun it is to have that moment on TV or winning Conference Titles or rings.  They get branded sports gear and get special recognition at school. It is an elite opportunity for only a few.  It is an experience that few get to have.  It is a journey for the family and the athlete.  We have to be all in!  It has been an incredible journey for the whole family.

I still cry when the National Anthem is played as I have had a front row seat in my daughters journey and have personally seen the work, sacrifice, commitment, dedication and love of the game.  These athletes are amazing and have accomplished so much. Knowing all that they’ve overcome to be the best at what they love.  They have to really love it to do what they do.

They have intense schedules.  They have a ridged routine and it is not under their control.  They can’t decide that they have too much homework or had a rough game so they’re too sore to go to the work out sessions.  I hear from players weekly that they’re too busy to go to Pitching, Catching or other Training sessions because they have homework or other events that seem more important.  These college athletes wake up sometimes before the sun, get to their work out sessions while eating their breakfast walking to their first class.  Then they have tutor sessions and other private workouts with their trainers.  They have appointments with professionals for their aches and pains as their bodies get worked to the limit.  Most of them are nursing some type of minor aches or major injuries.  They need to do their homework while traveling in hotel lobbies and in airports or on buses.  They have hitting or fielding review with their coaches, team meetings, team events, community service events, and other school commitments.  This is not for the “Average” player that puts in average effort and has average results.  Don’t measure your success in the high school arena.  There is no comparison.

The insane pressure to perform is real.  Can’t just show up with half effort.  The college party life is not an option.  So why would you allow your teenager the party lifestyle.  An occasional social event like birthday events, proms, family events are part of life but so many emphasize attending every event.  I have found over the years that kids use this as an excuse when the work gets too hard. It is way easier to go to every party you’re invited to and “hang” out with their friends.  My advice is to make your softball friends your friends as you all have the same priorities.  Be friends with your athlete friends as their lives are more in sync with yours.  These other friends will never experience the journey you have as an athlete.  You are there as a student athlete and you have priorities unlike other students on campus.  These friends that are non-athletes will not have the journey in college that you will have either.

Teamwork is paramount for these young athletes as they’re together for long extended periods of time.  They share hotel rooms and work outs and lots of meals.  You have to be tolerant and forgiving and allow each of them to be themselves.  They become their family and support system.

Can they manage their Academics while training to be a top athlete?  This is a very important part for the parents to be involved with. Help them manage their schedules to carve out time for studying and projects.  Be a good example and teach but don’t do their work for them.  This will not help them in college if you don’t teach them to do it themselves.

No day off.  There is Spring Break or Summer vacation.  LOL.  My sister told me at Thanksgiving one year that this would be the last 4 day weekend as we were just about to start the travel ball life.  She was so right. But we wouldn’t trade one holiday for any of these experiences.  We have incredible memories with families that are still living the dream.  Make your child’s dream a family vacation!  You’ll never regret it.  Our daughter Chanin figured out during high school that if she ran more she hated running less.  Then it becomes part of your lifestyle to eat right and train hard.

We hear the younger girls talking about their club or travel team with excitement for playing for the big named University.  They are often convinced by putting on the t-shirt that they will go to the school of their dreams and yet they aren’t on the highway to get there.  If you embark on the trails traveled before you of hard work, dedication and sacrifice, you “might” get that opportunity!  It isn’t as easy as it looks and isn’t for everyone.

I had a conversation with another mom that believes that there can be balance for the girls.  Let them play basketball, volleyball and run track for their schools.  It is a rare occasion for the majority of the girls nationwide to be able to balance more than one sport and still be elite at softball.  The competition gets stronger every year.  Are you an expert at something or a jack of all trades?  There is a rare athlete that can be exceptional at more than one sport.  There are only 4-5 girls in each graduation class being recruited to a particular team and your competition is Nationwide, not on your local ball park.  That’s some stiff competition.  If it is really the sport for your daughter, then balance the sports that help them.  Running cross country or sprints on the track team are good balances.  Do the weight training class that some schools offer.  Avoid the sports that also have successful select or travel societies around them as the chance of a major injury is more profound.  I have heard several coaches say that they do not want them to play an intense sport at another higher level as they do not want to risk injury or lose out on scholarships.  But this is always a controversial topic. Just decide what is best for your family.

Girls are often distracted while playing High School softball and forgetting to do their work at the Travel Ball level.  They slack off a bit and play down to the level of competition that they’re facing.  They pick up bad habits as it is REALLY rare that you have a high school coach as that has experience at the Travel Ball or Collegiate level.  I’m making a huge generality here but it is what I have experienced.  We hear that many States won’t even let the players train other than at high school.  I strongly suggest that you continue your private training at the level necessary to play college ball.  Play to YOUR individual best every time you step on the field.

Speaking of distractions, let’s talk about that.  Relationships, yes they’re a huge distraction but part of the process, as it will be real in College too.  Teach them and guide them when it is appropriate to have dates, proms, and other social events.  I promise you that it will be the biggest obstacle, if the social life is more dominate than their training.  Some spend more time on Social Media then training for their dream sport.  I’m saying… let them enjoy high school but balance it for them if College Softball is really their dream.  Posting these teenage relationships on Social Media is a bad bad idea.  Parents get on your kids social media accounts and see who they’re friends are and keep up to date on their social activities.  There is NO privacy on Social Media and it is for the world to see.  SnapChat is the worst thing ever.  People it is not private.

We have also heard over the years that the brothers or other siblings take the toll for the players dream.  I am sure that it has for each and every one of them.  I truly believe that we work as hard for each kid in the family but equality is not ever there.  Whether it is sports or education or social life it would be impossible for any family to give equally.  Just do your best to support the kids in their interests and what they want for their life.  Being a top level athlete isn’t for everyone!

One of the greatest part of the journey is our daughter has had productive, positive relationships with positive productive families!  Those are life time friends!  They’ve shared the joy, they’ve gone through the same struggles.  It is not for everyone… Enjoy the journey at whatever level it offers you as a Coach once shared with me that “The Game will pass everyone by at some point, what is your point is not in your control so enjoy the journey”.

If you want it you have to find the time to do it.  You have to love the sport, love the lifestyle.  It isn’t for everyone.  The rewards are endless.  The journey is amazing.  The memories priceless.

 

cheri-naudin (3)

Cheri Naudin is a National Scouting Report Scout in Northeast Texas.  Cheri is also the mom of three practically grown children.  Two of whom have played collegiate ball.  She is also still very involved in coaching and individual instruction.  For many years Cheri has been entrenched into the collegiate softball world.  She talks with college coaches on a daily basis about her athletes.  To talk with Cheri or another NSR scout, go HERE for a FREE evaluation.

 
It’s mid-March, most states are in High School softball season, and the college softball coaches are in season as well. Lately, I’ve had alot of prospects email/call lately asking if and how college softball coaches continue recruiting during their own season. It’s a big misconception that college softball coaches stop recruiting during their season. Does the active scouting particular players out at various showcases die down during the college season? Absolutely. But does it end til Summer? Recruiting NEVER ends! But you might be surprised to find out that during the coach’s season is when most prospects are able to propel themselves above the competition. Are there “quiet periods” and “dead periods”? Yes. But that doesn’t mean recruiting stops, it only means that during this time they can’t communicate with you. It’s towards the mid-February, when I told you camps will die out and their seasons will start off, and now the next couple of months will determine a HUGE part of your recruiting and whether or not you’re offered by then, or atop the coach’s list by then at the least so your Summer schedule is actually added to his/her schedule to scout. Personally, I love this time of year because being able to be the scout for my NSR softball prospects, it enables me to spend alot of uninterrupted time talking to various coaches about various prospects of mine and the difference is clear.
So what can you do? If you have your Spring schedule yet, make sure to send it to me ASAP (rwilson@nsr-inc.com) and I’ll forward to my softball scout in your area along with:
  1. Your profile sheet or web
  2. Video or clips (if you have them)
  3. Contact info for mom/dad
If all is well after getting any of the things you have listed above, my softball scout in your area or myself will be in touch immediately. Just like the last few years, I’m going to be talking to more college coaches during the months of February – May than most people will all year. It’s my job (and a pretty fun one!). And given the thousands of college softball requests that have came since January in addition to the large # of my prospects being committed, I’m going to have a lot of opportunities for uncommitted prospects starting this weekend through the upcoming months. Only 2% of girls who want to play college softball actually get the chance to, so the little things like this are what propel girl A from girl B. This video helps explain the 2% and whether you’re girl “A” or girl “B”: 

Good luck this Spring! Send us your schedule as well as the stuff above ASAP!

P.S. If you missed it Rusty Rigney (CEO of NSR) and myself were featured on BlogTalkRadio last Sunday talking about softball recruiting, what college coaches are looking for, and more. You can listen in via:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/nationalscoutingreport/2015/03/15/national-scouting-report-talks-softball-recruiting-with-rusty-and-robby

See you at the diamond,
Robby Wilson
National Director of Softball Scouting
 

Be Valuable. Create respect and admiration from others by being YOU.  The value is created by what net worth either monetarily or non-monetary that you deliver to others.  Do you create value with others wanting or needing something you have?  Deliver all the goodness you have and you’ll be surprised what value you create for others working with you or just being your friend.  Be of service, do other things for all the people you meet today.  Are you worthy of the relationship opportunities out there?  Do the right things and others will naturally admire you and find value in you.  So many times one would think value has to do with money but in essence it creates net worth for you which could help you make more money or be of service to others.  Become a resource to others.  Educate yourself with ideas and life lessons that can be valuable to others.

Be Nice. Be Kind. Be Helpful. Be Friendly. Be a Resource. Be Happy. Be a Listener. Be Genuine. Be Valuable. Be Positive. Be Confident. Be Competent. Be Honest. Be Consistent. Be Thoughtful. Be Considerate. Be a Giver. Be Humble. Be Ethical. Be Forgiving. Be Respectful. Be Prosperous. Be Promoting. Be Supportive. Be Sincere. Be Loving. Be Healthy. Be Trustworthy. Be Funny. Be Interesting. Be Inspirational. Be Classy. Be Instinctive. Be Inspirational. Be Glorious. Be Likeable. Be Authentic. Be Complimentary. Be Brilliant. Be a Leader. Be Grateful. Be Abundant. Be Motivational. Be Visionary. Be You. Be NSR.

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Be Genuine. Are you showing who you really are? Show consistent behavior, authentic actions, and spoken words. Your work, truthfulness and actions needs to be genuine too! Bona fide truth in everything you do. Are you real, sincere, honest, truthful and straightforward in your work, spoken words and actions? Having a straightforward approach, being direct, frank and candid can create a since of credibility if you are genuine in all you do.

Have you ever worked with someone or dealt with someone that would say one thing but do another? We see it every day with social media. People posting inspirational posts but their words, actions and behaviors show something different. Silent credibility can go a long way. You don’t need to tell someone how good you are, just be genuine!

Be Nice. Be Kind. Be Helpful. Be Friendly. Be a Resource. Be Happy. Be a Listener. Be Genuine. Be Valuable. Be Positive. Be Confident. Be Competent. Be Honest. Be Consistent. Be Thoughtful. Be Considerate. Be a Giver. Be Humble. Be Ethical. Be Forgiving. Be Respectful. Be Prosperous. Be Promoting. Be Supportive. Be Sincere. Be Loving. Be Healthy. Be Trustworthy. Be Funny. Be Interesting. Be Inspirational. Be Classy. Be Instinctive. Be Inspirational. Be Glorious. Be Likeable. Be Authentic. Be Complimentary. Be Brilliant. Be a Leader. Be Grateful. Be Abundant. Be Motivational. Be Visionary. Be You. Be NSR.

 

Cheri Naudin is a National Scouting Report Scout in Northeast Texas.  Cheri provides the weekly “Be” thoughts to encourage Athletes, Parents, Coaches and Scouts alike.  To talk with Cheri or another NSR scout, so you can “Be the Recruit”, go HERE for a FREE evaluation.

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Be a Listener.  HEAR what is said.  Pay attention to what is being said.  Listen to their body language too.  Silence is the best way to listen to what is being said.  Stop thinking of your answer when they’re speaking.  Pause before you answer.  What is the best thing that can happen or the worst thing if you respond?  Did you clearly understand what was said or did you already determine what they were trying to say?  Hearing is sometimes not responding!  It is a VERB so take action.  Ask a question to make sure you heard what was being said.

Have you ever really been a good listener?  So many times people are in a conversation with an agenda rather than just listening to what is being said.   Hear what their saying.  Try to understand what is really being said.  You’ll be surprised how much credibility you gain from being a good listener.  Especially when speaking with a family about their child’s future.  What is it that is most important to them?  Write it down and really listen to what is being said.  Sometimes they don’t really say the words but the tone or inflection in their voice really tells what they’re saying.  Listen to their body language too as their actions may speak louder than their words.

Be Nice.  Be Kind.  Be Helpful.  Be Friendly.  Be a Resource.  Be Happy.   Be a Listener.  Be Genuine.  Be Valuable.  Be Positive.  Be Confident.  Be Competent.  Be Honest.  Be Consistent.  Be Thoughtful.  Be Considerate.  Be a Giver.  Be Humble.  Be Ethical.  Be Forgiving.  Be Respectful.   Be Prosperous.  Be Promoting.  Be Supportive.  Be Sincere.  Be Loving.  Be Healthy.  Be Trustworthy.  Be Funny.  Be Interesting.  Be Inspirational.   Be Classy.  Be Instinctive.  Be Inspirational.  Be Glorious.  Be Likeable.  Be Authentic.  Be Complimentary. Be Brilliant.  Be a Leader.  Be Grateful.  Be Abundant.  Be Motivational.   Be Visionary.  Be You.  Be NSR.

 

Cheri Naudin is a National Scouting Report Scout in Northeast Texas.  Cheri provides the weekly “Be” thoughts to encourage Athletes, Parents, Coaches and Scouts alike.  To talk with Cheri or another NSR scout, so you can “Be the Recruit”, go HERE for a FREE evaluation.

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Be Happy – Choose to be happy.  Find the good things to think about. Happiness is healthy.  Think about the glass half full rather than half empty.  There are so many things to be happy about and yet many choose to look for the negative or to fix things.  Stop for one moment today and look at all the things that make you happy.  Choose to find good things that make you feel happy.

There are so many choices every day to be happy.   Start with being cheerful and content with the little things.  Get delighted over the things we take for granted each day.  Don’t be afraid to be overjoyed or ecstatic with things we might think are normal.   Joyful attitudes create happiness for others too.  Get excited.   Change the words you speak today and show others happiness, praise and an upbeat response.  There are days we go through meetings or calls and all we talk about is what is wrong, see if you can make your next call all praise and happiness!   Imagine what joy that would bring everyone!

Be Nice. Be Kind. Be Helpful. Be Friendly. Be a Resource. Be Happy. Be a Listener. Be Genuine. Be Valuable. Be Positive. Be Confident. Be Competent. Be Honest. Be Consistent. Be Thoughtful. Be Considerate. Be a Giver. Be Humble. Be Ethical. Be Forgiving. Be Respectful. Be Prosperous. Be Promoting. Be Supportive. Be Sincere. Be Loving. Be Healthy. Be Trustworthy. Be Funny. Be Interesting. Be Inspirational. Be Classy. Be Instinctive. Be Inspirational. Be Glorious. Be Likeable. Be Authentic. Be Complimentary. Be Brilliant. Be a Leader. Be Grateful. Be Abundant. Be Motivational. Be Visionary. Be You. Be NSR.

 

Cheri Naudin is a National Scouting Report Scout in Northeast Texas.  Cheri provides the weekly “Be” thoughts to encourage Athletes, Parents, Coaches and Scouts alike.  To talk with Cheri or another NSR scout, so you can “Be the Recruit”, go HERE for a FREE evaluation.

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Be Resourceful!  Be a resource for your friends, families, athletes, and all contacts. Are you the most informed you can be?  Educate yourself so you can be a resource of necessary information your contacts will need.  Connect with others like you to gain needed information from Social Media, Blogs and books. Provide connections to others that can be a resource too!  Be the person that others come to for information about your sport or other information.  Are you that person?
Have you ever met “that” person?  The person that knows everything?  They create such value to all the people that they know.  It gives them credibility.  They become a valuable contact for you to have.  Create that value with your connections to be that resource. You then become that “go to person”.  Go be a resource.  Be You Be NSR.

 

Be Nice. Be Kind. Be Helpful. Be Friendly. Be a Resource. Be Happy. Be a Listener. Be Genuine. Be Valuable. Be Positive. Be Confident. Be Competent. Be Honest. Be Consistent. Be Thoughtful. Be Considerate. Be a Giver. Be Humble. Be Ethical. Be Forgiving. Be Respectful. Be Prosperous. Be Promoting. Be Supportive. Be Sincere. Be Loving. Be Healthy. Be Trustworthy. Be Funny. Be Interesting. Be Inspirational. Be Classy. Be Instinctive. Be Inspirational. Be Glorious. Be Likeable. Be Authentic. Be Complimentary. Be Brilliant. Be a Leader. Be Grateful. Be Abundant. Be Motivational. Be Visionary. Be You. Be NSR.

 

Cheri Naudin is a National Scouting Report Scout in Northeast Texas.  Cheri provides the weekly “Be” thoughts to encourage Athletes, Parents, Coaches and Scouts alike.  To talk with Cheri or another NSR scout, so you can “Be the Recruit”, go HERE for a FREE evaluation.