• Jerrad Hardin

4 Reasons 2021 Will Provide the Best Softball Opportunities

This past weekend marked the first D-1 Softball games of 2021. Both players and fans were excited to finally get back to action after the pandemic cancelled the 2020 season.

While there is still much to do in our fight against Covid-19 and emerging variants, vaccine rollouts and learning how to adjust to our conditions, gives us confidence that a return to the diamond is also on tap for prep athletes this summer.

Our kids have largely been overlooked and forgotten about in this crisis. Despite few becoming sick, they have been the victims of lost opportunities, social sacrifices, and the potential for an underlying mental health concern that has yet to be fully appreciated.

2021 is a key year for prospective student athletes, across all sports. There is only so much that coaches can learn from watching film, interacting on zoom calls, and evaluating recommendations from others. For proper evaluations, college coaches need to get their eyes on kids. We can do this in a safe and efficient way, where all parties are protected, and our youth can get back on a developmental track.

I believe 2021 will provide the best softball opportunities for our youth – and here is why:

1) Coaches are Eager

Perhaps for no bigger reason – Coaches are eager to evaluate talent. My recent conversations with coaches indicate that they are motivated now more than at any other time. They understand what’s at stake for youth athletes, as well as for their own programs. Make no mistake, coaches are revitalized in their efforts to develop, instruct, and evaluate youth talent this summer.

2) Athletes are Ready

Who thinks athletes aren’t going to compete and play hard the next time they get in front of a college coach? Most realize that time has been lost and opportunities stolen. We can’t get that time back, but we can be prepared for what comes next. It’s my personal opinion, but I think our kids are going to impress when given an opportunity to develop and showcase in 2021.

3) Parents Understand

Moms and Dads will always do what’s best for their children. I know no other group beyond softball parents who sacrifice more, dedicate themselves to the extreme, and push for every opportunity available so that their child has a chance to accomplish her goals. These parents will stand behind their children and provide that extra layer of influence, protection, and encouragement throughout the year, and beyond.

4) Organizers are Prepared

Those who organize athletic events – games, camps, or tournaments – were mostly shutdown in 2020. They are amped to provide outstanding experiences and opportunities for our youth. There will be events for prospective students athletes to showcase their skills and work with college coaches. If nothing else, 2020 has taught us to expect the unexpected, prepare for the worst, and maximize every opportunity to the fullest. Let us all make 2021 the best it can be!

Next Article: (2/22/21) What Every PSA Can Do Before Her Next In-Person Opportunity With A Coach

Jerrad Hardin is a two-time best-selling author and softball coach. His literary work is available on Amazon, and you can catch him each summer on the diamond in various cities stretching the U.S., serving as the lead director of Jerrad Hardin Fastpitch Camps.

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