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Five Tips For Working Hard While Enjoying Holiday Break

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(Photo by Duke Athletics)

The holidays are here! It is finally time to spend time with family and friends, while also getting some much-deserved rest and enjoying some good food.

For college softball players, the holidays provide a true break before the most hectic time of year begins: the college softball season. During this break, however, softball student-athletes are often still focused on setting time aside to continue working on their craft.

Below, Duke junior pitcher and Softball America intern Jala Wright provides five tips to help college softball players make the most of the holiday break, while also still getting better mentally, physically and emotionally for the season ahead.

Be Present

This may be the first time in a long time that you’ve been able to love on friends and family that you have not seen in many months. It's important that you absorb the time you have with them and live in the moment. It's the season to be thankful for the people you have in your corner, so go make memories with them.

Sleep

Forget your alarm and give your mind, body and soul the rest that is needed. Let your body naturally acquire the sleep it needs, and even let yourself take naps during the middle of the day if you have time. Don’t waste a good opportunity to let yourself rest.

Get Back To Basics

You may or may not have the resources, time or desire to work on big aspects of your game such as hitting off a machine, taking grounders or pitching live, so I suggest going back to the basics.

For my pitchers, you can work on something small by doing spins to someone or yourself. Do about 15 to 20 of each pitch to keep your wrist and fingers strong during the break. For position players, find a wall and play wall ball with yourself. Work on short hops, quick transfers and being under the ball by utilizing a wall and your glove. For hitters, mirror work is a good idea. Stand in front of a mirror and see yourself go through each aspect of your swing to identify what feels good or not, how you should look on each pitch and to visualize hitting bombs.

Do Cardio And/Or Work Out

Light cardio and/or lifting sessions will help you maintain your muscle mass during the break. Furthermore, just being mobile on your feet does more than you think. Going for a quick run, stretching adequately or just doing a 10-minute squat series will help you. And all of these activities can be done with friends and family, so grab someone in your life to tag along and make it more enjoyable.

Do Things For You

There are rarely opportunities for college softball players to do things they enjoy without the restrictions of a schedule. So, during the holiday break, spend time doing the things you love to do. These are the moments to cherish, and your soul will thank you for filling up your tank with happiness and positivity when it's time to go back to school and get back to the grind.

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