14 Advantages And Disadvantages Of Softball
When looking at any sport, some certain pros and cons make it worthwhile or not, depending on the player weighing them against each other.
That’s the case for softball as well. In this article, you will learn the benefits you might find interesting enough to play softball or drawbacks that make you look in another direction. Before taking an in-depth look, I‘ll give it to you quickly.
The advantages of softball include improved fitness and mental health, you get to be outdoors as it’s an outdoor sport, you will have lots of teammates, and it’s really fun. On the conside, you can’t play it alone, there’s always an injury risk, it can get expensive, and softball is quite time-consuming.
In addition to these pros and cons, there certainly are more to both sides. I’m sure you’re eager to find out more about these, so without a further due, let’s start with the advantages!
- My Favorite Softball Equipment
If you experience softball enough, you can find more advantages than the seven listed below. However, these are by far the most common and relevant.
1. Improved Fitness Level
Fitness is one thing that you will improve on when playing softball. There are various softball skills you need to master, such as batting, throwing, catching, baserunning, and fielding. There are even more softball drills to practice, which will improve your fitness and performance on the field.
For example, you need a strong arm and core for batting, flexibility, strength for throwing, explosive speed for baserunning, and all of the above for quality fielding. Oh, and many softball position-specific requirements will improve your body and skills differently. For example, pitchers need extra powerful arms, and catchers need and will drastically improve from the legs.
When you play softball long enough, at least a couple of times a week, you will notice slight muscle growth and fat percentage drop that both improve your overall physique definition. Even though people often ask why softball players are thick, it’s more due to the nature of softball than being obese.
Anyways, softball will improve your strength and endurance fitness level, and don’t we all want to be strong, fast, and flexible?
2. Mental Health Benefits
Mental health is one of the biggest pain points in the modern world, and it’s taken more seriously than ever. When you work inside all day, travel inside a car or public transport, and spend time in your home watching movies or playing video games, it isn’t good for mental health in the long run.
However, practicing in physical activities such as softball, you will gain many mental health benefits and not just from the exercise.
Research supports that exercise and sports reduce anxiety, depression, and overall negative mood. In addition, self-esteem will increase.
When looking at other factors that softball will affect mental health, socialization and networking with teammates and staff are proven to improve mental health by decreasing loneliness, improving cognitive skills, and increasing overall happiness and well-being!
In addition to mental health benefits from exercise and socialization, fresh air will affect that, which takes us to the third benefit, softball is an outdoor sport.
3. Softball Is an Outdoor Sport
When you bring up the topic of an outdoor sport, it will divide opinions between people. Indeed, outdoor conditions aren’t great for all sports, such as table tennis or badminton, but it’s much better for some.
This includes softball! When you are outside playing softball, the sun is shining, and you can feel a breeze upon your cheek; it’s an incredible feeling!
You know that it’s true, but if you like research-based facts about the benefits of the outdoors, you can have it. Myfcph states that outdoor activity will make you happier, your vitamin D levels will go up, and your self-esteem and confidence will improve as well.
When you think about it, it makes sense. Fresh air is something we as humans need, making us feel good and clear-minded!
Of course, outdoor sports have some cons, such as cold temperatures and rain.
4. Chance for a College Scholarship
One incredible thing when you compare softball to other sports is the chance of scholarships!
Scholarships are blessings for everyone that earns or are given them. There are various scholarship types, but you can be awarded an athletic scholarship in softball’s case. Meaning you will be playing for the school team, and your tuition fees will be partly or fully paid.
When examining the data provided by collegedata.com, you will quickly learn that the average price of tuition and fees from the years 2021-2022 were $38,070 at private colleges, $10,740 at public colleges (in-state residents), and $27,560 at public colleges (out-of-state residents). When you add up all the years in college, the benefit will be tens of thousands of dollars in the United States. That being said, getting a scholarship as a softball player saves you and the family a small fortune.
You can get softball scholarships for NCAA D1 and D2 levels, in addition to NAIA schools and junior colleges. Generally, D1 softball programs can award a maximum of 12 scholarships per year, including full or partial ones. So it’s not like you can easily be awarded one, but it’s certainly possible!
5. Softball Is a Team Sport
When you play sports in a team, the spirit, community, and sense of fellowship can be very high.
Think about it. You and your teammates will experience together with all the tough losses and failures, but also incredible victories and successes. As the saying goes, you will gain forever-lasting brothers from war. In softball’s case, it’s more like forever-lasting sisters!
When working in a team, you will gain many important skills, such as leadership, support, and accepting help. All of these skills and more are necessary skills in life, so the benefits of being in a softball field far reach beyond the field!
This is also backed up by research. Indeed.com shows that teamwork has all the mentioned benefits in addition to less stress and confusion, more communication and creativity, personal growth, and more resilience and motivation! Talk about a load of benefits!
6. It Doesen’t Have to Be Expensive
When talking about money, it’s a relative topic that can get sensitive fast. By saying that softball is or isn’t expensive, both cases can be true in reality.
All this depends on two things: Your requirements and your budget.
If you don’t require the latest model of the best composite bat on the market and a full Rawlings gear set with extra treats, you can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Also, softball will be cheap if you feel comfortable training with a team or mass lessons instead of tailored private lessons.
However, if you want the best equipment and are willing to invest a lot of money in private lessons, it will be expensive.
Another thing to consider is the personal money situation. If you are made of money, then a couple of hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a sport you love doesen’t feel expensive. In contrast, if your financial situation isn’t good and you need to budget for many things, tens of dollars can make the world’s difference.
When looking at softball and how expensive it is overall, it isn’t expensive if you play it smart!
7. Softball Is Really Fun
Last but not least, softball is a lot of fun, and isn’t that the essence of playing any sport?
If you like playing or watching baseball, I will bet that softball is more fun for certain people. That’s because the differences between baseball and softball are noticeable yet very similar. The main difference is that softball is played with a higher tempo, which in my opinion, makes it more fun!
When looking at softball individually, you get to be outside, throw and catch balls, swing, which is my favorite part, run bases, and it’s thrilling all the time.
That’s fun if you ask me!
As in advantages, there are an equal amount of disadvantages, and there can be far more than the ones listed below. Again, these are the most relevant and usual disadvantages reported by softball players.
1. You Can’t Play Softball Alone
The biggest downside about softball is that you can’t play it alone. Even when it’s fun to play with a team, you can’t play at all if you don’t have more people with you.
Of course, you can train swinging by using a batting tee, doing throwing practice, improve your physical performance, amongst other softball drills. However, you can’t play authentic softball without two teams of nine people.
2. Injury Risk Is Real
There’s almost always the risk of injury when playing sports, and softball certainly isn’t different.
There are many injuries you can be unfortunate enough to gain from softball, but some are more common than others:
According to Sports Health, the five most common softball injuries are;
- Anke sprains: Ankle sprains often come from running and especially sliding. Luckily, they are often easily treatable with the RICE protocol.
- Knee injuries: Tears in the anterior cruciate ligament or the meniscus are most common.
- Injuries to the upper leg: Tendons, quadriceps, and hamstring muscle injuries are the most common when experiencing an upper leg injury. Sports Health provides the reasons for upper leg injuries.
- Shoulder injuries: Pitchers suffer the most shoulder injuries due to overusing the muscles. You should check out rotator cuff injuries and their causes.
- Concussion: Concussions are most likely to happen when hitting the baseman when sliding. Study shows that it’s three times more likely to suffer a concussion during a game than in practice.
That being said, it’s always important to be careful when playing softball, even when most injuries can just happen.
3. Learning Curve
As humans, learning has been a part of our lives ever since birth. When you can see progress fast and proceed, most people will like learning. However, many things in life arent’ that simple and require a long and difficult learning curve. Softball is one of these things.
If you have no experience in softball, you won’t be a great batter, can’t throw fast and accurately, won’t catch a ball, and will stumble onto the base when baserunning. This is understandable, but it can be so annoying that some people quit before they get the hang of it, which negatively affects the image of softball.
Thus, the learning curve is there and can be a turnoff for many. However, if you stay on it long enough, you will improve, and that’s when softball becomes a lot of fun!
4. Softball Is Very Time Consuming
Time is the most valuable asset we all humans have that is more precious than money, diamonds, gold, and you name it. A turnoff for many people about softball is that it requires a lot of time.
Even when softball isn’t as time-consuming as baseball, it still is more than many other sports that are similarly accessible.
Generally, a softball game will have seven innings, whereas nine in baseball. An average softball game lasts approximately two hours, whereas it’s three hours in baseball.
Still, when comparing a two-hour game on the weekends plus practice and the travel time for both, the total amount spent per week will be at least 10 hours and usually much more.
Of course, 10 hours playing a sport you love isn’t enough so that you can look at it from two perspectives. But in reality, we humans have a lot more responsibilities, so it can be difficult to find the time.
5. It’s Constantly Compared to Baseball
The fact that softball is always compared to baseball doesen’t impact the game itself, but it can be extremely annoying to hear.
It’s mind-blowing how much people talk trash about softball by comparing it to baseball. Softball is indeed derived from baseball, and they are similar. However, they have many differences, and it’s more optimal for women to play.
Oh, and thanks to the Title IX law, the school system has made it nearly impossible for women to play baseball.
That being said, if you play softball, be prepared to hear some occasional insults (even tough said with humor) and try to ignore them.
6. Softball Can Be Expensive
I already said that softball doesen’t have to be expensive, which is very true. However, it can get expensive depending on personal situation and preferences.
When comparing softball to other cheaper sports such as table tennis, the investment needs to be bigger. That’s because, in softball, you will need much more gear, including;
- Chest protector
- Shin guards
- Batting gloves
- & Others
A quality softball bat can cost $200-350 alone, so the equipment can be expensive if you demand the best quality.
In addition to the equipment costs, there are player fees if you play in a team and tournament payments that can and will be hundreds if not thousands of dollars annually. The fee amounts drastically depend on the level of play.
I highly recommend that every softball team implement great fundraising ideas to make playing softball less financially challenging for everyone!
7. Teammate Issues
So you’re about to play softball with a bunch of young people? Well, you can bet that things will get competitive and tense from time to time.
Softball certainly isn’t played only by teenagers and young adults, but also middle-aged people to seniors. Anyways, in team sports, you can get frustrated with others and they to you which can cause arguments.
This is something to acknowledge, but I wouldn’t consider it a huge disadvantage as you will need to interact with others in far more tense and stressful places than a softball team.
These are the seven pros and seven cons of softball. What do you think, do the benefits outweigh the drawbacks? I think so, and that’s why I love softball!
My Favorite Softball Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Here are my top softball equipment recommendations that I think will take your game to the next level.
- Bat: My favorite certified fastpitch softball bat is the Easton Ghost. This bat has a double-barrel construction which is incredible if you are looking for a great feel and are a fan of satisfying pop and sound. The handle is a great bonus as it’s great to hold on to and very thin. The technology used for this bat provides great durability and flexibility. This bat comes in various styles and sizes.
- Softball: The best softballs, in my opinion, are the Franklin Sports Official Softballs. These affordable yet official featured balls are perfect for practice if you want to train with a similar ball as in a real game. These balls have the official 12-inch circumference and weight. The yellow color makes it easy to spot, and the flat seams enable minimal air resistance so that they will fly consistently and far.
- Glove: Rawlings Liberty Advanced Fastpitch Glove should be introduced to every softball player. The 12.5″ size makes it a breeze to catch and secure softballs. The glove is very comfortable as it’s made from full-grain leather, and the pull-staps will perfect the fit. The design is breathtaking as well. Be prepared for a little break-in time tho.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.