I’m a firm believer that fundamentals in any sport cannot be overstated. This is especially true in diamond sports. This is what separates the wheat from the chaff. It is also what wins national championships. The recent WCWS pointed this out especially well.
I spent a lot of time watching the WCWS with the sound turned down. First, this allowed me to tune out the nonsensical talking heads and secondly, it allowed me to focus on the fundamentals of the different teams. It was like night and day between the Sooners and the other guys.
Today’s college softball players come to college having played on travel teams where they do just that travel…travel team coaches are businessmen who spend very little time working on defensive skills of their players. Teams blow out the competition with their bats.
Okay, here’s the good news for Sooner fans. Patty plays with an experienced deck every year as she reloads her roster with veteran players. Yes, we have young players, but they are the pick of the litter. Those players come to Norman as travel team players, but they don’t get on the field without their skills be dutifully honed. In addition, Patty has the luxury of passing over players that are lacking in this area.
What does all of this mean for Sooner fans…it means that Patty Gasso and our Sooners will continue to be light years ahead of the competition. Granted, it remains to be seen if these facts will produce multiple national championships moving forward, but using Bud Wilkinson as our guide, I suspect it will.
The reason that OU football seldom lost back in the 50’s was because Bud insisted on his players being fundamentally sound players. Have your pick of Bud or Patty as the greatest coach in OU history, but regardless of your choice, Bud and Patty’s players wrote the book on how to play the game.