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Welcome Coaches!

Congratulations! You've made a commitment to coaching the young women of Apponaug Girls Softball. We hope this page and the pages linked to it provide resources that help you begin your new coaching career or give you ideas to supplement what you've learned through experience. We have carefully selected resources that come from trusted coaches and players. We encourage you to review the resources and use them as best you can. Check back frequently as new content may be added regularly. 

5 Keys to Coaching

  1. We are trying to instill a love for the game, we want the girls to be connected to the game for life.
  2. Focus on development and improvement over results, you will eventually see the results.  (Not all girls will be able to perform the same skills at the same time, and that’s ok. Physical development can span a range of 6-7 years. For example, among a group of 14 year olds their physical development can range from 11 years old to 17 years old.)
  3. Work on offensive & defensive progressions THEN train at game speed.
  4. Small groups & stations at practice (aim for 3-4 players per station). Allow players to play all positions. High school coaches and college coaches will move players wherever they want; short-stops become outfielders, catchers become infielders, etc.
  5. When teaching skills, explain the purpose (briefly), demonstrate (using a player), and provide feedback (visually and verbally). Players need to SEE the skill in action and they need to UNDERSTAND WHY it is done a certain way.


Keys to great practices

  1. Plan Ahead: Always have a written practice plan prepared. Bring multiple copies to practice, hang one in the dugouts so the players know what to expect, provide other copies to adults who will help with practice.
  2. Progressions: Progress from simple single skill drills to complex drills that require many skills.
  3. Stations, stations, stations: Players can get many more effective reps in close quarter stations.
  4. Incorporate competitive drills: even young players can benefit from practicing under pressure. 


Trusted Resources

Links to videos & resources that may help you help your players (more to come...)

  1. Throwing Patterns (select this link for resources on how to develop good throwing patterns)
  2. Fielding Basics (select this link for resources on how to coach fielding basics)
  3. Approaches to Hitting (reflections on the mechanics of hitting)
  4. USA Softball Infield Positional Play (Mike Candrea: 2x Olympic Coach, 8x National Champion)
  5. USA Softball Outfield Positional Play (Mike Candrea: 2x Olympic Coach, 8x National Champion)

 

Resources from coaches, players, and organizations we have worked with, learned from, and trust!

ONE Softball: ONE Softball began with an idea. Following her retirement from UCLA, Sue Enquist spent years traveling around the country speaking to softball families. She saw the decline in female sport participation, how difficult it was for families to navigate their softball journey and she wanted to bring the community together. In the last few years she assembled a team of experts to collaborate and bring this vision to life.

Morgan Stuart: Washington University, 2009 National Champion, Co-Founder of the Packaged Deal
Jen Schroeder: UCLA, Co-Founder of the Packaged Deal
Jo Clair: Tufts University, 2x DIII National Champion, 3x All-American, Founder of Protect the Plate
Amanda Scarborough: Texas A & M, Co-Founder of the Packaged Deal
Austin Wasserman: University of New Orleans and UCONN. B.S. in Exercise Science, Masters Degree in Human Nutrition; Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) through the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA).

A note about what we learned as young softball and baseball players:

Technology and science have changed the way the game is played and coached. 1080p HD Video has allowed coaches and researchers to see things they could not previously see with the naked eye. Science has helped us develop better understanding about the anatomical differences between girls and boys. The balls are bigger, the base paths are shorter, and the rules are different in softball than baseball. This generation of youth is different than the generations we grew up in, just like we were different from our parents. Be willing to reconsider your deepest held beliefs about throwing, fielding, and hitting mechanics. There is a good chance that people who coach for a living may have learned something that might be beneficial to those of us who volunteer with recreational and travel softball.


 

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