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Hometown Heroes A Q&A with University of Oklahoma coaches

VOL. XXI NO. 13 | 2013 | $7.00


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Contents | Softball Edition 2013 | Vol. XXI, No. 13

Coaching Management

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COVER STORY 10 HOMETOWN HEROES

NUTRITION 17 HITTING THE ROAD

For the University of Oklahoma, winning the NCAA Division I title this past spring was not just about the team. It was about helping a state heal from a devastating tornado.

When your squad travels to an away contest, it shouldn’t mean nutrition is left behind. Set your athletes up for the trip with a little planning and education.

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POSTSEASON 2013

BULLETIN BOARD

New law in Minnesota protects coaches from parental complaints … The University of Wisconsin’s armband strategy … Turning off cell phones … Students develop sportsmanship statement … University of Oregon coaches learn to share.

Get an advance look at many of the companies that will be exhibiting their products during the NFCA Convention in San Antonio.

On the cover

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE 26 Products on Display 30 PRODUCTS OF THE SEASON 31 Product Launch

EXHIBITORS 22 LATEST PRODuCTS

32 COMPANY Q&A 24 Advertisers Directory

Publisher Mark Goldberg

Special Projects Dave Wohlhueter

Editorial Dept. Eleanor Frankel, Director Dennis Read, R.J. Anderson, Patrick Bohn, Mary Kate Murphy, Patrick Pizzuti

Production Dept. Maria Bise, Director Neal Betts, Trish Landsparger

University of Oklahoma outfielder Brianna Turang scored the game-winning run against the University of Tennessee in Game Two of the 2013 Women’s College World Series. Our Q&A with the Sooners coaching staff begins on page 10.

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Marketing Director Sheryl Shaffer

Mailing lists for Coaching Management Softball are provided by the Clell Wade Coaches Directory.

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The Coaching Management Softball edition is pub­lished in November by MAG, Inc., and is distributed free to college and high school coaches in the United States and Canada.

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Coaching Management 2013 3


BULLETIN BOARD CONTENTS

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4 State law aids coaches

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4 Armbands for scouting

High School News

Protecting Coaches’ Jobs It’s no secret that today’s parents want a say in their children’s high school athletic teams. But what happens when their voices lead to coaches being fired? In Minnesota, state legislators have tackled this issue by enacting a law that makes it illegal to fire a coach entirely because of parent criticism. A statement reading, “The existence of parent complaints must not be the sole reason for a board to not renew a coach-

New legislation in Minnesota makes it illegal to fire a high school coach due to parental complaints. Below, Elk River competes against Prior Lake in the 2013 Class AAA Minnesota state title game.

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6 Banning cell phones during team travel

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8 League develops code

ing contract,” was added to an existing piece of legislation and signed into law in May. The original bill, passed a decade ago, provides coaches with certain rights upon their termination, such as a document outlining the reasons for their nonrenewal and a chance to appeal their firing in front of the school board. According to John Erickson, Executive Director of the Minnesota State High School Coaches Association, the number of non-renewed coaching contracts in the state has risen steadily over the past decade. “We have found that a lot of terminations were driven by parents,” says Erickson. “Their involvement was putting unfair pressure on school boards and athletic directors, and coaches had no way to defend themselves.” Besides affecting current coaches, Erickson worried the frequent terminations would deter future individuals from joining the profession, and he believes the new legislation can help prevent this. “We fear that young men and women who

of conduct

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8 Sharing a top athlete

were considering coaching will take one look at the hostile work environment and say, ‘I don’t want any part of this,’” he says. “But coaching needs to remain an attractive profession so we can continue to draw from a wealth of talent.” The Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA) sent a letter to the House and Senate Education Committee chairs stating its opposition to the bill, arguing it is unnecessary to limit what school boards can and cannot consider when evaluating coaching contracts. Additionally, according to Kirk Schneidawind, MSBA’s Deputy Executive Director for Governmental Relations, restricting the influence of parents’ concerns in the process will close school board members off from the wishes of their constituents. But Erickson sees it differently. “We are not questioning the school boards’ authority in any way,” he says. “We want them to have the same latitude they’ve always had. It just seems that school boards and administrators are under incredible pressure when parents are unhappy, and we are trying to make sure that stress doesn’t influence a decision. The boards are compelled to investigate any complaints they deem legitimate, but they are not required to follow the demands of parents.” Erickson adds that the bill was never meant to silence parents. “This isn’t about getting parents out of athletics, because the vast majority are supportive and encouraging,” he says. “But it does give coaches the freedom to do their jobs without worrying about being unfairly attacked and fired.” Game Strategies

AP PHOTO/JOHN CROSS

Armed & Ready

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When players at the University of Wisconsin look down at their wrists during games, they aren’t checking the time. Rather, they are consulting armbands that contain detailed scouting information about their opponents. Assembled by Assistant Coach Randy Schneider, the armbands relay everything from the best defensive position for each opposing batter to strategies to use against the pitcher they are facing. Wisconsin started using the armbands in 2010 as part of a new, aggressive approach to scouting. “The armbands place our players in the best possible position to be successful,” says Schneider, who joined the program that year after serving CoachesNetwork.com


UW Athletic Communications

University of Wisconsin players rely on armbands worn on their wrists to give them in-depth information on opponents. Badger catcher Maggie Strange is at left.

as Head Coach at Valparaiso University. “The information tells them, ‘Here is the plan. You’re used to it, we’ve studied it, and it’s all laid out for you.’ The athletes simply have to read it to know our strategy at any given time, which helps them to relax and focus on playing the game.” Similar to what football quarterbacks wear, the armbands are six-inch long sleeves that slide onto each player’s fore-

arm. They have a flap with a clear cover on both sides that holds defensive and offensive index cards athletes can flip between depending on the game situation. Schneider has been using armbands for more than 20 years—bringing the idea to the softball field from his days as a college football coach. “My football players started wearing them, and I thought,

‘That’s a great idea,’” he says. “It’s not fair to assume that our athletes retain everything we teach them, and the armbands allowed my players to carry scouting information onto the field with them. Over the years, I continued to advance the process, and eventually started applying it to my softball squads.” A self-proclaimed statistics wonk, Schneider spends 12 to 15 hours a week scouting Wisconsin’s upcoming foe. “We make a spray chart for every opposing batter that shows where she likes to hit to, which also tells us whether she is an inside, pull, or power hitter,” he says. “From there, my team can rule out certain areas of the field and shift their defensive position accordingly. “As the statistical software has gotten more sophisticated, we’ve been able to add charts of opposing pitchers’ tendencies on the armbands,” Schneider continues. “We track what pitch they like to

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throw depending on where they are in the count, which gives our players an idea of what to expect when they step into the batter’s box.” The purpose of the armbands, however, extends beyond statistics and strategies. Schneider includes a personalized affirmation statement for each player as well. “The coaching staff has weekly meetings with each athlete to get a sense of what is going on in her life and how she is feeling about her game,” Schneider says. “From there, we come up with something motivational that reflects what she is experiencing. For example, I would put ‘I am a great hitter’ on the armband of someone who is struggling at the plate, so she could say the motto to herself and gain more confidence.” In addition, Schneider adds other small details to give his athletes a boost. “I’ll include funny pictures or smiley faces,” he says. “And if I know a player likes a certain color, I’ll make her armband that color. I want my players to feel good when they look at them.” The Badgers won a program-record 44 games in 2013 and made their first trip to the NCAA Division I playoffs.

Schneider believes the armbands played a part in that success. But beyond helping players, he also enjoys the process of pulling together the information. “I think I would get bored with the game if I couldn’t study it from every angle and find out every detail about our opponent,” he says. “It’s what drives me to coach, and I hope that our program continues to advance this process and figure out how it can make us even more successful in the future.” Team Rules

No Phone Zone What happens when you take away players’ cell phones during road trips? While the initial reaction may be horror and dismay, coaches experimenting with the idea are finding it can help a team bond. Ryan Svenson, Head Boys’ Basketball Coach at Hillsboro (Ore.) High School, implemented a rule of no cell phones during bus rides to road games last year. The goal was to help the players get to know each other better. “Unlike previous years where the players were close, we had a more scatter-

shot collection of kids last season,” Svenson says. “I wanted to come up with a way to encourage them to communicate face to face, and the more I talked about it with my staff, the more a cell phone ban made sense. “We started reminiscing about how, when we were players, we thought road trips were a lot of fun,” he continues. “We would learn new things about teammates and hear fun stories. It’s something we wanted our players to experience for themselves.” Understanding the importance of cell phones to today’s teens, Svenson carefully introduced the idea, talking about it with players and their parents at the team’s preseason meeting and explaining it through an e-mail notification. “I didn’t receive any negative feedback,” he says. “I think by explaining that it was not a punishment but an opportunity to help them grow, players understood what we were going for.” Svenson also made sure he addressed parents’ safety concerns. “I gave the parents all the coaches’ cell phone numbers and told them to contact us if there was an emergency,” he says. “It helped that most of our road games are only 20 to 30 minutes away, and the longest trip is

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BULLETIN BOARD He allows players to keep their phones on short road trips, but for any game more than two hours away, athletes hand them in and don’t get them back until they’ve returned home. “I’ve had this policy in place since 1998,” Waller says. “Back then, there was only one kid who had a cell phone, but everyone else on the team was bugging him to use it during trips so they could call their girlfriends or parents. It got to be a distraction. “I’m okay with players using their phones on shorter trips because they’ve told me it helps them get into the mind set they want before games,” he continues. “But we go on a lot of long road trips and that’s when team bonding can really take place, so I collect their phones then.” Like Svenson, Waller introduces his policy by talking with parents, sending them a letter detailing the rule, and giving them his number in case of an emergency. When he gets pushback, he talks with the athlete individually. “I usually sit those guys down and explain to them that this is part of the commitment they make to their teammates,” Waller says. “That has a better effect than saying, ‘This is the policy. Follow it.’”

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about an hour. It’s not like the players would be out of contact with their parents for long.” As the season progressed, Svenson noticed the policy was having the desired effect. “The guys were interacting with each other on the bus a lot more,” he says. “When we were traveling to our playoff game in February, I heard a shuffling sound coming from the back. It turned out that several of the guys had been playing cards for weeks. I can’t remember the last time I saw that.” Even though the players got their phones back once they reached their destination, Svenson saw a carryover effect in the locker room. “They didn’t often have their phones out before the game,” he says. “They really bought into that time being about the team. “Overall, it’s brought the players closer together,” Svenson continues. “This past season was the first I can recall where we didn’t have any chemistry or communication issues, and I think the cell phone policy was a big reason why.” Scott Waller, Head Boys’ Soccer Coach at Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C., also has a cell phone ban in place for road trips. However, he uses a slightly different approach with his squad.

Coaches at some schools are experimenting with banning cell phones on road trips. They find it helps players bond and learn to communicate face to face.

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Student-athletes from the various schools in Washington’s SWW1A conference discuss ideas for a league-wide Sportsmanship Code of Conduct.

Sportsmanship

A League Code Sometimes fan behavior varies greatly among schools even within the same league. How do you get everyone on the same page? For the Southwest Washington 1A League (SWW1A), the solution was to collaborate on a Sportsmanship Code of Conduct. The idea for a league-wide code came from Bryan Bahr, Principal at Rainier (Wash.) High School, a member of the SWW1A, and was facilitated by Athletic Director John Beckman. They believed the statement would be best received if it was developed by students and invited a group from each school in the league to Rainier for a summit. “A sportsmanship code means more when it comes from the student-athletes and reflects what they want,” says Beckman. “There’s automatic buy-in from the other members of the student body.” The day began with icebreaker activities, after which the students broke up into groups to discuss what they wanted to see in the code, using examples of other leagues’ statements as a reference. The groups eventually combined their ideas into the following: In order to demonstrate sportsmanship, citizenship, spirit, and pride in our schools, we must show respect and conduct ourselves in an appropriate manner. We shall refrain from profanity, derogatory comments, and other intimidating words or actions directed at officials, par-

8 Coaching Management 2013

ticipants, spectators, coaches, and advisors. Accept both victory and defeat with pride, integrity, and composure. “Several schools are printing it on the backs of their game programs or announcing it at the start of contests,” says Beckman. “At one of our Friday night football games, a cheerleader and her parent, a school board member, read the statement in front of the crowd, and it was really well received.” Elyssa Champlin, a junior who plays basketball and runs cross country at Rainier, participated in the summit and feels the new code is working. “The crowd isn’t as negative as it used to be,” she says. “We are hearing more positive cheering. And knowing the players on the other team as a result of working with them makes the games more fun. We’re still competing, but I don’t view my opponents as enemies. I see them as friends.” Coaching Cooperation

Sharing the Wealth At the NCAA Division I level, coaches expect their athletes to spend their offseasons working on the skills of their sport. At the University of Oregon, however, coaches found a way to break out of that mold with a very special athlete named Liz Brenner. Recruited by Oregon Head Volleyball Coach Jim Moore as an outside hitter, Brenner has also suited up for the Ducks’ basketball, softball, and track and field squads over the past two years. As a freshman during the 2011-12 season, Brenner played on the basketball and softball teams, and last year, she became the first female Oregon athlete to letter in three varsity sports since 1976 when she joined the track and field team and earned AllAmerican honors in the javelin.

Moore says he sees a lot of value in having multi-sport athletes on his roster and has worked with other Oregon coaches to make the situation a positive one. “I’d coached multi-sport athletes earlier in my career, and I knew it didn’t have to be a big concern if it’s approached properly,” he says. “You need to handle every player differently, but in general, I think it can benefit both the athlete and the team. One of the things I look for in players is the ability to move in space and go after the ball. Playing other sports can help with this.” Brenner’s multi-sport college career began following her freshman volleyball season when Paul Westhead, Oregon’s Head Women’s Basketball Coach, asked Moore if the team could “borrow” Brenner after one of its players suffered an injury. “I told him I would leave it up to Liz,” Moore says. “So I told her to talk to her family and make the decision.” Once Brenner decided to give it a go, Moore had to discuss the logistics of the arrangement with Westhead. “The biggest thing I stressed to Paul was that he needed to give Liz a week off to rest and recharge from our season before she started to play basketball,” Moore says. “As Liz’s primary sport coach, it was important I set the tone of, ‘If I say no, that means no.’ But Coach Westhead understood her need to rest and agreed.” After basketball season ended, Moore was once again approached by a coach asking for Brenner’s services following an injury. In this case, it was the softball team that came calling. “In retrospect, I should have put my foot down and told her not to do it,” Moore says. “When you’ve got a multisport athlete, one of the things you need to be wary of is that sports doesn’t consume all of their time. One day, Liz went to volleyball practice, then spent eight hours with the softball team when they played a double-header that was delayed by some rain.” Brenner never complained, so it was up to Moore to monitor her for signs of burnout. “I had to keep a close eye on her energy level during practices and make sure she stayed positive and upbeat,” he says. “The other coaches weren’t going to see her enough to catch all of that. Thankfully, she was fine.” After her successful freshman year, Brenner once again doubled up with volleyball and basketball as a sophomore. That spring, when the track and field team asked if Brenner could help in the javelin, Moore agreed, but sat down with the track and field staff to discuss plans. “We had to balance a number of things,” he says. “We didn’t want her exceeding the 20-hour-a-week limit, so we decided

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BULLETIN BOARD that because she was getting strength and conditioning work in with us, she would concentrate on throwing only at track practice, which cut down the time commitment. “There was one scheduling conflict, where we had a spring match at the same time as a track meet,” Moore continues. “But in talking it over, the coaches and I thought she’d get more from the track meet, so she participated with them.” Brenner will likely be a part of the basketball and track and field teams again this year, and Moore’s okay with that, as long as the lines of communication remain open. “It’s crucial that you discuss any potential conflicts with the athlete and the other coaching staff,” he says. “That way, there’s no confusion later, and the athlete doesn’t get burnt out.”

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At the University of Oregon, volleyball standout Liz Brenner (spiking) has also suited up for the softball, basketball, and track and field teams. Coaches work together to share the multi-sport superstar.

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hometown heroes Q&A with NFCA DIvision i coaching staff of the year | university of oklahoma

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fter the University of Oklahoma found itself on the losing end of the 2012 Women’s College World Series (WCWS) Finals, the team entered this past spring looking for redemption. “Our players were broken following the 2012 championship,” says OU Head Coach Patty Gasso. “They were determined to make 2013 their year.” OU began the season with the number-one ranking and never lost it, compiling a 57-4 record along the way—the fifth best winning percentage in NCAA softball history. They didn’t drop a single game in the NCAA Division I Softball Tournament, outscoring their opponents 91-16. As the Sooners were preparing for their NCAA Super Regional games, tragedy struck in nearby Moore, Okla. An EF5 tornado hit the town on May 20, about 10 miles away from both OU’s campus and the tournament location in Oklahoma City, killing 23 people and injuring 377 more. “After the tornado, we didn’t just want to win the national championship for us,” Gasso says. “We wanted to win it for the people of Oklahoma.” However, Game One of the Finals found the Sooners down 3-0 against the University of Tennessee in the bottom of the 11th after 10 scoreless innings. Eager to get ahead in the best of three series, OU came back to tie the game, scoring twice when they were down to their last out. A two-run home run in the bottom of the 12th secured the victory for the Sooners, and after a shutout in Game Two, the national championship was theirs. The 2013 title is Gasso’s second, as she also hoisted the trophy in 2000. In recognition of OU’s championship season, Gasso, along with Associate Head Coach Melyssa Lombardi, Assistant Coach Tripp MacKay, and Director of Operations Sharon Carter, were named the NFCA 2013 NCAA Division I Coaching Staff of the Year. In this four-part interview, each coach talks about what they bring to the program and how the pieces came together in an emotional 2013 season.

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COVER STORY

University of Oklahoma players wait at home plate to celebrate with Keilani Ricketts after her home run in Game Two of the 2013 Women’s College World Series Finals against Tennessee.

photos by ty russell

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Sooners Head Coach Patty Gasso watches her team take the field at the start of Game One of the WCWS Finals, in which her squad would need a come-from-behind rally in extra innings to win.

a team has a great offense, it will win a lot of games even with an average defense. But a team that struggles offensively will have to rely on outstanding defense to make up for it. Besides offensive prowess, what else do you look for in athletes?

PATTY GASSO, HEAD COACH Gasso came to OU in 1995 after serving as Head Coach at Long Beach City College and has now recorded more than 1,000 career victories. She’s 871-279-2 at OU, making her not only the winningest coach in school history but in the Big 12 as well. The Sooners have qualified for the NCAA tournament every year since Gasso took the reins, with five Super Regional berths and seven appearances in the WCWS. Gasso was inducted into the NFCA Hall of Fame in 2012. CM: How was winning the 2013 national championship different than your 2000 title?

Gasso: This title had a much greater personal significance for me because of the tornado that hit Moore. Winning the national championship brought our state attention in a positive way, especially because the games were in Oklahoma City. Instead of seeing the destruction in the news, people saw the state flag of Oklahoma being raised on ESPN by our fans in the bleachers. Our team became a source of comfort and pride to hundreds of thousands of people across the state, and that meant more to us than anything. How was your team involved in the relief efforts in Moore?

We heard about a youth girls’ softball team from Moore, called Bring It, that lost a nine-year-old player to the tornado. Five of our team members went to her funeral, and we invited her older sister to be our batgirl during the WCWS. In addition, we hosted the Bring It team at our Super Region12 Coaching Management 2013

al game against Texas A&M. The contest ended up being rained out, so the Bring It girls spent the evening playing games and doing relay races with my athletes. I think the parents were comforted to see their children smiling and laughing again, and it was a blast for everyone involved. What was the key to your extrainnings win in the first game of the finals?

I had confidence that we would come back. The players had been resilient all season long, so I knew they weren’t going to quit when it mattered most. We just kept telling them to find a way to get on base. One by one, everyone did their job. The biggest lesson I took from that game was that sometimes I need to let go. Talking to players during tense moments can often make them tighter, so I tried to prove how much I believed in them by staying out of their way. I made sure not to run us into any outs, but the rest was up to them. I learned that I might conduct the orchestra at times, but the athletes are the instruments, and they make beautiful music. We came out on top by the skin of our teeth, and it was by far the greatest game I have ever been a part of. What do you look for when building a team?

In the past, I used to mainly recruit athletic, skilled defenders. But our focus has shifted to finding players who can swing the bat and get hits. I feel it is easier to improve an average defender than turn a good hitter into a great one. Defense can be taught, whereas offensive talent involves the handeye coordination a player is born with. If

We recruit players who will be a good fit for our program, even if that means passing up on great athletes. I look for players who know what it takes to be good and are willing to put in the extra work to get there. They should expect to win a national championship every year. If a kid isn’t striving to meet that goal and become the best player she can be, she’s not a good fit for our program. I need my players to be internally motivated. How can you identify those traits in a recruit?

I watch what she does in the dugout after a bad inning, how she responds to her teammates, and how she interacts with her coaches. You can tell a lot about a player’s mental strength by observing her body language and how verbal she is. A red flag is when a kid on the field constantly looks to the dugout for direction. I want players who know the game and can stand on their own. In addition, I do a lot of homework on my recruits. I talk with their former coaches and teammates to get a sense of who they are. It takes a lot of work, but it is worth it to find the right person for our program. How do you develop relationships with your players?

I spend time with them away from softball to get to know them better. Players come by my office weekly, and we sit and talk about anything but the game. I also open my home to the team. The girls come over frequently and we play cards or HORSE. They get to know my family, which I think breaks them out of their shell. I try to treat my athletes like they are my own kids. In addition, I make an effort to show my team a fun, real side of me. Music always helps loosen people up, so I bust a move occasionally. We do a lot of activities on road trips, as well. The players seem to enjoy the goofy stuff, especially when the coaching staff gets involved. For example, last year everyone CoachesNetwork.com


COVER STORY

on the team partnered up and dressed as a celebrity duo. An assistant coach and I went as Siegfried and Roy, the famous entertainers and tiger trainers. What qualities do you seek in assistant coaches?

More than anything else, I look for loyalty. My assistants might not love all of my decisions, but I need to know they will always have my back. Trust is also a huge component to any coaching staff. In fact, a big turning point of my career was when I relinquished control over certain parts of our team to my assistant coaches. It was hard to let go, but when coaches feel your trust, they are able to relax and do their thing, which contributes to the team’s overall success. Over the years, I’ve learned that I am a much better coach when I oversee operations versus trying to micromanage everything. How do you handle work-life balance?

During my first few years at OU, my children were young, and I was called selfish for trying to be a mother and a Division I

coach. Some said I was being unfair to both my team and my kids by not giving either my undivided attention. Those comments weighed on me, so I asked my children if they thought I should give up coaching and spend more time with them. They responded with, “Why would you do that? You like coaching. It wouldn’t be right otherwise.” To help with the balance, I kept my kids involved in the program as much as I could. They came to most of our practices. When we went on road trips, I’d bring the car seats and stroller on the plane. And it all worked out. In fact, some of my fondest memories are of them being in the stands for the big games over the years. Both of my sons want to get into coaching, so an unforeseen benefit as they got older was that we could talk about the game together. They started asking me why I would make certain decisions. It was neat to see that transition in them as they grew up. What is your advice to coaches with young children?

Let softball go when you get home, because your kids will love you no matter

what kind of game your team had. And never doubt yourself. Don’t listen to what other people say about your family. Balancing it all is difficult, don’t get me wrong, but you can do it. MELYSSA LOMBARDI, ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH Lombardi first came to OU as a catcher in 1995. After she graduated, she joined the staff as a student assistant, working her way up to Assistant Coach in 1998 and Associate Head Coach in 2007. In charge of the battery, she has coached her pitchers and catchers to 15 All-American honors, with pitcher Keilani Ricketts named the 2012 and 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. CM: What is your relationship with Coach Gasso like?

Lombardi: When I played for her, I bought into where she wanted to take the program, and I still do. We have the same expectations, goals, and work ethic, so it was an easy transition from player to coach. And at this point, we’ve been together for

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so many years, I think we can finish each other’s sentences. How do your experiences as a player carry over to coaching?

I think the added responsibility of the catcher position helped me. The catcher is like another assistant coach on the diamond. You are the only player who can see the whole field, so you are expected to be a leader. Everyone listens for you to direct them, and you have to keep your teammates calm during tense situations. In addition, the coaching staff relies heavily on the catcher for information about the pitcher. And you have to be honest, even if your friend is on the mound. If a change should be made, you have to recommend it. Have you ever changed a pitcher’s throwing motion?

Yes, and I’ll use Keilani as an example. She may have just wrapped up her career at OU with a national championship and multiple player-of-the-year honors, but she actually struggled during her freshman year. When she came in, her delivery was one that

allowed both the batter and the first base coach to see what she was going to throw before she released the ball. As a result, she got some strikeouts, but most players were getting good, solid contact off of her. At first, changing Keilani’s delivery was difficult because she was attached to it, and she was uncomfortable with anything new we tried. So we made small adjustments. We put her through a few different motions that would allow her to hide the ball while staying relatively true to her old form. Eventually, the final product involved her turning her body to the side when she got her grip so she didn’t expose the pitch. It was just enough to do the trick, and our fans started calling it the “Ricketts Twist.”

anyone who comes to the plate, she’s going to throw the ball well. We have specific times that pitchers work on mental strength. For example, when a pitcher is in the bullpen, we either have her do a practice or performance session. In a practice session, she is working on perfecting the physical aspects of her pitches, such as movement, speed, and placement. But when she switches over to a performance session, all of that gets put on a shelf. At that time, she’s not picking apart every pitch, but focusing on throwing like she would in a game and developing the mental toughness to last seven innings.

How do you develop your pitchers mentally?

The battery and I work together to come up with a game plan for each team we face. We watch a ton of video and make a list of the pitch combinations we want to use against every hitter. Instead of me just telling my players what to watch for, our scouting reports are very much a collaborative effort. I trust my battery, and I know they get excited to put each game plan together. I

When a pitcher is mentally strong, you can feel her presence on the mound. She can miss with a pitch but still get a batter out. We want our pitchers to be at that level mentally on the mound, one in which they are untouchable. When a pitcher is standing on the mound and she is not afraid of

How do you approach scouting opponents?

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Assistant Coach Tripp MacKay focuses on the team’s hitting, breaking down the mechanics of each player’s swing.

think players believe in the plan more when they can put their stamp on it. TRIPP MACKAY, ASSISTANT COACH A former professional baseball player, assistant baseball coach, and private hitting instructor, MacKay got his first taste of collegiate softball coaching when he was hired by OU in 2007 as hitting coach. Last year, his athletes led the nation in slugging percentage and were fourth in batting average and home runs per game. CM: What is your approach to teaching hitting?

MacKay: My style is based on function rather than tradition. In my experience, there is a lot of tradition imbedded in teaching a swing. Players are taught by their coaches, who learned from their coaches, and so on, but no one actually questioned

whether or not the swing they were teaching was any good. My parents were bat designers for Louisville Slugger, so I was a guinea pig for a lot of different techniques and hitting styles growing up. I’m constantly researching swing mechanics and listening to what the best hitting gurus have to say. My goal is

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to break down what works and what doesn’t in every swing. How do you make your players aware of their swing?

For the most part, when our players come in as freshmen, they can all stride, turn, and swing. But I break down the pieces

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so they understand how each part works and what they can do to make a good swing repeatable. When professional golfers hook or slice a shot, they immediately know what they did wrong. At OU, we have the same approach. We have a three-swing adjustment rule that says players should be able to fix an error in their swing in three tries. They hit the ball with their first swing. By the second one, they make the adjustment. And by the third swing, we expect backspin line drives. The three-swing rule is helpful in keeping players consistent because swings change every day. An athlete might feel good on Monday, so she’ll have more bat speed and need to wait on the ball. But if that player feels lousy on Tuesday, her bat will be slower and she’ll have to readjust her timing. Hitting is all about fine-tuning, and our players are comfortable making adjustments in their swings. What are your thoughts on hitting for power?

Our players aren’t trying to hit one out of the park every time they step up to the

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plate, but home runs are the most efficient way to score. You may need four singles to score one run. With doubles, one run only requires two hits, which is a lot more efficient. And with home runs? All it takes is one swing of the bat to put you on the board. I’m certainly satisfied with singles, but if our athletes hit the ball correctly, I expect it to go pretty far. SHARON CARTER, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS Entering her second season on staff, Carter is responsible for keeping the OU program running smoothly on a day-to-day basis and is the liaison to the team’s booster club. Before joining the Sooners, Carter was a three-time All-American pitcher for St. Gregory University. CM: What are your job responsibilities?

Carter: Everything and anything. I’m the go-to person for the coaching staff as far as attending to details. When we’re on the road, some of my duties are coordinating the meals for our athletes and organizing our travel and lodging. When I’m in the

office, I’m Coach Gasso’s point of contact. We meet daily to go over her schedule and plan for upcoming events that we hold throughout the year. How do you bring your experiences as a player to your current position?

Under my job profile, I’m not able to coach our OU athletes. But I still coach at our softball camps throughout the year, working mostly with the pitchers. Because I can bring the perspective of a former college athlete, I think I relate well with the recruits and younger players. What did winning the national championship mean to you?

The whole experience was surreal and something I will always remember. Winning the title was our program’s goal all year. The athletes knew what they wanted, and nothing was going to stop them. They inspired us as a coaching staff to go above and beyond to get the girls whatever they needed to achieve their goal. Seeing their all-out effort pushed me to work harder, and I’m grateful to have been here for it. CM

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Scott Bruhn, Nebraska Athletics

Nutrition

At the University of Nebraska, players have eating-on-the-road plans for both bus trips and plane travel.

Hitting the Road When your team travels to an away contest, it shouldn’t mean nutrition is left behind. Set your athletes up for the trip with a little planning and education. By Lindsey Remmers

CoachesNetwork.com

Student-athletes’ schedules can be summed up in one word: busy. Whether it’s practice, class, a team meeting, a weightroom workout, a study session at the library, or traveling to an away game, they always seem to be headed somewhere. With so little time to sit and eat, learning how to fuel on the go is vital. It is especially important when on the road. Not only is proper nutrition critical for maintaining energy levels, but it also helps fuel the body to fight the fatigue and dehydration associated with traveling. Unfortunately, when long hours on the bus and odd flight schedules prompt a stomach growl that means, “I’m hungry,” athletes are often not as prepared as they should be. But they certainly can be. The trick is planning ahead. Here at the University of Nebraska, we often pack food for our trips, scope out the grocery stores located nearest Coaching Management 2013 17


nutrition

their own individual-size servings and a instead a scone. couple of coolers for perishable items. Choose Here is chicken. a list of Fast itemsfood that restaurants will supply don’t use with lean beef, so the fat protein, content in athletes carbohydrates, anda hamburger contains more healthy fats, is andhigher are easyand to pack on a van or saturated bus trip: (unhealthy) fat than the ground beefnfound the grocery store. Eating two Wholeatfruit: apples, bananas, oranges, pears, peaches grilled chicken sandwiches from McDonGreekcalories, yogurt and ald’sn (700 84 granola grams of carbohyn String cheese drates, 56 grams of protein, and 18 grams of Jerky of one Angus Deluxe Burger fat) ninstead Peanut butter and of jelly ingredients 40 (750n calories, 61 grams carbohydrates, n Tuna packetsand 39 grams of fat) offers grams of protein, n Triscuits, Wheat Thins, rice cakes, Kelmore calories from carbohydrates and lean logg’s Cracker Chipsfewer calories from fat, protein, along with Wholebegrain Goldfish andnwould the better option.

This table shows the leaner, healthier options available at popular fast food restaurants. The items in green are the “go for it” choices, and those in orange are the “consider it” options.

McDonalD’s

Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Premium Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich Honey Mustard Snack Wrap BBQ Snack Wrap Hamburger Cheeseburger Egg McMuffin Fruit & Maple Oatmeal Side Salad (no dressing) Fruit n’ Yogurt Parfait Apple Slices

burger king

Hamburger Tendergrill Chicken Sandwich (no mayo) Veggie Burger (no mayo) Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal Original Oatmeal Egg & Cheese Breakfast Sandwich Ham, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Sandwich Apple Slices

arby’s

Jr. Roast Beef Sandwich Classic Roast Beef Sandwich Mid Roast Beef Sandwich Max Roast Beef Sandwich French Dip & Swiss/Au Jus Ham & Swiss Melt Roast Turkey & Swiss Wrap Apple Slices

350 510 250 250 250 300 300 290 20 150 15

42 44 27 27 31 33 32 58 4 30 4

28 40 16 16 12 15 18 5 1 4 0

9 20 8 8 9 12 12 4 0 2 0

230 360 320 270 140 250 300 30

26 38 43 55 23 23 25 7

9 39 21 5 5 12 18 0

9 7 8 3.5 3.5 11 13 0

210 360 460 560 450 300 490 35

22 35 35 35 50 35 38 9

13 23 34 45 26 19 35 0

8 14 21 27 17 9 25 0

Trail mix Skip fried(great version. When choosing Drythe cereal choices include Kashia sandwich or salad chickenCinnamon on it, go cereals, Multi Grainwith Cheerios, with the grilled option instead the crispy Life, Quaker Whole Hearts, and of Quaker Life one. Fried chicken (or fish) means it will Crunchtime) have more calories fat instead n Horizon low-fatfrom chocolate milk of lean protein. n Dried fruit n Protein Order it shakes your way. Never hesitate to n 100% request thatjuice the boxes food be prepared in a cerClif and bars tainn way. TheKashi athlete is the one purchasing Fruit cups andn eating the food, so he or she shouldn’t be afraid to ask for alterations to make the meal healthier. For example, if an athlete is really craving a burger, he orof she can keep it LINDSEY REMMERS is the Director Sports Nutrition at the University of Nebraska. She be reached leaner by requesting nocanmayo, theat:bun lremmers@huskers.com. untoasted (so it isn’t soaked in the fat on the n n

best choices wenDy’s

Ultimate Chicken Grill Sandwich Grilled Chicken Go Wrap Jr. Hamburger Small Chili Large Chili Garden Side Salad Apple Slices Plain Baked Potato

kFc

Grilled Chicken Breast Honey BBQ Sandwich Green Beans Mashed Potatoes with Gravy Mashed Potatoes (no gravy) Corn on Cob (three inch) BBQ Baked Beans Sweet Kernel Corn

chick-Fil-a

Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich Chargrilled Chicken Club Chargrilled Chicken Cool Wrap Fruit Cup Side Salad Hearty Breast of Chicken Soup Multigrain Oatmeal (no toppings) Roasted nut topping Mixed Dried Fruit Blend Yogurt Parfait (fruit only) Yogurt Parfait with Granola

Ca lo ri e Ca rb s oh Pr ot ydr ei at n Fa es (g t (g ) (g ) )

Ca lo ri e Ca rb s oh Pr ot ydr ei at n Fa es ( t (g (g g) ) )

the team hotel, and see which restaurant ents whenarethe bran and of the options available. Andgerm if a team hasgrain to go are processing. theremoved fast foodvia route, the athletes are educated foods also tend to have longer onProcessed best choices. lists of ingredients. A Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich fromITChick-Fil-A isn’t just chickBROWN BAG en, aMany bun, athletes and pickle In addition to viewslices. traveling as a vaca100-percent natural breast chicken tion or getaway andwhole give themselves more leeway with what when teams filet, 50 other itemsthey are eat. alsoBut listed. That’s a areofon the road, lot “stuff” in onethey’re chickencompeting, sandwich. and Typi-it isn’t the a good timethe tolist, compromise cally, longer the more nutritional processed intake. the food is. Thesuggest best option is to skip bringthe familiar, We that athletes most healthy, and nutritious snacks instead and drinks processed foods. For example, of when purchase food items in fries at traveling. Wendy’s, We choose the baked potato. bulk, send ourpurchase athletes onthe the oatmeal bus with Or at then Starbucks,

370 260 250 180 270 20 40 270

43 25 25 20 31 4 9 61

34 19 14 13 19 1 0 7

7 10 10 5 8 0 0 0

220 320 25 120 90 70 210 100

0 47 4 19 15 16 41 21

40 24 1 2 2 2 8 3

7 3.5 0 4 3 0.5 1.5 0.5

310 430 330 60 80 200 140 80 45 280 350

46 46 28 15 6 30 28 3 12 53 61

29 37 38 0 5 11 0 2 0 9 10

3.5 12 12 0 4.5 4 2.5 8 0 3.5 6

The ABOVe infOrmATiOn is frOm eAch resTAurAnT’s respecTiVe WeB siTe.

18 Coaching Management 2013

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Nutrition

Yogurt parfait cups Water. Traveling by plane is a bit trickier because teams have to pack within luggage restrictions and cannot bring semi-solid foods like yogurt through security. Still, athletes can store a small, soft-sided cooler and empty plastic bags in their carry-on, then fill the bags with ice and purchase any perishables after landing. Here are some good choices n n

Dried fruit An empty water bottle (fill after security check and aim to drink eight ounces every hour in flight as airplanes can be very dehydrating). If competing over a long weekend or at a multi-day tournament, it may also be helpful to seek out the nearest grocery store after arriving at the team hotel or competition site. You can research this online ahead of n n

fruit. If cereal is available, athletes should go for Cheerios, Mini-Wheats, or Raisin Bran and avoid the pastries and doughnuts at all costs. These choices offer little nutritional value and digest rather quickly, leaving athletes with a rumbling stomach close to game time. Or if athletes have brought instant oatmeal packets, adding a glass of milk, fruit, egg (if available), and toast with peanut butter makes a well-rounded breakfast.

If athletes have brought instant oatmeal packets, adding a glass of milk, fruit, egg (if available), and toast with peanut butter makes a well-rounded breakfast. for air travel: n Instant oatmeal packets n Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches n Whole fruit (choose ones that won’t get crushed easily like apples, oranges, and pears) n Energy bars (Clif, PowerBar, Kit’s Organic, Lärabar, Pure, Kashi, Nature Valley Trail Mix Bars, and NRG) n Trail mix

time. Many hotels offer free shuttles, so once the team arrives, athletes can hit the store to load up on snacks and healthy breakfast items. Some hotels will put a mini-fridge in the room if requested so that athletes can store deli meats, yogurt, string cheese, and milk. Though a lot of hotels offer free breakfast with a night’s stay, it often consists of cereal, pastries, doughnuts, muffins, and canned

THE DRIVE-THROUGH

It’s easy to see why teams flock to fast food restaurants when on the road. They are quick, convenient, and cheap. But what a lot of athletes don’t realize is that their food offerings can have a direct negative effect on performance. Most fast food is void of many vital nutrients, and although it supplies the body

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Coaching Management 2013 19


with calories and energy, the type of calories can actually promote inflammation rather than fight it. If the majority of calories an athlete consumes are from high-fat burgers and French fries, their bodies may not perform optimally. Fatty foods take longer to digest, potentially leading to an upset stomach or “heavy” feeling when competing.

three good choices at each restaurant, meaning that athletes may have to choose the same thing every time. That’s okay, as long as fast food isn’t their go-to for every meal during travel. We give our athletes the following guidelines, along with lists of approved restaurants and the healthier items to order:

low in fat (easier to digest). To determine the leanness of a menu item, athletes can look at the ratio of protein-to-fat grams or percentage of calories from fat. Here are the guidelines we give our athletes: n Three-to-one ratio or less than 30 percent: Go for it. n Two-to-one ratio or 30 to 40 percent:

When choosing a sandwich or salad with chicken on it, go with the grilled option. Fried chicken means it will have more calories from fat instead of lean protein. The general rule of thumb for everyday eating still holds true when consuming fast food. Athletes should be building their meals with mainly carbohydrates for fueling (baked potatoes, pasta, whole wheat buns/ bread/hoagie rolls), fruit, a lean protein source (grilled or broiled meats, chicken, fish, eggs), and vegetables wherever possible (side salad, veggies on a sandwich). Healthy fast food options do exist but not in abundance. There may only be two or

Check the nutrition facts. Fast food restaurants are required to make nutrition facts available to their customers. Entire menus can be looked up online, and brochures or posters with nutritional information are often available in the restaurants. The main things to look for are calorie, carbohydrate, protein, and fat content. Especially if eating near competition time, athletes should choose meals that are higher in carbohydrates (energy source) and

Consider it. n One-to-one ratio or more than 40 percent: Skip it. Choose the least processed items. Processed foods have been altered from their natural state, which tends to make them less nutritious. For example, packaged white bread is made from refined white flour, meaning it loses most of its fiber and nutrients when the bran and germ of the grain are removed via processing.

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Nutrition

We suggest that athletes skip the most processed foods. For example, instead of fries at Wendy’s, choose the baked potato. Or at Starbucks, purchase the oatmeal instead of a scone. Choose chicken. Fast food restaurants don’t use lean beef, so the fat content in a hamburger is higher and contains more saturated (unhealthy) fat than the ground beef found at the grocery store. Eating two grilled chicken sandwiches from McDonald’s (700 calories, 84 grams of carbohydrates, 56 grams of protein, and 18 grams of fat) instead of one Angus Deluxe Burger (750 calories, 61 grams of carbohydrates, 40 grams of protein, and 39 grams of fat) offers more calories from carbohydrates and lean protein, along with less calories from fat, and would be the better option. Skip the fried version. When choosing a sandwich or salad with chicken on it, go with the grilled option instead of the crispy one. Fried chicken means it will have more calories from fat instead of lean protein. Order it your way. Never hesitate to request that the food be prepared in a cer-

tain way to make it healthier. For example, if an athlete is really craving a burger, she can keep it leaner by requesting no mayo, the bun untoasted (so it isn’t soaked in the fat on the grill), extra lettuce and tomato, and a side salad instead of French fries. HAPPY MEDIUM

When athletes hear the words “fast food” they probably think of McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and Taco Bell. But Subway, Quiznos, Panera Bread, and the local pizzeria can also be considered fast food. Overall, this second set of restaurants has healthier options but are still convenient. At sandwich shops, athletes can choose whole wheat bread, leaner meats like turkey, ham, roast beef, and grilled chicken, and healthy side options instead of French fries. For example, at Panera Bread, sandwiches come with a choice of apple, side salad, or plain chips. A large slice of cheese pizza usually runs less than 250 calories, and a meat lover’s slice is still usually less than 400 (compare that to an Angus Deluxe Burger from McDonald’s,

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which is 750 calories). When athletes are choosing toppings at a pizzeria, they can pile on the veggies to add some crunch, fiber, and inflammation-fighting antioxidants, and choose leaner meats like chicken or ham instead of bacon, pepperoni, or sausage. They can also look for hand-tossed crust over original and steer clear of any pizza that is made with alfredo or a cream sauce. However, athletes shouldn’t assume that anything they order at a sandwich shop or pizzeria is a healthy choice because it’s not from a hamburger joint. They should still check the ingredients and nutritional information if possible. The inconvenience of traveling doesn’t have to ruin an athlete’s diet. It’s just a matter of knowing what the best options are. When athletes choose foods that make their body feel good, they are more likely to compete at the top of their game. CM A version of this article appeared in our sister publication, Training & Conditioning. For more articles from T&C, please visit: www.Training-Conditioning.com.

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22 Coaching Management 2013

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Evoshield . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 309, 408 300 Commerce Blvd. Bogart, GA30622 770-725-2724 • evoshield.com FastpitchTV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 2023 S. Cooper St. Arlington, TX 76010 800-850-5007 • fastpitch.tv Fellowship of Christian Athletes . . . . . . 429 8701 Leeds Road Kansas City, MO 64129 800-289-0909 • fca.org Front Rush . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 620 287 S. Main St., Ste. 12 Lambertville, NJ 08530 215-489-2100 • frontrush.com G Tee Batting Tees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 421, 520 1721 N.E. 19th Ave. Ocala, FL 34470 877-448-4833 • thegtee.com Gamechanger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 220 86 Chambers St., Ste. 202 New York, NY 10007 202-642-5333 • GameChanger.io Girls Got Game . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 515 133 Main Street, Ste. 1 Geneseo, NY 14454 866-641-1505 • girlsgotgame.com Historic Dodgertown . . . . . . . . . . . 219 3901 26th Street Vero Beach, FL 32960 772-257-8557 historicdodgertown.com This 80-acre sports facility and conference center provides you with a full-encompassing experience to prepare your championship team. See ad on page 16 Lee County Sports Development . . . . . 524 2305 Broadway Ft. Myers, FL 33901 239-344-5201 • leecountysports.org Little Caesar’s Pizza Kit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 225 2211 Woodward Ave. Detroit, MI 48201 888-452-5487 • pizzakit.com Lizard Skins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 205 358 S. Mountain Way Dr. Orem, UT 84058 801-229-9099 • lizardskinsbaseball.com Louisville Slugger . . . . . . . . . . . 402, 404, 406 800 West Main Street Louisville, KY 40202 800-282-2287 • slugger.com CoachesNetwork.com


Markwort Sporting Goods . . . . . . . . . . 418 1101 Research Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63132 800-280-5555 • mawkwort.com MaxPreps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 414 4080 Plaza Goldorado Circle Cameron Park, CA 95682 800-329-7324 • maxpreps.com Mizuno . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 303, 305, 307 3520 Ridgewood Dr. Loomis, CA 95650 800-966-1211 • mizunousa.com National Pro Fastpitch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 508 3350 Hobson Pike Hermitage, TN 37076 615-232-2900 • profastpitch.com National Sports Products . . . . . . . . . 321 3441 S. 11th Ave. Eldridge, IA 52748 800-478-6497 nationalsportsproducts.com National Sports Products, a division of Douglas Industries, Inc., is a top manufacturer and distributor of baseball and softball products throughout the U.S. The company focuses on quality equipment at great prices for both outdoor and indoor facilities. See ad on page 25 Nemo’s Speed Hitting Program . . . 513 1128 S.E. 70th Ave. Hillsboro, OR 97123 503-848-7889 speedbat.com Nemo’s Speed Hitting Program includes Nemo’s Speed Training Bat, singlehanded bat, triple-hitting tee, and five instructional DVDs. See ad on page 14 Oates Specialties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134 151 FM 1696 Road East Huntsville, TX 77320 936-295-4459 • oatesspecialties.com Own The Zone Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 412 2435 N. Houston Street, #712 Dallas, TX 75912 972-975-0629 • ownthezonesports.com Pocket Radar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 415 3535 Industrial Dr. Santa Rosa, CA 95403 888-381-2672 • pocketradar.com Premier Girls Fastpitch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 315 18281 Gothard St., #112 Huntington Beach, CA 92648 premiergirlsfastpitch.com CoachesNetwork.com

Pro Look Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . 106, 118 P.O. Box 971180 Orem, UT 84097 800-PRO-LOOK ProLook.com Since 1996, Pro Look has developed award-winning uniforms for title-chasing athletes. The company is proud of its innovation and attention to detail. See ad on page 2 Ready Set Register . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 221 6 Foley Drive Southboro, MA 01772 617-733-7500 • readysetregister.com RightView Pro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 407, 409 27 Missleridge Lane S. Rolling Hills, CA 90274 310-377-9221 • rightviewpro.com Ringor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204, 206 7929 SW Burns Way, Ste. C Wilsonville, OR 97070 877-2RINGOR • ringor.com RIP-IT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105, 107 4210 LB McCleod Road Orlando, FL 32811 888-957-4748 • ripitsportinggoods.com Russell Athletic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 517, 519 One Fruit of the Loom Drive Bowling Green, KY 42102 888-606-5520 • russellathletic.com Schutt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203, 302, 304 710 South Industrial Drive Litchfield, IL 62056 800-426-9784 • schutt-sports.com Shoeless Joe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 331 600 Main Street Hays, KS 67601 855-563-4568 • shoelessjoellc.com Slow The Game Down . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 324 1100 South Coast Hwy., #203 Laguna Beach, CA 92656 866-627-5400 • slowthegamedown.com SoCal ASA Players Assoc. . . . . . . . . . . . . 329 7381 Pheasant Run Road Riverside, CA 92509 951-233-7922 • socalasa.org Softball Excellence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 4211 Saltwater Blvd. Tampa, FL 33615 813-368-2048 • softballexcellence.com Softball Factory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 514 9212 Berger Road, Ste. 200 Columbia, MD 21046 855-822-5115 • softballfactory.com

Softball Powerdrive . . . . . . . . . . . . 312, 314 227 Arlington St. Framingham, MA 01702 252-469-5813 • softballpowerdrive.com Softball Savings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 417 8851 E, 34th St. North Wichita, KS 67226 888-838-5551 • softballsavings.com Softball.com/Team Express . . . . . 125, 127, 224, 226 5750 Northwest Parkway San Antonio, TX 78249 800-882-1166 • softball.com Southern Athletic Fields . . . . . . . . . 319 1309 Mainsail Dr. Columbia, TN 38401 800-837-8062 saftdirt.com Southern Athletic Fields is a locally owned company that sells athletic field products and accessories for various sports nationwide. See ad on page 13 Southwest Host Services . . . . . . . . . . . . 208 3412 Rolling Green Dr. Fort Collins, CO 80525 970-223-6665 • southwesthost.com Sports Attack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 420 2805 U.S. Highway 40 Verdi, NV 89439 800-717-4251 sportsattack.com Sports Attack is a manufacturer of professional sports training equipment for baseball, softball, football, volleyball, tennis, and soccer. Equipment is available for all levels, from beginner to pro. See ad on page Back Cover Sports USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 218 26072 Merit Circle #112 Laguna Hills, CA 92653 800-613-8002 • sportsusaelite.com Sports Tutor, Inc. . . . . . . . 603, 605, 607, 609, 611 3300 Winona Ave. Burbank, CA 91504 800-448-8867 sportsmachines.com Sports Tutor is a leading manufacturer of pitching machines for baseball and softball featuring programmable models, Homeplate, and the Triple Play Premier. See ad on page 7 Coaching Management 2013 23


Directory

Advertisers Directory

DIAMOND PRO

Circle #. . . . Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ® . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page #

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114 . . . 117 . . . 103 . . . 108 . . . 120 . . . 119 . . . 115 . . . 100 . . . 110 . . . 112 . . . 124 . . . 111 . . . 113 . . . 102 . . . 116 . . . 122 . . . 101 . . . 107 . . . 123 . . . 105 . . . 104 . . . 109 . . . 106 . . . 118 . . .

Athlete’s Guide to Nutrition. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 BEAM CLAY®. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 C&H Softball. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Coach Nemo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Coach Up. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Coaching Management Program Service. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Diamond Pro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Gatorade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Historic Dodgertown. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Hitting Jack-It. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 IthacaSports.com. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 M.A.S.A.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Memphis Net & Twine Co.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Muhl Tech. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 National Sports Products. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 NFCA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IBC Pro Look Softball . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 ® Southern Athletic Fields. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Sports Attack. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BC Sports Tutor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Stabilizer Solutions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 The Bench Coach. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 TPT Baseball, LLC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 TurfCordz®/NZ Manufacturing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

DIAMOND PRO

DIAMOND PRO

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Products Directory

RED INFIELD CONDITIONER

Circle #. . . . Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page #

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523 . . . Aer-Flo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 520 . . . BEAM CLAY®. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 504 . . . C&H Softball . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 505 . . . Diamond Pro. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 516 . . . Gatorade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Diamond Pro® 2013 Logo Design 510 . . . Historic Dodgertown. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 National Fast Pitch Coaches Association 515 . . . Hitting Jack-It. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 519 . . . IthacaSports.com. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 522 . . . Memphis Net & Twine Co.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS 521 . . . Muhl Tech (Advanced Skills Tee) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 517 . . . Muhl Tech (“skill-specific” training equipment). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 501 . . . National Sports Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 500 . . . Nemo’s Speed Hitting Program. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 509 . . . Pro Look Softball . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 512 . . . Pro Look Softball . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 507 . . . Southern Athletic Fields (Mar Mound Clay) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 525 . . . Southern Athletic Fields (product launch). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 511 . . . Sports Attack (e-Hack Attack) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 503 . . . Sports Attack (Junior Hack Attack). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 506 . . . Sports Tutor (HomePlate). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 508 . . . Sports Tutor (TriplePlay Pro). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 514 . . . Stabilizer Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 513 . . . The Bench Coach. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 502 . . . TPT Baseball, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 524 . . . TPT Baseball, LLC (product launch). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 518 . . . TurfCordz®/NZ Manufacturing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

NFCA

BOOTH 416

STAY CONNECTED

Circle No. 115

24 Coaching Management 2013

CoachesNetwork.com


Spurs Sports & Entertainment . . . . . . . . 119 One AT&T Center San Antonio, TX 78219 210-444-5000 Stabilizer Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . TBA 33 South 28th Street Phoenix, AZ 85034 800-336-2468 stabilizersolutions.com Stabilizer Solutions, Inc. is advancing the evolution of natural soil for baseball and softball fields. The company offers advanced mound clays, as well as infield and warning track mixes. See ad on page 6 Swingaway Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 425 1235A Kennestone Circle Marietta, GA 30066 800-999-1968 • swingaway.com The Bench Coach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124 912 Bristlewood Drive McKinney, TX 75070 972-740-5417 TheBenchCoach.com The BenchCoach® focuses on designing one of the most functional and durable team-centered, portable, dugout-organizing products for softball and baseball teams at every level of play. See ad on page 15 The Hitting Jack-It . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108 23011 Doris Way Torrance, CA 90505 877-452-2548 hittingjackit.com Epic Sports Products, Inc. is the exclusive licensee of the Hitting Jack-It, the only variable-weighted hitting training tool on the market. See ad on page 20 The Pitching Pad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132 P.O. Box 991 Castroville, TX 78009 210-232-8392 • thepitchingpad.com Total Control Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . 525, 624 2000 S. 25th Ave., Unit A Broadview, IL 60155 708-486-5800 • totalcontrolsports.com TPT Baseball, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . 527, 626 650 West Bough, Suite 150-150 Houston, TX 77024 713-582-1488 threepiecetee.com The Three Piece Tee® Balance Trainer CoachesNetwork.com

is a tool that increases power by improving balance in players’ swing and throwing motions. It is durable and portable for the cage and for pre-game activities. See ad on page 9 Tucson Invitational Games . . . . . . . . . . . 432 702 S. Craycroft Rd., Ste. F Tucson, AZ 85711 520-777-7680 • tigsports.com Under Armour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 413, 512 1020 Hull Street Baltimore, MD 21230 888-727-6687 • underarmour.com USA Baseball/Softball . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 427 403 Blackwell Street Durham, NC 27713 919-474-8721 • usasoftball.com USSSA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 213 611 Line Drive Kissimmee, FL 34744 • usssa.com V-Flex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 435 5529 Hwy. 11-W South Bean Station, TN 37708 865-566-5425 • vflexsports.com Vizual Edge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110 6 East Phillip Road, Ste. 1110 Vernon Hills, IL 60061 312-8VIZUAL • vizualedge.com WhipHit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 506 900 S. Meadows Pkwy #714 Reno, NV 89521 • thewhiphit.com

line Sou Your On

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SOFTBALL T EQUIPMEN

Batting Tunnels Protective Screens Outfield Fencing Windscreen Ball Park Netting Protective Padding Field Covers Turf & Turf Mats Field Maintenance Bases & Plates Player Equipment Field Accessories Training Aids Pitching Machines

Wilson . . . . . . .113, 115, 117, 212, 214, 216 8750 W. Bryn Mawr Chicago, IL 60631 800-874-5930 • wilson.com

1 at the Booth #32 tion! t a s u it Vis en onal Conv NFCA Nati

Worth/Rawlings . . . . . . 325, 327, 424, 426 6707 Keaton Corporate Way O’Fallon, MO 63368 888-989-6784 • worthsports.com

Order online or contact us for a copy of our Sports Catalog today!

WSI Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 612 1325 Eagandale Ct., Ste. 170 Eagan, MN 55121 651-994-9945 • WSISports.com Z-Wear . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 333 4613 Creekmont Dr. Houston, TX 77091-5230 713-864-1550 • z-wear.com

These companies are exhibiting at the NFCA convention (as of Oct. 25, 2013). Information was provided by the NFCA.

800-47 8-6497 www. .com

NationalSportsProducts

A Division of Douglas Industries, Inc.

Circle No. 116 Coaching Management 2013 25


Products on Display Proven Training Program… booth 513

Nemo’s Speed Hitting Program includes Coach Nemo’s speed-training bat, single-handed bat, triple-hitting tee, and five instructional DVD’s. The fifth DVD, Coach Nemo & Friends Vol # 5, was released in January, 2013. This is a complete, proven training program using under-loading and over-loading drills in a speed circuit-training format to increase bat speed and reaction time. Coach Nemo is available for speaking engagements at coaching clinics. Recently, Coach Nemo spoke at The Basins Best Coaches Clinic in Odessa, Texas, and The Northwest Softball Coaches Clinic in Portland, Ore. Nemo’s Speed Hitting Program • 503-848-7889 www.coachnemo.com Circle No. 500

Greater Accuracy…booth 321

Personalize your facility with the high-quality UV digital printing process that allows you to print directly on your material. There’s no white backing like other digital printing companies, so your printing and logos actually become part of the material. Plus, your investment will not crack, peel or tear like vinyl decals. NSP’s elite printing process allows for more detailed multi-color capabilities and has a quick turnaround and greater accuracy.

National Sports Products • 800-478-6497 www.nationalsportsproducts.com

The new Three Piece Tee® trainer lays the proper foundation for younger players through muscle memory and grip training. This consistently provides successful performance results for players as they advance in age and skill level. At the core of every successful baseball or softball player is a foundation of strong mechanics; what makes for strong mechanics is proper balance. A properly balanced position is the first—and most important—building block for any player who wants to achieve his or her true potential and make it to the next level of competition. Circle No. 502

Clear Vision… booth 420

The Junior Hack Attack softball pitching Machine will make it seem like a live pitcher is there. With the Junior Hack Attack’s three-wheel design, you’ll see the ball clearly all the way through the feeding motion, acceleration, and release. The hitter will be able to see when to stride and the angle of release, which will give an actual livearm sense of timing and location.

Sports Attack • 800-717-4251 www.sportsattack.com 26 Coaching Management 2013

C&H Softball offers a wide variety of professional quality nets, screens, and cages. C&H’s unique Pitcher’s L Screen allows pitchers a full range of motion while protecting their entire body. It also allows for proper pitching mechanics with no compromise. This screen is manufactured in the USA with a double layer #60 nylon netting, one-inch aluminum frame, and optional eight-inch wheels for easy transport. C&H Softball • 800-248-5192 www.c-hsoftball.com

Circle No. 504

For Better Fields…booth 416

Diamond Pro has a complete line of professional groundskeeping products, including infield conditioners; calcined clay; mound and home plate clay; bricks; marking dust; and infield and warning track mixes. The company offers fast and convenient delivery. Diamond Pro’s vitrified red clay infield conditioner is available in bulk nationwide, and is easy to handle and apply. Truckloads are available in 10-, 15-, and 24-ton loads that save you both time and money. Diamond Pro • 800-228-2987 www.diamondpro.com

Circle No. 505

Circle No. 501

Proper Foundation…booth 527, 626

TPT Baseball LLC • 713-481-7315 www.threepiecetee.com

Proper Mechanics…booth 313

Circle No. 503

Program Your Pitches…

booth 603 605 607 609 611 The HomePlate Softball programmable pitching machine can simulate any pitch that batters are likely to face. It can automatically throw a 70 mile-per-hour riser, a 50 mile-per-hour drop pitch, a curve, and a slider with only seven seconds between pitches. Coaches can store up to eight different pitches in each of the eight programs. Programmed pitches can be thrown sequentially for specific hitting drills, or randomly to simulate game conditions. HomePlate features an autofeed system and a 40-ball capacity. The HomePlate Softball Model costs $7,295. Sports Tutor • 800-448-8867 www.sportsmachines.com

Circle No. 506

Proven and Tested… booth 319

Mar Mound Clay is proven and tested to improve over time. It holds together longer and reduces the amount of wear created by pitchers. A study shows it is easy to use immediately upon delivery, and with time will improve to create the ideal mound/plate area you desire. This product is easy to use and proven to last. Southern Athletic Fields 800-837-8062 www.mulemix.com

Circle No. 507 CoachesNetwork.com


Products on Display Push-Button Convenience…

booth 603, 605, 607, 609, 611 Batting practice just got easier. With the TriplePlay Pro Softball pitching machine, you simply push a button to choose the type of pitch you want–including risers, sinkers, curves, drop curves, screwballs, and drop screwballs. The pitch speed is adjustable from 35 to 70 miles per hour, and the softball is visible from the time it leaves the feeder’s hand until it is pitched, allowing hitters to more naturally time the pitches. TriplePlay Pro features a three-wheel pitching mechanism for greater accuracy, and two large transport wheels make it simple to move to and from the field. The TriplePlay Pro Softball costs $2,995.

Just What You Want… booth 106, 118

Pro Look Softball is where tradition meets innovation. Combine the latest in materials technology with the unique ability to create any style uniform for one low price, and you get an unmatched uniform-ordering experience. Pro Look uniforms are so good that they are backed with a limited lifetime manufacturing warranty. Call the company for your free custom design mock-up. Pro Look Sports • 800-PRO-LOOK www.prolook.com

Circle No. 509

Sports Tutor • 800-448-8867 www.sportsmachines.co Circle No. 508 Circle No. 117

Professional-Style Organization booth 124

The BenchCoach® is one of the most complete, team-centered, portable dugout organizers available. The BenchCoach provides professional-style organization for softball teams at every level with compartments for 12 to 16 players that hold a player’s hat, helmet, glove, water bottle, and items like sunglasses, batting gloves, etc. The BenchCoach also includes two accessory pockets for game balls or personal items, a lineup card-holder, and a rigid bat-hanging frame that holds 16 bats. The Bench Coach • 443-745-3607 www.TheBenchCoach.com Circle No. 513

Circle No. 118

CoachesNetwork.com

Coaching Management 2013 27


Company News

Take 10% Off In Our Absence

Products on Display Realistic Batting Practice… booth 420

The Softball e-Hack Attack programmable pitching machine has made its debut. Now you can simply input any change in speed, location, or pitch-type to deliver any fastball, right- or left-hand screwball, riser, or drop. Set pitches in any sequence, weighted, or random to work on weaknesses or to prepare for an upcoming pitcher. This unit is an electronic version of the tried and true Hack Attack. Provide one of the most realistic batting practices your team has ever experienced with the eHack Attack.

Sports Attack • 800-717-4251 www.sportsattack.com

Circle No. 511

Quality Time…booth 219

We’d like to take this opportunity to apologize for M.A.S.A. not being at the the NFCA Convention this year due to a scheduling conflict. In our absence, we’d like to offer you a 10% off discount. Your business and dedication over the last 30 years certainly deserves it! Simply give us a call at 800.264.4519 and mention code: 1BUF. You’ll even get a free hat with your order! Some exclusions apply. Make sure and keep your eye out the week of December 16th for our new 2014 catalog. We’ve added hundreds of new products this year that we think you’re going to love! For instance, the 9 Hole Pitcher’s Pocket for assessing and increasing a pitcher’s accuracy and precision, the new evolution in tees, Eli’s Springback Tee, and even new padding for our Pro-Gold Screens! Oh, and we can’t forget The Original Infield Eraser Mat Drag! This new, lightweight drag will certainly revolutionize the field maintenance industry! We hope you have a great convention in 2013. See you next year!

Historic Dodgertown features a state-of-the-art softball facility that is home to the Florida High School Athletic Association Women’s Softball State Championships. It features pristine fields and batting cages for each dugout along with on-site housing, dining, and recreation, not to mention nearby beaches, allowing your team to spend quality time together on and off the field. Dodgertown is where championship teams are built! Historic Dodgertown • 772-257-8557 www.historicdodgertown.com

Strength & Longevity… booth 106, 118

Since 1996, Pro Look has developed award-winning uniforms for title-chasing athletes. The company is proud of its innovation and attention to detail. Its garments work with athletes when they need it most. Pro Look fabrics and construction methods stand up to abuse, season after season. The patented “soft” tackle twill technology creates fabric that is soft to the touch, while maintaining traditional strength and longevity. Combine soft tackle twill with innovative jersey fabrics and make your next set of uniforms virtually unstoppable. Pro Look Sports • 800-PRO-LOOK www.prolook.com

800-264-4519 www.sportsadvantage.com

Stabilizer Solutions, Inc. is advancing the evolution of natural soil for baseball and softball fields. The company offers advanced mound clays, as well as infield and warning track mixes in both its Stabilizer® organic and Hilltopper® waterless product lines. As the official playing surface of the NFCA, Stabilizer® “Pro Red” Infield Mix and Hilltopper® Waterless Mound Clay save time while providing protection from the elements. Circle No. 514

Develops Swing Mechanics… booth 108

The Fast Pitch Hitting Jack-It Training System is one of the only variable-weighted hitting training tools that is used for any hitting drill, including live batting practice. The patented product helps to develop proper swing mechanics, improve ball exit speed, and increase bat speed, strength, and power. Players at all levels, including those at NCAA Division I colleges, use this product daily. Hitting Jack-It, LLC • 877-452-2548 www.hittingjack-it.com

28 Coaching Management 2013

Circle No. 512

Advanced Soil… booth TBA

Stabilizer Solutions, Inc. 800-336-2468 www.stabilizersolutions.com

M.A.S.A.

Circle No. 510

Circle No. 515 CoachesNetwork.com


Let Coaching Management create your game programs & yearbooks

2013

TRADITION AND EXCELLENCE SINCE 1919

3 ways we can work with your school:

LANCASTER REDSKINS

• We offer a customized approach where you can make money by charging for the program and selling ads to local businesses… • Now available: a less-expensive system in which you pay for a template, and your subsequent cost can be as little as $5 a page…

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contact us. We’ll produce the quality programs that your teams deserve.

For more information call or email coaching management Publisher mark goldberg 607.257.6970 ext. 11 mg@momentummedia.com Circle No. 119

CoachesNetwork.com

Coaching Management 2013 29


Products of The Season Achieve Their Best

Give it everything you’ve got. Gatorade is dedicated to providing high school athletes with the fuel they need to achieve their best during practice and competition. That’s why Gatorade offers G Series performance packages to high school coaches and athletic trainers at a significant discount. To get the most out of every play and every player, visit the Web site to learn more and place your order. Gatorade • 800-88-GATOR www.gatorade.com/coaches

Circle No. 516

Go “Skill-Specific”

Muhl Tech Baseball & Softball offers equipment to make your practice time more productive. Since 2001, the company has been developing a line of “skill-specific” training equipment that gives hitters instant feedback with every swing. The products are designed to withstand heavy use during high school and college team practices. The company also offers its own line of batting cages and screens, sold direct to save you money.

Muhl Tech • 888-766-8772 www.muhltech.com

Circle No. 517

Boost Speed

Improve speed and agility with TurfCordz® Quick React. Used for two-person agility, explosive start, and quick-reaction drills, the Quick React features two waist belts connected by a strap. A Velcro® connection in the center of the strap holds it together as athletes mirror each other’s movements. Slow reactions are marked when the strap separates at the Velcro® connection. TurfCordz resistance products provide a versatile, safer and more comfortable workout. NZ Manufacturing • 800-886-6621 www.turfcordz.com

Circle No. 518

Many Satisfied Customers

BEAM CLAY® has supplied products to every Major League Baseball team, more than 150 minor league teams, more than 700 colleges, and thousands of towns and schools. BEAM CLAY supplies special mixes for infields, pitcher’s mounds, home plate areas, red warning tracks, infield conditioners, and drying agents; plus more than 200 other infield products, including regional infield mixes blended for every state and climate from bulk plants nationwide. BEAM CLAY • 800-247-BEAM www.beamclay.com

Circle No. 520

Instant Feedback

Why is the Advanced Skills Tee from Muhl Tech used by more than 2,000 high school and college programs? You get instant feedback with every swing. Its unique forward arm and outside barrier help develop a nice swing path–and keep the hands inside the ball. The tough polyurethane construction will give you years of worry-free use. Try one this season and if you don’t like it, the company will buy it back. Muhl Tech • 888-766-8772 www.muhltech.com

Circle No. 521

Meeting Your Specs

Memphis Net & Twine makes its products in the U.S., and offers batting cages and backstops to meet customers’ exact specifications. The company also fabricates custom windscreens out of vinyl-coated polyester in 11 different colors. These windscreens can be made to any height or width. Memphis Net & Twine also sells benches, stadium bleachers, and tip-n-roll bleachers. Memphis Net & Twine Co., Inc. 800-238-6380 www.memphisnet.net

Circle No. 522

Surprisingly Value Priced

IthacaSports.com carries safety, training, and first-aid products. The Game Face sports safety mask proactively reduces the risk of facial and dental injuries. C-flap Jaw Protection is worn by batters to prevent injuries to the cheek and jaw. Heart-Gard helps reduce the risk of injury by protecting the heart from impact by thrown or batted balls. And Prohitter Batting Aid helps players learn proper grip to increase hitting performance.

The Tuffy® Windscreen lasts many years because it’s made of Aer-Flo’s exclusive VIPOL® Matrix. It’s the official windscreen of the U.S. Professional Tennis Association and is a super-premium product but surprisingly value priced. Used by NCAA, MLB, NFL, and thousands of high school teams, the Tuffy(R) Windscreen is available in 20 standard colors including purple, burnt orange, sky blue, and true scarlet. With Chroma-Bond Imprinting, your team’s logos and colors will not fade like digital printing. This product comes with a five-year factory warranty.

IthacaSports 800-716-9382 IthacaSports.com/baseball.html

Aer-Flo, Inc. • 800-823-7356 www.aerflo.com

Train, Play, Recover

30 Coaching Management 2013

Circle No. 519

Circle No. 523 CoachesNetwork.com


Product Launch

Three Piece Tee® Balance Trainer

Game Changer Conditioner Southern Athletic Fields 800-837-8062 www.mulemix.com Circle No. 525

TPT Baseball, LLC www.threepiecetee.com 713-582-1488 Circle No. 524

Unique features:

Unique features:

• Lightweight and portable, but sturdy • Turf and/or tape surfaced for user safety • Useful for hitting, pitching, and baseball/fastpitch softball catchers

• Game Changer with KT3 technology delivers a premium three-stage surfactant blend to your infield mix • Independent third-party research proved that the addition of the surfactant blend improved the infiltration of applied water to the infield dirt, giving it the ability to absorb moisture much more quickly

Benefits for the user:

• “T” shape allows the back foot to load, unlike a plank • Promotes balance and proper hip turn • Requires the user to transfer their bodyweight and energy in a straight line back toward the pitcher

ORDER FORM

Benefits for the user:

• Promotes fast infiltration of applied water or rainfall • Eliminates the need to make additional applications with sprays or injectable products, because they are included in the normal application of the conditioner

PLEASE PRINT INFO.

MAG, Inc. • 20 Eastlake Rd. Ithaca, NY 14850

Code CM21.13

Name: Street Address: City: State: Zip:

1995

$

There are no gimmicks or shortcuts to becoming a great coach. Written by performance consultant Greg Shelley, who works with top college programs around the country, “Coach Up” contains advice on enhancing motivation, building stronger teams, developing better leaders, establishing more effective communication, and improving athlete mental toughness and confidence. Whether a seasoned head coach or a new assistant coach just starting out, this book contains practical “hands on” rules for developing high-performing athletes and teams.

Daytime Phone:

(To be used if there’s a problem with your order)

Email address: PAYMENT METHOD

SHIPPING PRICES

q U.S. check made payable to MAG, Inc. enclosed (sorry, only US orders)

q VISA

0-$40.00 = $7.00 40.01-$59.85 = $9.00 $ 59.86-$119.70 = $10.00 $ 119.71-and up = $12.00 $

q MasterCard

q Discover

q AmerEx

Credit card #: ________/________/________/________ Expiration date: _____/_____ 3 or 4 digit code: _______ Cardholder Name PRINTED: Cardholder Signature: ITEM QUANTITY

ITEM

PRICE

CoachUp Fax this order to 607-257-7328 or Mail this order to MAG, Inc.,20 Eastlake Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850

Subtotal $ + Shipping $ NY residents add sales tax $ = TOTAL $ Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery.

Circle No. 120

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Coaching Management 2013 31


Company Q&A

Versatility and Durability Matt Meuchel, University of Nevada, Reno Head Softball Coach, discusses the benefits of using the Junior Hack Attack in his program. How has the Softball Junior Hack Attack been incorporated into your practice/training regiments? We incorporate Junior Hack Attacks into our practices on a daily basis. Much of what we do is on the offensive side of the ball. We use our machines both on the field and in the cages, depending on our hitting stations during each particular day’s batting practice session. We usually set up the machines at a high velocity and shorten the distance to the hitter to be able to mimic speeds in the 70 mile-per-hour range. We will also change from fastballs to curve balls and frequently set up the Junior Hack Attack to throw drop balls. In addition, we use the machines for defensive drills such as foul pop flies to our catchers or outfielders. We’ll set up the machine to throw to a certain location over and over and will have our outfielders start at different cones surrounding that location. The great thing about this is the Junior Hack Attack throws with such consistency that you can set up cones for outfielders to go back in each direction. You can control many different angles for this drill and will get continuous, consistent fly balls. How is the Softball Junior Hack Attack different from other machines you have used? It is extremely consistent and of high quality. Added to that, it is a three-wheel pitching machine that gives you the versatility to put spin and break on the ball. We feel that the Hack Attack machines’ lines are the best on the market. We use these machines for a good portion of our practice on a daily basis, so we put them through a lot over the course of a year—even through our grueling training schedule they are always consistent and durable. With a small amount of periodic cleaning, they stay looking and operating in near-new condition for years. How has the Softball Junior Hack Attack affected your team’s game performance? We have had a very good offense for a while here at Nevada and we strongly believe that amongst several factors, hitting live pitching and high-velocity pitching on a routine basis has helped our hitters become much stronger. Most of the elite pitchers we face at the

Division 1 level are hard-throwers (mid-60s and higher), and it is difficult to practice that velocity with only live arm batting practice. Our offense has improved every year that we have used our Junior Hack Attack machines. Last season, our offense ranked in the Top 25 in many offensive categories, and we led the country in doubles per game. Why would you recommend the Softball Junior Hack Attack to other coaches? Quality and versatility are the main reasons. The Junior Hack Attack is the most durable pitching machine we have ever had at Nevada. It is also the most versatile training tool we use. It allows us to throw multiple pitches—hard and breaking—and to work many defensive drills. It is the best machine we have had in our program. – Matt Meuchel, Head Softball Coach, University of Nevada Reno

800-717-4251 | www.sportsattack.com

32 Coaching Management 2013

CoachesNetwork.com


DON’T MISS THE OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE YOUR TEAM TO THE NEXT LEVEL... SIGN UP FOR AN NFCC COURSE IN 2013-14...

“I had a great experience working as an instructor for the NFCC. The information presented is very thorough and innovative. I learned more as an instructor than I have at any coaching clinic or convention. If you want to get the most out of your coaching career, I strongly recommend that you get into the NFCA Coaches College!” PATTY GASSO, HEAD COACH, UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA

2013-2014 SCHEDULE 12/2-3

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS - NFCA CONVENTION COURSE 402: ADVANCED ANALYSIS OF HITTING, PITCHING & SHORT GAME INSTRUCTORS: KIRK WALKER, DON SLAUGHT, LORI SIPPEL

12/2-3

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS - NFCA CONVENTION

COURSE 403: POSITION PLAY AND INDIVIDUAL DEFENSIVE SKILLS INSTRUCTORS: BILL EDWARDS, CLINT MYERS, SCOTT WHITLOCK

12/7-9

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS - NFCA CONVENTION

COURSE 404: SOLID TEAM DEFENSE & STRATEGY INSTRUCTORS: HEATHER TARR, KELLY INOUYE-PEREZ, KAREN WEEKLY

5/29-30

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA. – ASA HALL OF FAME STADIUM

COURSE 408 – WCWS COACHING & GAME OBSERVATIONS INSTRUCTORS: JOHN TSCHIDA, GAYLE BLEVINS

For More Information, Call the NFCA at (502) 409-4600 Circle No. 122


FASTBALL

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Bottom wheel should always be slower.

Dial in the per fect late-breaking drop! With the Softball Hack Attack’s three-wheel design, you can practice against drops with just the right spin and speed from youth league to professional. A realistic release point plus the complete vision provided by the unique three-wheel design makes the Softball Hack Attack the ideal training tool for any athlete. Call Sports Attack today and order your Softball Hack Attack to get dialed in on the best pitching machine available.

P.o. Box 1529 | 2805 U.S. 40 | Verdi, NV 89439 tf 800.717.4251 | ph 775.345.2882 | w sportsattack.com Circle No. 123

NFCA Booth No. 420

Coaching Management 21.13  

Softball 2013

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