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Passion Bright For Hofstra Coach Edwards DECEMBER Still 2013 Burns                              

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“The only thing I want to continue to accomplish is to create a positive environment for student-athletes. I want them to get out of athletics what it’s supposed to be – teaching the lessons you don’t get in the classroom.”

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“Pressure is a word that is misused in our vocabulary. When you start thinking of pressure, it’s because you’ve started to think of failure.” TOMMY LASORDA, FORMER LOS ANGELES DODGERS MANAGER

COACH’S PROFILE PAGE 9

NATIONAL FASTPITCH COACHES ASSOCIATION

DECEMBER 2013

VOLUME 18, NO. 12

Four Receive NFCA Hall Call Bringing Experience NFCA Executive Director, Three Coaches In 2014 Induction Class To The Post ISF President McMann Passionate About Softball By BRIAN DAVIS NFCA Director of Media Relations Softball, on an international level, is a sport that finds itself at yet another crossroads after another bid for inclusion as part of the Olympic program was denied. That means barring an unforeseen change of International Olympic Committee protocol, that by 2020 three Olympic Games will have passed without softball on the docket. As a result, many softball-sponsoring countries around the McMann world, even the U.S., are now being forced to deal with budget cuts, and, in some instances, having to fight in order to continue fielding a team. With the recent retirement of longtime International Softball Federation SEE MCMANN PAGE 7

NFCA First Vice President and Hall of Fame committee chair Kathryn Gleason named the four members of the 2014 NFCA Hall of Fame class during this year’s Hall of Fame Banquet at the NFCA National Convention in San Antonio, Texas. Head coaches Julie Lenhart (SUNY Cortland), Phil McSpadden (Oklahoma City University) and Les Stuedeman (University of Alabama-Huntsville) were elected, as was NFCA Executive Director Lacy Lee Baker in the Pioneer category.

Lenhart

Lenhart is the winningest coach in program history at Division III Cortland, going 637-240-2 (.726) in 19 seasons leading the Red Dragons. Last year, Cortland was the national runner-up, compiling a 35-

McSpadden

Stuedeman

17 record and scoring the school’s best NCAA tournament finish. The Red Dragons overcame an 8-10 start to claim their third State University of New York Athletic Conference SEE FOUR RECEIVE PAGE 22

Convention Is A Hit With Attendees This year’s NFCA National Convention was one of the most successful in the Association’s history with approximately 1,250 members in attendance during the four-day event at the Marriott Rivercenter in San Antonio, Texas. The annual event got started bright and early on December 4, with 8:30 a.m. committee meetings offering various groups an opportunity to meet face-to-face to toss around ideas and discuss issues

INSIDE

Mental training expert Aaron Weintraub says both achievements and setbacks can be fun.

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Baker

TRAINING YOUR MIND PAGE 15

f r o m rules to recruiting to NFCA p u b 2013 NFCA National Convention lications. December 4-7 T h e San Antonio, Texas highlight of the day was the annual pre-con-vention seminar, as Nebraska volleyball coaching legend Terry Pettit, the founder of Terry Pettit Coaching Enhancement, led approximately

New Home Nearing Completion Michigan’s $5.3 million softball building is scheduled to open in January.

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200 attendees through a talk entitled “Patterns in Extraordinary Coaching, Team Building & Leadership.” He involved participants in a presentation focusing on four areas: 1) Recruiting and Leveraging Talent – learning to recruit your team, institution and community through the culture of your program 2) Requiring – requiring the behaviors from your team that gives it the best SEE CONVENTION PAGE 23

NEW MEMBERS................................. PAGE 3 DIVISION I HCC MINUTES................. PAGE 4 QUESTION OF THE MONTH.............. PAGE 8 SOFTBALL BY SMITTY.................... PAGE 14 VIEWPOINTS.................................... PAGE 16 EDUCATION..................................... PAGE 17

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NFCA CORPORATE TEAMMATES

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The National Fastpitch Coaches Association is a multi-level coaching organization serving girls’ and women’s fastpitch coaches at all competitive levels of play. The NFCA strives to promote and develop the sport, coaching knowledge and leadership through the services it offers. Members of the NFCA receive 12 issues of Fastpitch Delivery, a yearly calendar, discounts on various products and resource materials, and the NFCA Directory of Information free. The NFCA also represents its members in organizations such as the ASA and NCAA. Awards programs are offered for coaching wins and high school and collegiate AllAmerican and Scholar-Athlete honors. The NFCA also holds a national convention in December, combining business meetings, coaching seminars, exhibits of top equipment and plenty of social/networking opportunities. Members also receive discounts to NFCC courses. Note: Individual subscriptions to Fastpitch Delivery are not sold outside of a full membership. It is estimated that $35 of the membership fee goes to Fastpitch Delivery.

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Fastpitch Delivery (USPS: 018-746) (ISSN: 1530-0978) Published on a monthly basis (12 times a year) by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (2641 Grinstead Drive, Louisville, KY ), Phone (502) 409-4600; Fax (502) 409-4622; e-mail nfca@nfca.org. Subscriptions come with membership in the NFCA. Address corrections requested — POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Fastpitch Delivery, 2641 Grinstead Drive, Louisville, KY 40206. Periodicals postage is paid at Starkville, MS., and additional locations.

Articles for Fastpitch Delivery are solicited and edited under the guidance of the Education and Publications Committee of the NFCA and its Executive Director. To submit an article for the newspaper or receive information on membership, call (502) 409-4600 or visit the NFCA website at www.nfca.org. Lacy Lee Baker — Publisher llb@nfca.org Dave Hines — Editor dave@nfca.org


DECEMBER 2013

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NEWS & NOTES

New Members Elizabeth Andrews, Head Coach, Lake Land College; Junior Bailey, Head Coach, Pitt Community College; Mark Baker, Assistant Coach, Boonsboro (Md.); Jill Barranco, Head Coach, MacArthur High School (Texas); Joel Bartsch, Assistant Coach (pitching), Texas Firecrackers; Lynda Bettencourt, Head Coach, Cosumnes Oaks High School (Calif.); Ryan Blumenshine, All-Inclusive Membership; J.R. Castro, Assistant Coach, Top Fuel; Jacob Castro, Head Coach, Texas Blaze 18U; Karly Champion, Assistant Coach, All Saints Episcopal High School (Texas); Nick Champion, Head Coach, All Saints Episcopal School (Texas); Renee Chapman, All-Inclusive Membership; Gabrielle Ciccarello, Assistant Coach, Utica College; Kristen Cole, Head Coach, Loyola College Prep (La.); Christy Connor, Assistant Coach, Impact Gold; Steve Dawson, Assistant Coach, Top Fuel; Rick DeSloover, Head Coach, Boise Blast 14U; Scott Devore, Head Coach, Texas Shockwave DeMarini; David Geaslen, All-Inclusive Membership; Joseph Giaquinto, Assistant Coach, Bishop Denis O’Connell (Va.); Larissa Gonzalez, Assistant Coach, Eagle Pass High School (Texas); Sarah Guzman, Assistant Coach, Rohawks; Marissa Hardy, Head Coach, Rocklin High School (Calif.); Chris Holder, Assistant Coach, Jacksonville Storm; Harold Johnson, Head Coach, Shreveport Jazz; Stephanie Aull Johnson, Assistant Coach, Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne; Kary Kemble, Head Coach, Episcopal High School (Texas); Clay Kesinger, Head Coach, Ambush; Lane Leedy, Head Coach, University of Toledo; Amie Leffew, All-Inclusive Membership; Jeff Lemons, Head Coach, Aledo High School (Texas); Brianna Mader, Assistant Coach, Garden City High School

National Pro Fastpitch announces new team in Pennsylvania The National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league announced the addition of the Pennsylvania Rebellion to the league for the 2014 season. CONSOL Energy Park, which is located in Washington, Pa., will be the new home base for the latest addition to professional softball. “Western Pennsylvania is known worldwide as a sports powerhouse, and there is a thriving community of fastpitch players and fans at the youth, high school and college levels who can now experience the game at its highest level of play,” said Francine W. Williams, team owner and managing partner. “We’ve seen Pittsburgh and Washington fans support professional sports teams time and again, so we are looking forward to seeing local fans ‘Join the Rebellion.’” The Rebellion will inherit the roster of the NY/NJ Comets, a team that was unable to secure a consistent venue inside the radius of the NY/NJ market. – Courtesy National Pro Fastpitch

(Kansas); Cortney Magorian, Assistant Coach (pitching), Sierra College; Gareld Massey, Assistant Coach, Brewer High School (Texas); Leandro Ortiz, Head Coach, TMI–The Episcopal School of Texas; Priscilla Pompa, Head Coach, Bandera (Texas); William Price, Assistant Coach, Cuero High School (Texas); Allaire Primianom, Assistant Coach, Monroe College; Courtney Pruner, Assistant Coach (pitching), Eastern Michigan University; Chon Ramos, Assistant Coach (pitching), Top Fuel; Kim Randolph, Head Coach, Episcopal High School (Texas); Courtney Rigamonti, Head Coach, Victoria West High School (Texas); Carlos Rodriguez, Assistant Coach, Eagle Pass High School (Texas); Carlos Ruiz, Assistant Coach, Eagle Pass High School (Texas); Oscar Ruiz, Head Coach, Eagle Pass High School (Texas); Ricardo Ruiz, Assistant Coach, Eagle Pass High School (Texas); Rich Ryan, Assistant Coach, Texas Blaze; Lindsay Schutzler Bell, Assistant Coach, Texas Firecrackers; Zack Sigler, Assistant Coach, Butler Community College; Karen Slack, Head Coach, Liberty High School (Texas); Courtney Smyth, Assistant Coach, Kean University; Darla Sommerville, Assistant Coach, Rocklin High School (Calif.); Keith Stein, Assistant Coach, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi; Jon Storment, Head Coach, Longview High School (Texas); Farrah Sullivan, Internet-Only Membership; Allison Svoboda, Head Coach, Pinson Valley High (Ala.); Kenneth Thompson, Head Coach, Texas Blaze South; Andrea Vaughan, Assistant Coach (pitching), Rogers State University; Tony Woodall, Head Coach, Team Mizuno Impulse; Dale Yarnell, Head Coach, Ohio Ice Purple; Jackie Zilnicki, Assistant Coach, Williams College.

FROM THE NFCA TEAM TO YOUR TEAM, HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND BEST WISHES FOR THE NEW YEAR. National Pro Fastpitch Championship Series Headed To Alabama The National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league awarded its 2014-16 Championship Series to Southern Sports Group, a Birmingham, Ala., event management and marketing agency, working in conjunction with the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau. This will be the first time the NPF Championship Series will be held in Alabama with all games to be played at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium, a venue that also hosts the SEC Baseball

Championships. The NPF Championship Series is the league’s hallmark event and the culmination of regular season competition. The Championship Series features all four league teams and will begin Aug. 20, with four days of play. The best-of-three finals series is scheduled for Aug. 22-23, 2014. “We are excited about bringing professional softball to Alabama and the city of Hoover and believe our Championship Series will be

welcomed by an avid group of fans in the South as well as across the nation,” NPF Commissioner Cheri Kempf said in a news release. “The fastpitch softball fan base has exploded over the past 17 years with the addition of softball to the SEC slate of competitive sports and we are so thrilled to share with this group the extraordinary talents of our professional athletes.” – Courtesy National Pro Fastpitch and Southern Sports Group

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MINUTES – HCC

November 5, 2013 Telephone Conference No. 2013-11 The meeting was brought to order at 10:01 a.m. CST. Those present were: Lonni Alameda, Atlantic Coast Conference; Michelle Burrell, America East Conference; Chris Cochran, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference; Jenny Condon, Big West Conference; Pat Conlan, Big East Conference; Michelle DePolo, Patriot League; Rick Fremin, Southwestern Athletic Conference; Stacy GemeinhardtCessler, Big 12 Conference; Jessica Hanaseth, West Coast Conference; Rachel Hanson, Ivy League; Amy Hayes, Missouri Valley Conference; Melissa Inouye, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference; Brad Irwin, Atlantic Sun Conference; Roy Kortmann, Northeast Conference; David Kuhn, Southland Conference; Rachel Lawson, Southeastern Conference; Kathy Leitke, Mid-American Conference; Michael Lotief, Sun Belt Conference; Eric Oakley, Big Sky Conference; Bridget Orchard, Atlantic 10 Conference; Natalie Poole, American Athletic Conference; Dan Powers, West-

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Editor’s Note: Board of Directors minutes and Softball Summit minutes will appear in January’s Fastpitch Delivery. ern Athletic Conference; Shonda Stanton, Conference USA; Jordan Stevens, Horizon League; Terri Sullivan, Big Ten Conference; Heather Tarr, Pacific-12 Conference; Erin Thorpe, Mountain West Conference; Holly Van Vlymen, The Summit League; Shane Winkler, Big South Conference, Alternate; Jaime Wohlbach, Colonial Athletic Association; Jane Worthington, Ohio Valley Conference. Dee Abrahamson, NCAA Softball Secretary-Rules Editor, Guest. Karen Weekly, NFCA Division I Representative; Kathryn Gleason, NFCA Executive Board Representative (First VP); David Batson, NFCA Legislative Consultant; Lacy Lee Baker, NFCA Executive Director. Mandy Burford, Southern Conference, was not on the call. 1. Approval of October Call Minutes. It was moved (Ms. Poole) and seconded (Ms. Hayes) that the October call minutes be approved.

2. Important Convention Meetings. A. HCC planning meeting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 4, in Conference Rooms 13 & 14 at the Marriott San Antonio Rivercenter. B. Division I Caucus at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, December 5, in Marriott Salons G-M, followed by hot topic discussion. Continuation on Friday morning, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. in Marriott Salons G-M. C. Softball Summit at 1:30 p.m. Friday, December 6, in Ballroom A at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. D. Conferences will meet from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, December 5, at the Marriott San Antonio Rivercenter. Conferences requesting meeting space should contact Ms. Baker. 3. 2013 Hot Topic Working Groups. Ms. Weekly reviewed the Working Group structure and announced the chairs. HCC members were asked to join one of the working groups if they hadn’t already. In addition, it was determined that the chairs would be responsible for sending pros and cons of their topic to Ms. Weekly and Ms. Baker for distribution prior to the convention’s start. The chairs will also develop power points to help explain the topics when they present their findings at the Division I Caucus. A. Increase Scholarships; Chairs Amy Hayes & Shonda Stanton. B. Recruiting Calendar; Chairs Rachel Lawson & Lonni Alameda. C. Moving the Season Back; Chairs Rhonda Revelle & Yvette Healy. D. Certification of Recruiting Events; Chairs Heather Tarr & Natalie Poole. 4. NCAA Legislative Report. Mr. Batson reviewed some of the NCAA legislation that will be voted on in January 2014. A. Proposal Number 2013-26. RECRUITING -- INITIAL DATE FOR COMMUNICATION -- NO LIMITS ON COMMUNICATION – SPORTS OTHER THAN BASKETBALL, CROSS COUNTRY/ TRACK AND FIELD, FOOTBALL AND SWIMMING AND DIVING Effective Date: August 1, 2014 Intent: In sports other than basketball, cross country/track and field, football and swimming and diving, (1) to specify that telephone calls to an individual (or his or her relatives or legal guardians) may be made at an institution’s discretion beginning September 1 at the beginning of his or her junior year in high school; and (2) to permit any form of electronic correspondence (e.g., electronic mail, Instant Messenger, facsimiles, text messages) to be sent to a prospective student-athlete (or

the prospective student-athlete’s parents or legal guardians), as specified. Status: Legislative Council Sponsored B. Proposal Number 2013-27. RECRUITING -- RECRUITING MATERIALS AND ELECTRONIC CORRESPONDENCE Effective Date: August 1, 2014 Intent: To limit the printed recruiting material that may be provided to prospective student-athletes to general correspondence (with no restrictions on the design or content, except for size restrictions), educational material provided by the NCAA, nonathletics institutional publications, questionnaires and camp or clinic information, as specified; further, to specify that there are no content restrictions on attachments to electronic correspondence, except that video and audio materials may not be created for recruiting purposes and may not be personalized to include a prospective student-athlete’s name, picture or likeness. Status: Legislative Council Sponsored C. Proposal Number: 2013-36. (This is for football, but mirrors what basketball has; this is included since some softball coaches would like to see something like this apply for softball). PLAYING AND PRACTICE SEASONS -- SUMMER ATHLETIC ACTIVITIES Effective Date: Immediately Intent: In bowl subdivision and championship subdivision football, to permit a student-athlete to participate in eight hours per week of required weight-training, conditioning and review of practice and game film (not to exceed two hours per week) during an eight-week period during the summer, as specified. Rationale: This proposal, developed with input and support from the Division I members of the AFCA Board of Trustees, recognizes the importance of the accrued academic benefits of summer school attendance and that retention problems drive a low NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR). Student-athletes who enroll in summer school, particularly early in their academic careers, tend to experience enhanced academic success during their collegiate enrollment. The development of an institutional connection is a critically important factor in retaining students. Summer bridge programs have been shown to be particularly effective in this regard. Given the critical importance of the relationship between coach and student-athlete, it is fair to consider that enhancing that relationship will also enhance the connection that a student-athlete feels toward the institution. This proposal would establish the same standards for summer access as those that apply to the current basketball

SEE MINUTES-HCC PAGE 21


DECEMBER 2013

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NEWS & NOTES

Michigan Nears Completion Of New Home

Wolverines’ $5.3 Million Complex Has Locker Rooms, Offices And Athletic Training Area The University of Michigan plans to unveil its $5.3 million Donald R. Shepherd Softball Center on campus next month. The three-story, 10,200-square-foot complex next to Alumni Field – the softball stadium on campus – will feature locker rooms, coaches’ offices and team meeting spaces, as well as new tools for the athletic medicine staff, such as hydrotherapy pools and fitness areas. There also will be a Hall of Fame in the first-floor entry area and a roof terrace offering a view of the entire complex. It is named for a longtime contributor to Michigan athletics and replaces the existing softball building at that location. “Don has been a major contributor to our women’s athletics programs through the years,” Athletic Director Dave Brandon – whose own position is named in honor of Shepherd – said in a press release. “We appreciate his philanthropy in support of these teams from both a capital and scholarship standpoint.” Alumni Field, which is part of the Judy and Fred Wilpon Baseball and Softball Complex, underwent a major renovation following the 2007 season. A new video scoreboard was recently added and AstroTurf is currently being

This is what the locker room for the Michigan softball team will look like when the $5.3 million Donald R. Shepherd Softball Center is completed. Construction on the 10,200-square-foot complex is expected to be finished in January. Artist’s rendering courtesy Michigan Athletics.

installed in the outfield. Michigan’s Board of Regents recently approved naming its overall athletic facilities the Stephen M. Ross Athletic Campus following a $100 million gift to the athletic department in September by Miami Dolphins owner and real estate developer

Stephen Ross, a Michigan graduate. The university hopes to raise a total of $350 million through its Victors for Michigan campaign to maintain stateof-the-art facilities for its more than 900 athletes representing 31 teams. “Steve and Don are both significant contributors to our team and we greatly

appreciate their continued support of Michigan Athletics,” Brandon said. Other facilities currently under construction or renovation on the Stephen M. Ross Athletic Campus are Schembechler Hall – home to the football program – and the Wolverines’ field hockey complex.

New IOC President Says Softball Still Has Chance To Join Olympic Program For 2020 New IOC President Thomas Bach says there is a possibility that baseball and softball could be included in the program for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. “This is will be under discussion,” Bach said at a press conference. “We will have the first broad discussion in December in a meeting of the Executive Board of the IOC, then the Executive Board will present its first discussion paper to the IOC session in Sochi.” Baseball and softball were dropped

from the 2012 program after a 2005 vote by the IOC. They failed in a bid to be reinstated for the Olympic program for 2020 and 2024 at an IOC vote in September, but Tokyo’s winning bid has refuelled calls for them to be included when the Japanese capital hosts the games. While the Olympic Charter states that a sport’s inclusion in the program must be decided no later than the session electing the host city, Bach stressed the need to be flexible.

“I am open for more flexibility in the Olympic program,” Bach said. “But first we have to see what the rest of my colleagues in the IOC think.” Baseball and softball are very popular in Japan and there are many existing facilities in the Tokyo area that could be used if the sports were included. Bach was accompanied by IOC vice-president John Coates, who heads the coordination commission for the Tokyo Games.

Japan is scaling down the cost of the planned 80,000-seat main stadium following an uproar from some prominent architects who think it’s too big and expensive. Coates said the IOC is open to changes as long as the cutbacks don’t compromise the basic plan of the facility. “It’s inevitable that costs will be reduced,” Coates said. “We are always open to that as long as the basic facility isn’t compromised.” – Courtesy The Associated Press

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MCMANN BRINGS PASSION AND EXPERIENCE TO ISF CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 President Don Porter after 26 years at the helm of the organization, the task of helping guide the international softball community through these uncertain years has fallen to new ISF President Dale McMann. A native of British Columbia, Canada, and a former fastpitch player himself, McMann brings along an impressive administrative resume to his new position as well as a strong personal passion for the sport. “I ORIGINALLY got involved in softball as a player,” McMann said. “My involvement in the administration of the game really got started many years ago when someone said they needed a person to serve as the organizer for the area in which I was playing. I agreed to do it and that was really the beginning of nearly 35 years involved in the administration side of the sport. “I grew up as a baseball player in my teens and switched to fastpitch when I was 20 years old. I just absolutely fell in love with softball. For me it was a game that was fast (and) it required a high level of skill. It was a great game to play, but it was a great game to watch as well. “Following my playing days, I went on to become a director for Softball British Columbia, then I became president of Softball British Columbia (1986-1990). Next I was elected president of Softball Canada in late 1989, and held that position with the organization through the end of 2001 when I stepped down to concentrate full-time on my work with the ISF. I’d been elected as the ISF’s North American Vice President in 1993 and was chairing the developing and finance commissions as well as a number of other tasks. In 2009, I was selected as the first vice president of the ISF, and this past October chosen as President. That’s the thumbnail sketch of what I’ve been allowed to do in softball over the past 30-plus years. “From a personal standpoint, I’m a huge fan of ‘sport’ period. In terms of what it can do for society, I think the value of ‘sport’ for communities,

neighborhoods and individuals just can’t be overestimated. There’s a lot of empirical data out there that will support that. “I married a woman who was a longtime fastpitch player, and we’ve been married for 36 years. After she retired, she coached for 25 years. I have kids who have previously or are currently playing softball. When I have an evening where I don’t have anything to do, there’s a good chance you will find me down at the local ballpark watching an 18-under game. I love being around the athletes and coaches. I think it’s a tremendous game and a tremendous way for people to spend leisure time. For me it’s not hard to be passionate about softball, because I am passionate about it. There’s so much good to be said about softball, and for me, I want to be able to spread that as far and as wide as possible. It’s both a love affair and family affair for me with the sport.” Working so closely with the ISF as well as other softball federations over 30-plus years has provided McMann with the experience needed to lead the charge attempting to get the sport back on the Olympic program. He’s wasted little time establishing an outline of the major goals he would like to accomplish in his new post. “THERE ARE really about six or seven things that I’ve laid out as wanting to accomplish, that will occur over a period of time,” McMann said. “Of course, not all of them will happen right away. “First of all, I want to continue the work to try to gain softball a place on the Olympic program. We have a new president of the IOC who has indicated a willingness to at least examine the way that sports are added and deleted from the program, and perhaps, change some of the rigidity surrounding that process in the past. I’m cautiously optimistic that over the course of the next two months or few years, we can again secure a place for softball back on the Olympic program. That is certainly

                    

one of the areas where we will continue to work. “Secondly, I really want to bring some emphasis back to our men’s fastpitch game. I think we’ve done a pretty good job of cultivating the women’s game, and rightly so, but we do have a strong and vibrant men’s game in a number of countries. In my opinion, that fact isn’t well known among the international sports community. Bringing an emphasis to the men’s fastpitch game is something I want to see happen. “THIRDLY, I want to streamline some of the governance issues within the ISF. I want to have fewer committees and commissions and have better-working commissions that possess the ability to make changes. I want to ensure that our vice presidents and our regional vice presidents have an ability to make decisions as well as the autonomy and authority to do things that benefit their regions. I think they know what they need better than we do sometimes with our organization based in a central location. We have regional confederations in Asia, Europe, South America, Oceania and around the world. We really need to be able to provide them with some of the resources and some of the autonomy to make decisions to benefit the game in those locations. “I’ve got a master’s degree in economics and my undergrad degree was in finance so I’m also committed to putting the ISF on secure, longterm financial footing. I really do want to ensure that both the ISF and the game of softball have secure financial futures. We’re working on a number of different initiatives in the years to come so that we have proper and adequate resourcing to be able to move forward. “I also want to continue and expand the development of the game. I’ve had long discussions with the Amateur Softball Association and USA Softball, Softball Canada, Softball Japan and others. As part of the development of the game we really need to get some of larger national federations involved,

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using the expertise they have and the star quality of some of the athletes and coaches we have in those countries, to boost the profile of the sport. Perhaps using the NFCA Coaches College model and programs for some of our international coaches, taking some of those high-profile U.S. coaches and making them available to do some international clinics and work for us. By utilizing some of our star athletes coming out of U.S. colleges for clinics to help develop international athletes and grow our development program. We’ve done a pretty good job with what we’ve done, but we need to take it much farther. “Those would be the primary goals I have right now. I’m sure as time passes and issues arise, we’re going to have other priorities to deal with. Clearly, what we have to get a clear distinction on is our joint initiative with baseball. How it is going to work going forward. I was just over in Europe meeting with the International Baseball Federation. I think we’re making some progress on that, and I’m hoping over the short while we’ll be able to finalize how everything is going to be structured, how it’s going to work. It clearly is one of the issues we need to deal with quickly.” ONE OF the reasons issues need to be figured out quickly with baseball stem from recent comments made by new International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach citing the potential for changes early next year to the 2020 Olympic program. Those comments granted yet another small ray of hope to softball supporters around the world in what has become a lengthy and often painful process for all involved. McMann maintains optimism for positive developments in early 2014, but has also started prepping for a non-Olympic softball future. “I am cautiously optimistic over women’s softball re-attaining its status on the Olympic program, but if we aren’t successful in getting back on the program for 2020, I think what we really need to do is concentrate on our other events, show the marketability SEE MCMANN PAGE 19

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QUESTION OF THE MONTH

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During the offseason, our players take time to rest their bodies. Some play other sports. We discuss better eating habits in anticipation of the next season and embark on extensive mental training done in a classroom. We write out goals and have player feedback sessions. Joseph Maniscalco NY BlueFire Fastpitch 18U

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I think the biggest thing they can do in the offseason is do their strength and conditioning plan 100 percent. Not skipping workouts and going 100 percent when they are doing them. The next thing is for them to pick a goal for on-field performance and work all summer to improve that. Marie Thomason Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

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Physical and mental conditioning. My players use Dr. Hanson’s 101 and 201 courses to boost and reaffirm mental conditioning. Ken Wade KC Premier

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What’s the biggest thing your players can do in the offseason to help position themselves for a successful season?

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For one, the players need to take care of their studies, as I feel if they take care of the classroom then they are preparing themselves for on the field. They need to take care of their time management that includes studies, running, fitness room and all the other stuff that goes along with being a college student-athlete. If they do this well, then they are getting mentally and physically prepared for the season of games. Mike Hampton Iowa Wesleyan College

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I believe that a structured and detailed winter training program focused on the fundamentals and maximizing reps can best serve the player once the season starts. Having proper goals is important, but the plan on how to achieve them can make all the difference. Diego Ibarra Immaculate Heart Academy/Akadema Elite, NJ

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Players should be preparing themselves physically and mentally for the coming season. Physically working on agility strength and speed. Mentally starting the countdown timer to the season’s start to know they are ready. Additionally, working on the mechanics of playing the game in a structured manner will improve their confidence as the season approaches. Richard Mauro Yeshiva University

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IT’S YOUR TURN AT BAT! Visit us at the NFCA National Convention

BOOTH #526 Contact: Gina Sauer National Softball Sales Director 800-248-5192 softball@chbaseball.com

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The biggest thing I think players can do in the offseason to help position themselves for a successful season is to take time off. Taking a few weeks off in the winter not only provides our bodies with necessary time to recover and rest, but also our minds. When returning from an extended break, players often feel refreshed, and their passion for the sport renewed. Jennifer Bradshaw Polytech High School

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Have a Question or an Answer? Here is your chance to give input in a very simple manner – we need ideas for questions you would like to see answered in a future edition, so please feel free to share those ideas. Respond by emailing Dave Hines at dave@nfca.org.


DECEMBER 2013

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COACH’S PROFILE

Passion Still Burns For Hofstra’s Edwards By DAVE HINES Editor

IN THE PRESS BOX WITH BILL EDWARDS

You don’t have to talk to Hofstra University head coach Bill Edwards very long to realize he continues to have a passion for teaching the game after nearly a half century in the profession. Edwards, who has also been a successful baseball, football and ice hockey coach, is about to begin his 25th softball season with the Pride. “I’M SORT of the Tommy Lasorda of softball,” Edwards explained. “For 46 years I’ve gone one year at a time. Every year I look back and see if I still have a passion, if I’m still being useful.” Edwards’ career record in 24 seasons at Hofstra is a stellar 894-404-3 with no losing seasons, so it’s safe to say he’s been plenty useful. But rather than talk about the significance of nearing his 900th softball victory, the 2009 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Hall of Fame inductee wanted to talk about the people that made it possible. “It’s really a testimony of longevity and surrounding myself with great people,” Edwards said. “Figuring out and getting the right players – not necessarily the best players. Everything is based on the great coaches and student-athletes I’ve worked with. “I just try to sit back and not screw it up,” he quipped.

1) How has the game changed in the time you’ve been coaching? “Back in the day, there was no fall softball. Our season started in March. You have the slapping game. They would just slap the ball and run and now they can hit the ball out of the park. The technology has really changed the game in a lot of ways.” 2) What are some problems coaches now face that are different from when you started coaching? “Social media is great, but it can cause problems when it’s used in ways it’s not intended. We have overuse injuries. Players are making decisions (on college) too early. Players are relying on private coaches and some may not be qualified. There is a place for private lessons, but it doesn’t trump playing games.” 3) If you knew then what you know now, how would your coaching have been different? “I don’t think I would change anything. I’m a little smarter, a little more precise. With age we become kinder and gentler.” Hofstra head coach Bill Edwards is approaching his 900th career softball victory. Photo courtesy Hofstra Athletics.

4) Is there a secret to success in coaching? “I think you really have to like it and have a passion. You have to continue to learn to have the ability to communicate and teach.”

also coming within one win of the Women’s College World Series in 2004. The six-time CAA Coach of the Year has 5) What would your ideal season be like? served as the chair of the NCAA Division I All“I would want to go through with no injuries. I American Committee and has been the CAA would want everyone to graduate and I would want everyone to come up to me and sincerely representative on the NCAA Head Coaches thank me for teaching her something other Committee for Division I. than softball.” He said he’s been fortunate to be able to do it LAST YEAR, Hofstra won a school-record 46 at one school. games and the Colonial Athletic Association’s “Hofstra has been fantastic to me,” Edwards see a player get it and have a smile come across (CAA) regular-season and tournament titles said. “The first 10 years I was a part-time coach. their face after they’ve got it. to finish ranked 25th in the nation. In 2012, This is the one place I’d want to be. The Hofstra “(Just) the every day experience of working the Pride went 42-15 and captured their first family is truly a family.” with these great athletes. They have probably NCAA Regional crown, coming within one win taught me more than I’ve taught them. Having of advancing to the Women’s College World “THE ONLY THING I want to continue to the ability to see them develop from freshman Series. accomplish is to create a positive environment year to senior year, watching them compete on Hofstra’s run of 11 straight conference for student-athletes,” he said. “I want them the athletic field and go compete in life.” tournament titles from 1998-2008 is the longest to get out of athletics what it’s supposed to stretch in NCAA Division I history. The Pride be – teaching the lessons you don’t get in the DESPITE ALL his accomplishments on the have won three of the last four CAA Tournament classroom. field, it’s something off the field that makes crowns and participated in six of the last 10 “I want them to have a positive experience Edwards most proud. NCAA Regional finals. “It’s every time I get a text, an email or here. It’s about lifetime lessons.” Edwards has guided Hofstra to 14 NCAA Edwards said he doesn’t expect his love of the wedding invitation,” he said. “That’s what appearances and previously reached the game to diminish anytime soon. makes me proud to be a coach. That’s what it’s Regional finals in 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2010, “I love teaching the game,” he said. “I love to all about.”

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NFCA NATIONAL CONVENTION ON TWITTER

Members Get Social On Social Media We asked our members to use the hashtag #NFCATX when sending tweets to @NFCAorg to help us chronicle our time in San Antonio, Texas, for the NFCA National Convention. Participants provided plenty of fun moments and thoughts.

Connect With The NFCA On Twitter!

@NFCAorg

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SOCIAL MEDIA

Having Fun With Legend Of Joan Joyce During the NFCA National Convention, the Twitter fan site @JoanJoyceHOF was created to embellish (only slightly) the many feats of the new Hall of Famer.

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OUT AND ABOUT AT THE NFCA NATIONAL CONVENTION:

ABOVE: University of Washington head coach Heather Tarr speaks during the Softball Summit. TOP LEFT: Olympic medalist Jessica Mendoza chats up a visitor to the Louisville Slugger booth. MIDDLE LEFT: National Pro Fastpitch Commissioner Cheri Kempf addresses the audience during the NFCA General Session. LOWER LEFT: Cindy Bristow, left, gives an impromptu pitching clinic in front of the Softball Excellence booth. BELOW: Olympic medalist Jennie Finch, center, talks with Rayburn Hesse, left, and NFCA President Rhonda Revelle at the Mizuno booth. Photos by Dave Hines.

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DECEMBER 2013

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A PHOTOGRAPHIC RECAP OF OUR TIME IN SAN ANTONIO

ABOVE: University of Michigan head coach Carol Hutchins gestures during her jam-packed talk at the convention center ballroom. TOP LEFT: The 2013 NFCA Hall of Fame induction class of (left to right) California University of Pennsylvania’s Rick Bertagnolli, Minnesota State University-Mankato’s Lori Meyer, Florida Atlantic University’s Joan Joyce and the University of Alabama’s Patrick Murphy take time to pose for a photo. MIDDLE LEFT: There’s never a bad time to unwrap some shiny new softball equipment at the Schutt Sports booth. LOWER LEFT: University of North Carolina head coach Donna Papa, right, provides some tips during The Mentoring Session. BELOW: A discussion ensues beside a giant inflatable softball at the Diamond Sports booth. Photos by Dave Hines.

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SOFTBALL BY SMITTY

Decisions Abound In The Coaching Boxes By DICK SMITH It is pretty much a law that there must be coaches on the bases in fastpitch softball. Perhaps older players (i.e. post-college) could get along without them, but most will agree that other levels of play can not, and should not, play ball without them. Now the question becomes who will be where. Generally, it is an acceptable practice to have the head coach on third base and an assistant on first base. Players sometimes occupy the first base coach’s box if there isn’t an assistant available, but they are pretty much statues who do not contribute much. ACTUALLY, in many cases first base coaches are also just plain statues and don’t do much. They will cheer and give high fives or a hand slap as a batter crosses first base. Occasionally, they will yell, “go” when a pitch gets by a batter, but often the runner is already gone. On a fly ball, they might yell “half way.” When a grounder is hit, they might yell something like “come on, come on” or “through it” (meaning hard past the bag), or some such. But many, or rather most, don’t do much more than these things. So, what else should the first base coach do? Once a batter-runner reaches the base, the coach should be right up in her ear telling her how many outs and to be alert for signals from the third base coach. Once the pitcher is ready, the coach needs to keep an eye on the first and second basemen for a potential pick-off from the catcher. The runner needs to be cautioned

about the throwing ability of the catcher and once the pitch is caught by the catcher the coach needs to tell the runner to get back. Note that many runners are lazy getting back to the bag and this cannot be tolerated. This is especially true at third base where runners are sometimes a bit careless coming back to the base.

players. But high school seniors and beyond have played enough ball to know pretty much whether to go or not. Will they make mistakes? Of course they will, but what coach has made none? Giving signals to runners whilst on the fly, as it were, takes time. If one watches the runners who are getting directions from third base, it will UNLESS batter-runners are on be apparent that such runners will their own, the first base coach needs slow slightly as they take the signs, to indicate to them how far and especially when going into second when to go farther than first base on base. This is fatal in many cases. a batted ball to the outfield, unless With a runner on second and a base runners are on their own. hit to the outfield, in most cases the We pretty much know the ball will not be within the runner’s routines of the third base coach. sight. It will be behind her and she Signals for the batters and runners must rely on the coach at third for emanate from that area. What about direction on how far to go. advancing runners? There is a bit of a controversy here. IF SHE can see the ball along the Many coaches believe in left field line, the play will be in front controlling everything on the bases of her and she needs no direction. when a ball is hit, which of course Otherwise it is incumbent upon the means directing runners on how coach to direct the runner advancing far to go, whether to stand up when to third. coming into a base or slide, whether Smitty contends that older players to tag, etc. Others believe runners have the wits to make baserunning should try to watch the ball and then decisions. Someone will have to be left to their own devices. explain to Smitty why this should The exception to the last is when not be so. the ball is hit behind them, say for It is essential that if runners are example, with a runner on first and on their own, they should not be a ball hit to right field. At that point, criticized for making a wrong a runner will need direction, as she decision. They must be given high may not be able to see the ball. fives for any decision, right or wrong on their part. If a wrong decision is THIS APPLIES to wild pitches, made in the mind of the coach, the passed balls and tagging on fly matter can be discussed at a later balls. Many coaches want to control date. whether a third base runner should There are those who believe that or should not go. Others let the the head coach should occupy first runner make the decision. base and give the signals from there. Smitty contends that directing Smitty is not sure of the reasons other runners is fine for young, inexperienced than personal desires, but this does

Dick Smith is the former head coach at the University of St. Francis and previously coached at Valparaiso University.

put the responsibility of directing runners advancing to third or to home on an assistant. Should things go wrong, it can be embarrassing and subject to second-guessing. But then second-guessing is an art form practiced by all parents and railbirds. They are never wrong. COACHING IN either box requires some form of expertise, which is normally gained by experience. It is not an easy job, in that many things can go wrong. Even if a coach is skilled and has given proper signals, players sometimes make mental mistakes and do the wrong thing. This drives many coaches insane or at least hopping mad, for it is felt that mental mistakes should never be made. Smitty would dispute that because we are not only dealing with human beings, but also young ones at that. SEE DECISIONS PAGE 22

SMITTY’s TIP Coaches should take the time to watch other teams play. Not the game itself or the players, mind you, but the other coaches while working their trade, especially in the coaching boxes. Much can be learned and perhaps used in the future. It is also amusing to listen to the railbirds when strategy is afoot. Remember, they are the experts. Try it. You’ll like it.

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TRAINING YOUR MIND

Achievements And Setbacks Can Be Fun By AARON WEINTRAUB Mental Training Expert In a discussion of attitude for optimal performance, it would be difficult to overstate the importance of having fun. Having fun is a foreign concept to no one, yet athletes often forget to do it. Fun happens when the athlete is in the moment. She does not arrive at fun. She is either having fun or she is not. Letting go of concern for outcomes allows enjoyment to happen. Enjoyment, practice, success, pain, “failure,” winning, losing and achievement are all part of the athlete’s process of finding out how good she can be. The process can

simultaneously be tiring and fun, task. exciting and fun, nerve-wracking Some drills will certainly be more and fun … even painful and fun. fun than others, but if every athlete reminds herself why she does them, IT WOULD be difficult, however, she can learn to enjoy them all. to have fun while being frustrated, Frequent reminders to maintain impatient, lethargic, annoyed, angry, an enthusiastic attitude may be stubborn or resentful. Softball necessary. should almost always be fun, so Very short-term goals help when athletes must work on their skill at the going gets tough. For some, avoiding these negative emotions. learning to love a challenge takes a Practice should be fun. NCAA bit of time, but it can be done. championship-winning University of Texas Baseball Coach Augie CONSISTENTLY giving best Garrido says, “Enjoy building the effort performances at practice and ingredients of success.” in games is difficult. Difficult and Short periods may occur in which fun do not typically go together. it is not loads of fun, but, generally However, it is good that it is speaking, athletes should have a difficult, because in softball for one good attitude about working at their team to win, the other has to lose. As the proverb goes, “if you want to get things that others won’t get, you have to do things that others won’t do.” Most teams do not consistently practice at the edge of their ability levels both physically and mentally. They do not embrace challenges and stay positive through adversity. Most teams will sweat and bleed, but most do not know how to “win” the mental side of the game every day. They do not have the courage to give their best effort one step at a time, accept whatever happens and do it again. QUITE A FEW athletes only have fun when they get positive outcomes. This perspective is not healthy. Of course, it is more fun to do well than to do poorly and it is fine for enjoyment to increase when outcomes are superb. However, the game should be inherently fun. “I love making a diving catch,” or “I love the feeling of hitting a round ball with a round bat squarely,” is much better than simply saying, “I love softball.” Inherent enjoyment of softball allows the athlete to create the fun

Aaron Weintraub holds a B.A. from Emory University (1993) and a M.Ed. from the University of Virginia (2000). He served as an assistant baseball coach for 13 years at Emory, UVa, Presbyterian College, Brevard College, and Cedar Valley College. Four of those programs achieved school records for wins while he was there. In 2006, Weintraub star ted www. CoachTraub.com, a consulting business whose mission is to over-deliver value on goods and services designed to help you win the mental side of the game. He has worked with teams and individuals in all sports around his hometown of Dallas and around the country. His company also runs events such as softball camps and coaching clinics and sell books, videos, Elite Athlete Audios, and motivational cues. Leadership Training for Softball, the book from which this article was excerpted, is now available.

attitude before she has any positive outcomes to lean on. The athlete who needs to play well to have any confidence and enjoyment is doomed to inconsistency. Finally, when an athlete comes to the end (of the game, season or her career), she should enjoy the last performance most. It is what she has prepared for. Her preparation included almost immeasurable hard work. It also included the pain of setbacks, the challenges of adjustments and the satisfaction of achievements. It would make no sense not to enjoy the culmination of such an effort. Some people may perceive enormous pressure and forget the SEE ACHIEVEMENTS PAGE 22

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VIEWPOINTS

Resolved To Make 2014 A Successful Year By CHARITY BUTLER Founder, Exceed Sports In January 2013, at almost 30 years old, I made my first New Year’s Resolution. In my life, goals and executed plans have been year-round companions, but resolutions were not afforded much significance. Last January, though, I became firm in my purpose. After losing my grandfather (“Pops”) and two close family friends in a matter of weeks, I recognized how quickly time flies and how easy it is to lose touch with others. People matter. My resolution: “In the busyness of working to do good for others, I have sometimes neglected the incredible people around me along the way. 2013 is “The Year of People.” I committed to spend more time with those who matter and be more intentional about keeping in touch through texts, phone calls, cards and emails. Reflecting on the last 12 months makes me smile because committing to a deeper and more resolute focus on people has made every area of life more exciting and fulfilling. The changes I committed to making were subtle, but they have truly changed my life. Rabbi Daniel Lapin teaches, “The best way (and perhaps the only way) to become a different

person is by forcing yourself to do different things until they become second nature. “In essence, when those things have become a part of you, then you will have become different.” Somewhere along the journey of the year 2013, as I started acting and prioritizing differently, I became different. My perspective changed. My attitude changed. My heart changed. I claimed John Maxwell’s advice: “How you spend your time is more important than how you spend your money. Money mistakes can be corrected, but once time has passed, it’s gone forever.” I am learning to invest my time in people and projects that matter, rather than frivolously spend my time chasing meaningless pursuits. Every day, I am discovering more clearly what it means to live on purpose. In their book Repacking Your Bags, Richard Leider and David Shapiro share their formula for the good life: “Living in the place you belong, with the people you love, doing the right work, on purpose.” Whatever your goals, dreams and 2014 resolutions hold, I challenge you to be intentional and commit to living on purpose. Consider refocusing on people. In my own life, I have been amazed by the incredible circumstances

that have aligned and opportunities that have been presented during the last year. Many of these blessings materialized unexpectedly after I adopted a healthy focus on serving, prioritizing and impacting others. My new perspective did not develop overnight and it is definitely not a product of my natural inclinations. Prioritizing others will not just happen. In fact, if we are honest with ourselves, being selfless is completely counterintuitive. As hitters, keeping our eyes open and resolutely fixed on the yellow ball flying toward us at 60+ miles per hour is also counterintuitive, but it offers the best chance of successfully connecting with the ball. We all know the thrill experienced when effortlessly driving the ball in the gap! Likewise, prioritizing others is not natural, but it presents the best chance for achieving true success. Discipline and discomfort are more than worth the reward. The following poem is often attributed to Elisabeth-Anne Anderson Stanley:

Charity Butler is respected nationally & internationally as a pro athlete, writer, speaker, collegiate coach, hitting instructor and Certified Intrinsic Life Coach®. As a Pro Speaker for Sports World, Inc, Charity travels the country speaking to more than 40,000 people annually. As a recognized expert in confidence training, she also presents at various conferences, colleges & universities. Charity is the founder of Exceed Sports, LLC (www.Exceed-Sports.com) and of the I HEART FASTPITCH Campaign (www.iheartfastpitch. com). Follow on Twitter & Instagram at @ CharityButler

Endure the betrayal of false friends To appreciate beauty To find the best in others To leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition SUCCESS To know even one life has breathed To laugh often and love much To win the respect of intelligent easier because you have lived. people This is to have succeeded. and affection of children. To earn the appreciation of honest Here’s to a successful 2014! critics

NFCA 2013 Committee Election Report All-American Committees: Division I Central Region: Amanda Rivera, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis; Great Lakes Region: Jessica Allister, University of Minnesota; Mid-Atlantic Region: Christy Connoyer, St. Louis University; Mideast Region: Melinda Fischer, Illinois State University; Midwest Region: Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cessler, Iowa State University; Northeast Region: Bill Edwards, Hofstra University; Pacific Region: Diane Ninemire, University of California; South Region: Beth Torina, Louisiana

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State University; Southeast Region: Donna Papa, University of North Carolina; West Region: Matt Meuchel, University of Nevada. Division II Atlantic Region Rep: Dan Gierlak, Edinboro University; South Region Rep: Michelle Frew, Rollins College; Southeast Region Rep: Jamie Grodecki, Georgia College; West Region Rep: Shelli Sarchett, Humboldt State University. Division III East Region Rep: Amy Weaver, Messiah College; West Region Rep: Janae Schlabs-Shirley, East Texas Baptist University. NAIA East

Region Rep: Chris Wilcoxson, Auburn University, Montgomery; Great Lakes Region Rep: McCall Salmon, Davenport University; Midwest Region: Mike Christner, William Penn University; Southwest Region: James Kling, Our Lady of the Lake University. NJCAA I South Region Rep: Brian Pittman, Southern Union State CC; West Region Rep: Don Don Williams, North Idaho College. NJCAA II South Region Rep: Ed Hargrove, Cowley County CC. NJCAA III East Region Rep: Stephen DePasquale, Gloucester

County College; Midwest Region Rep: Ryan Connell, College of DuPage High School East Region Reps: Michael Carrozza, Bridgewater Raynham Regional HS (MA); Mike Curro, Oneida High School (NY); Anthony LaRezza, Immaculate Heart Academy (NJ); North Region Reps: Greg Clark, Loogootee Jr./Sr. HS (IN); Jim Piazza, Keystone High School (OH); Terry Wagner, Cedarburg HS (WI); South Region Rep: Philip Belfield, St.

SEE COMMITTEE ELECTION PAGE 21


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EDUCATION

NFCA INSTRUCTIONAL CORNER - THE MENTAL GAME

Patience Is The Deepest Love By JEN CRONEBERGER President, JLynne Consulting Group I know what it takes to be a “coach” and to take other’s lives in your hands in order to teach them and help them grow. I know the countless hours you spend, the sleepless nights wondering if you have done them right. The times you wish you could do more for that one kid, the one who is struggling but doesn’t even know why. You would give anything to take away the struggle … And then you realize that it’s really your own desire to be better and to make them better that keeps you awake … And that your very own struggles can be pushed to the back burner … And that you have time for everyone but you … And that at the end of the day, this very thing that you thought was your strength can keep you from being your best. This is for you … We all have challenges. We struggle with things that often go beyond what others see. We lay our heads down at night and often still feel that struggle. Silently. We tell no one. We fight it. We wake the next day like nothing is weighing on us … and we stay busy. You know what it feels like. You fight it too. But like a painful tooth reminding you that you missed your last dentist appointment, it nags. And it doesn’t let go. And in the midst of your morning coffee as you run out the door, the swirl of emotion driving to your next place of chaos grips even tighter, like your hands on the steering wheel in traffic, knowing you will now be late. And you wanted it yesterday. All that you believe to be yours. You wanted to be that already. And the traffic that is holding you back is causing the grip to grow tighter. And the swirl in your coffee cup to make you dizzy … from too much stop and go. You wanted that triumph and the love you felt you deserved and the three kids who suffered from low self-esteem to be strong and full of confidence, and the game to be fun and bliss. And the feelings of accomplishment that made it all go away. And you wanted the chaos to stop swirling. And you wanted it yesterday. And you stand at the microwave and count the seconds. And as your lunch barely gets warm, you snatch it out like it was to blame. And you wanted it hot, but you couldn’t wait.

And as you leave to go home, the same traffic you drove in with earlier is following you back. And the cold remnants of the morning’s coffee continue to swirl. Like your emotions and the struggle that pulls you home. And it’s always about what you wanted to be, and what you should have accomplished by now, and who you are that no one knows. And your patience runs thin. “I’m tired,” You manage to mutter Jen Croneberger is a mental game coach who speaks at clinics, team workshops and corpoto anyone who will listen. It hides the emotions and feelings rate seminars. She has been interviewed on ABC news (Philadelphia affiliate) on many you keep in. occasions about the mental game, consulted And then you realize the patience by MTV’s MADE as a fear coach and was the isn’t really about what you are 2009 Female Business Leader of the Year for feeling for the traffic and the coffee Chester County, Pa. She works with many and the lunch that was barely hot in organizations and sports teams from prothe two and a half minutes you gave fessionals to youth and is formerly the head softball coach at Ursinus College. Her blogs it to be hot. and more information on her programs can Your patience with yourself, when be found on www.thefivewords.com. you look in the mirror, when you fall short time and time again, when you didn’t finish rearranging the closet or the laundry that is piled high or shopping list that lays crumpled in the bottom of your purse. When you fall short. Your patience does too. And you realize it’s not about the stuff. It’s about the love you have taken away. And the only way to correct that is to sit still. In the silence of the day when nothing else can calm the chaos. When you don’t want to. When your emotions are swirling the loudest. To just be … And to be ok with what is. And in that moment you will truly know … That the greatest love you can give is the patience to be still in the midst of it all. And in that stillness you find all that you are. And it is good.

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BREAKING DOWN THE NUMBERS

A Formula For Predicting Run Output By JON NACHTIGAL The University of Florida seems to know something that every Division I softball team should know: walks and hit by pitches are key to scoring runs. This realization came about after running a regression analysis of the offensive statistics of 67 NCAA Division I teams across seven conferences for the 2013 season. Regression analysis is a statistical technique used to investigate the relationship between variables. In this case, a relationship between total runs scored over the course of a season and the singles, doubles, triples, home runs, walks, hit by pitches, strikeouts, stolen bases, caught stealing, sacrifice flies and sacrifice hits. The results indicate that a team’s singles, doubles, triples, home runs, walks plus hitby-pitches, sacrifice flies and strikeouts account for 95 percent of the variance in predicting the number of runs a team will score in a season. Think of variance as the difference between what is expected to occur and the actual result. The regression analysis produced a formula for predicted runs over the course of a season that looks like this: -46.41 + (.39 x singles) + (.81 x doubles) + (2.23 x triples) + (1.53 x home runs) + (.35 * walks + hit by pitches) + (1.80 x sacrifice flies) + (-.13 x strikeouts)

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To demonstrate the importance of walks and hit by pitches, of the 10 teams with the most walks plus hit by pitches, eight were also in the top 10 for runs scored. As with many formulas, there are some outliers. The formula didn’t work as well for San Diego State, Auburn and Virginia. However, the formula exactly predicted the total number of runs scored by Texas A&M and Wisconsin and missed by just one run for California, Jon Nachtigal is a doctoral student in Marshall and Northwestern. The regression analysis found Sport Administration at the University of New Mexico. He is writing his dissertation on that the categories sacrifice hits, the analytics of women’s softball and is the caught stealing and stolen bases author of the book “Outfielding: An Introduchave little impact on the number of tion for Baseball and Softball Coaches.” Jon publishes his research at his website www. runs a team scores over the course of a season. fastpitchanalytics.com. As has been the case with the In the formula the number -46.41 findings of other studies, this study is just a constant, or a non-varying seems to confirm the saying that “if value. you play for only one run, that’s all The results for this formula you’ll get.” In other words, small are shown in the table (at right). ball doesn’t lead to an increase in Categories include runs scored in overall runs scored. 2013 by each team in the study, Looking at the formula, you can the predicted runs using the above see that the values make sense to formula, the difference between some degree. A single is worth runs scored and the predicted slightly more than a walk or hit by runs and the percentage of the pitch since there’s the opportunity difference. for runners to advance. A double In addition to being a very is worth more than a single and so good hitting team, Florida used a on. remarkable number of walks and One perplexing value is that hit by pitches to become the top triples appear to be worth more scoring team of those that were than home runs. Perhaps this is evaluated. because teams that generate runs The Gators totaled 416 walks from triples don’t hit as many plus hit by pitches, which was 115 home runs. However, that starts a more than Tennessee, the team discussion that linear weights are with the second-most walks plus an even better way to estimate runs hit by pitches. than regression analysis.

Do you know something Fastpitch Delivery should be writing about? Would you like to write articles for Fastpitch Delivery? Just have a question? Email your ideas, questions and suggestions to Dave Hines at dave@nfca.org


DECEMBER 2013

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MCMANN BRINGS PASSION AND EXPERIENCE TO ISF CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7 of the sport and highlight all the great athletes we have involved with the sport,” McMann said. “We need to look at enhancing the quality of our world championships, look at potentially expanding the television coverage for games in our sport and potentially adding some made-forTV events, really marketable events that are appealing to sponsors and the athletes. We need to do anything to bring together athletes from around the world. “One of the things I’m committed to is looking at our world championship structure. We’ve initiated some discussion around creating A, B, and possibly even C-level world championships. That way teams/ countries aren’t competing against those significantly above their level. That way we don’t get, and I’m not

picking on anyone when I say this, a Sri Lanka playing against a U.S. We have Japan, Canada, the U.S., Australia and China, those types of teams competing against each other. “The other thing I’ve committed to is the possibility of creating a world ranking system, which we currently don’t have. We’re looking at other sports and the models they use to see how a system would potentially work for softball. I think the biggest benefit with changes like these is that they provide additional publicity and boost the profile for the sport. “I want to do all of those things, but they will occur over a period of time. I’m not foolish enough to think that I’m going to have all of these done by March. I think we have an opportunity to grow the sport and increase the profile of the sport. Obviously, the best way to do that is if we are back on the Olympic program, but if we are not in 2020, then we need to look at alternate methods to continue making the sport

                    

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as appealing as we can to young people around the world. Part of that is making sure that we have quality events and that we are getting the sport the kind of publicity it deserves.” For the foreseeable future McMann will be working on his plans while splitting time between his home in Canada and the ISF office in Plant City, Fla., with additional staff being hired to help support softball’s mission. “There is a lease agreement on our facility in Plant City, so we have no plans of relocating the ISF home office in the short or medium term,” McMann said. “From my standpoint, I will be traveling down there from time to time over the course of the next few years, splitting my time between Canada and the U.S. We will be hiring an Executive Director, at some point in the not too distant future, to do the day-to-day running of the office down there. My job will be to create divisions, set the strategy and do the political part of that. We will be hiring the Executive

Director/CEO to manage the day-today operations.” As it currently stands, the next step of the strategy involving the Olympic future of international softball for McMann, his staff and millions of softball players around the globe remains in the hands of the IOC. “The IOC Executive Board has just finished meeting in Europe,” McMann said. “I know it was a bit of a retreat where they were looking at a number of different issues, including the program for the 2020 Olympics and how that might be shaped in the future. President Bach said pretty clearly recently that there would no decisions coming out of the retreat, but there will be some recommendations around changes to a number of things. Those will go forward to the IOC General Session in Sochi, Russia, in February. We’ll wait and see, but I think it’s possible that there could be some fairly active discussion about alterations to the 2020 program in February.”

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                      DECEMBER 2013


DECEMBER 2013

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MINUTES-HCC CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4 model, but with film review instead of skill instruction. It also provides opportunities for academic and athletics improvement, which will, in turn, contribute to greater retention of student-athletes. Allowing limited athletically related activities in a structured environment will not significantly impact fair competition, but will prove beneficial in establishing stronger relationships, promoting accountability and enhancing the student-athlete’s connection to the institution. Status: Leadership Council Sponsored. Board Adopted D. Proposal Number 2013-17. ATHLETICS PERSONNEL -- CONDUCT OF ATHLETICS PERSONNEL -- FIRST AID, CPR AND AED CERTIFICATION Effective Date: August 1, 2014 Intent: To specify that each head coach and any other coach (including a strength and conditioning coach) who is employed full-time by the institution shall maintain current certification in first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automatic external defibrillator (AED) use. Rationale: The NCAA Principle of Student-Athlete Well-Being states it is the responsibility of each member institution to protect the health of, and provide a safe environment for, each of its studentathletes. The cardiac sudden death rate in NCAA student-athletes is one in 40,000;

NFCA 2013 COMMITTEE ELECTION REPORT CONTINUED FROM PAGE 16 Margaret’s School (VA); Kent Chambers, Bob Jones HS (AL); John Keyes, North Ft. Myers HS (FL); Gary Payne, Glen HS (NC); Milton Simmons, Essex HS (VA); South Central Region Reps: Frank Barnes, Olathe North HS (KS); Brenda Holaday, Washburn Rural HS (KS); Jeff Roberts, East View HS (TX) ; West Reps: Michael Delaney, Burbank HS (CA); Jim Rawlings, Suhuarita HS (AZ). Board of Directors 1st Vice President: Pat Conlan, Georgetown University; 3rd Vice President (if approved at Summit): Kathryn Gleason, Boston University; 4th Vice President (if approved at Summit); Carol Bruggeman, University of Louisville; Division I Representative: Natalie Poole, University of Memphis; Division III Representative: Diana Pepin, Eastern Connecticut State University; NAIA Representative: Wendy Hogue, William Carey University; Assistant Representative: Boo Gillette, Arizona State University. Bylaws & Resolutions Thomas Armstrong, College of the Desert; Elaine Covin, Sparta Academy (AL); Richard Fidelman, Austin-McCallum High School

                    

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however, three in every 1,000 student-athletes may have an underlying heart condition. The typical emergency response time is eight to 10 minutes, and survival rates decrease 10 percent every minute. First aid, CPR, and AED training is paramount for rendering first response emergency care. This certification requirement is intended to provide initial care until more skilled responders arrive to an emergency situation and is not intended to replace appropriate medical care and coverage. Mandatory CPR certification of coaches for every practice, conditioning session, and event is the key preliminary step toward activating medical care response for student-athletes. The growth of practice opportunities that include year-round exposures and extensive out-of-season sessions has greatly increased the likelihood that coaches will be the first to respond to a collapsed student-athlete. Status: Legislative Council Initial Consideration – Supported. Noted the need to clarify interpretive issues, such as those related to coaching transitions and the application of the legislation to volunteer coaches. Recommended that the proposal apply to all coaches, regardless of full- or part-time status. E. Modification of Wording: Proposal Number: M-2013-3. AWARDS, BENEFITS AND EXPENSES -- EXPENSES PROVIDED BY THE INSTITUTION FOR PRACTICE AND COMPETITION -- INCIDENTAL EXPENSES Effective Date: Immediate

Intent: To clarify that an institution may provide $30 per day to each member of a team to cover unitemized incidental expenses during travel and practice for NCAA championship events, national governing body championship events in emerging sports and postseason bowl games, as specified. Status: Adopted – Final F. Governance Discussion. The Board was joined by NCAA Division I Presidential Advisory Group (PAG) members to review the stakeholder presentations from the previous day. The group was encouraged by the fact that there appears to be a number of common interests among groups; however, there also remain a number of significant unanswered questions (e.g., nature of autonomy). The group noted that there does not appear to be an interest in forming a separate division or subdivision for the most highly resourced institutions, but there is a desire to find a way to provide these institutions with more flexibility in the area of studentathlete benefits, which includes travel, meals, academic programming and possibly allowing financial aid related to the cost of attendance. The Board agreed that it should be focused more on overarching strategy and vision for the division and less on the day-to-day operational activities. The group also acknowledged the importance of continued collaboration with other stakeholders as the Board and its Steering Committee

on Governance works to identify a more transparent, streamlined and simple governance structure/process. BOARD ACTION: The Board agreed to empower the Board of Directors Steering Committee on Governance to develop alternative governance models and to identify agenda topics for review and discussion during the January 16-17, 2014, Division I Dialogue sessions. (Unanimous voice vote.) G. Discussion of Online Courses. The Board discussed the increasing use of online courses by student-athletes and whether reliance on such courses is consistent with resident academic programs for student-athletes. The Board referred the issue to the Leadership Council for a more extensive review. 5. NFCA Softball Key Measurables. Ms. Hanson, who had been heading up the NFCA Recruiting Standards Task Force, presented the group’s recommendations regarding key measurables. She asked that the HCC reps distribute to their colleagues; in addition, Ms. Hanson will present the information at the convention for more feedback. 6. Next HCC Meeting. The HCC will meet Wednesday, December 4, at the NFCA National Convention (see 2A above). If a December call is not needed, the next HCC conference call will be held at 10 a.m. Central time Tuesday, January 14. 7. Adjournment. The meeting was adjourned at 11:03 a.m. Central time.

(TX); Jodie Holava, Defiance College; Roger McGuffey, Carolina Comets (NC); Jason Miner, Oklahoma Panhandle State University; Rick Sherman, Road Runner Elite (OH). Coaching Education Committee NAIA Rep: Pam Fink, Oklahoma Baptist University. Diversity Committee Kathy Cummings, Millersville University; Eric Oakley, University of North Dakota; Nikki Palmer, Utah Valley University. Education and Publications Karin Gadberry, New Mexico Highlands University; Joey McNutt, Coastal Lightning Elite (SC); Ty Rietkovich, Angels Gold (GA); Annie Smith, Georgia Southern; Kara Willis, University of Rhode Island. Ethics Committee Pam Fink, Oklahoma Baptist University; Kara Willis, University of Rhode Island. Hall of Fame Committee Division I Rep: Kathryn Gleason, Boston University; Division II Rep: Bill Gray, Missouri Southern State University; Division III Rep: Deb Pallozzi, Ithaca College; CalJC Rep: Gina Oliver, Mt. San Antonio College; High School Rep: Marsha Cusak, Enid High School (OK); Assistant Coach Rep: Larissa Andeson, Hofstra University Internet Committee David Levian, Godwin Heights High School (MI); Marissa Mariano, Plattsburgh State University; Joey McNutt, Coastal Light-

ning Elite (SC); Eric Oakley, University of North Dakota; Gina Oliver, Mt. San Jacinto College Nominating Committee Division I Rep: Annie Smith, Georgia Southern University; Division II Rep: Paula U’Ren, St. Cloud State University; Division III Rep: Tony Ciccarello, SUNY New Paltz; NJCAA Rep: Andy Kirk, Itawamba CC; CalJC: Gina Oliver, Mt. San Jacinto College; High School: John Keyes, North Fort Myers High School (FL) Recruiting Committee Division II Subcommittee: Don Kennedy, Missouri University of Science & Technology; Division III Subcommittee: Allison Haehnel, Occidental College; Lisa GoddardMcGuirk, Cedar Crest College; Amy Weaver, Messiah College; JC Recruiting: Thomas Armstrong, College of the Desert; Andy Lee, Louisiana State University of Eunice: High School Subcommittee: Philip Belfield, St. Margaret’s School (VA); Kathy Schoettle, Byron Nelson High School (TX); Travel Ball Subcommittee: Dennis Daniel, Tar Heel Stars (NC): Paul Hazlett, West Liberty Force (OH): Roger McGuffey, Carolina Comets (NC); Joey McNutt, Coastal Lightning Elite (SC); Ty Rietkovich, Angels Gold (GA); Anthony Springer, Sneaky Cleats (TX); Alan Wilds, Cool Cats of Lee’s Summit (MO) Rules and

Officials Committee Division I Rep: Eric Oakley, University of North Dakota; Division II Rep: Edith Gallagher, Mansfield University; Division III Rep: Brittany Stroop, Eastern University; NAIA Rep: Mike Christner, William Penn University; NJCAA Rep: Jayne Clem, Wallace State University, Hanceville; CalJC: Thomas Armstrong, College of the Desert; Assistant Coach: Travis Wilson, Florida State University; High School: Anthony LaRezza, Immaculate Heart Academy (NJ); Travel Ball: Pete Soliz, Texas Force (TX) Top 25 Poll Committee – Division II Atlantic Region Reps: Kathy Cummings, Millersville University, and Dan Gierlak, Edinboro University; Central Region Rep: Bill Gray, Missouri Southern State University; East Region Rep: Dean Johnson, Caldwell College; South Region Rep: Val Silvestrini, Florida Tech. Top 25 Poll Committee – Division III Great Lakes Region Rep: Kris Kistler, Augustana College (IL); Northeast Region Rep: Julie Lenhart, SUNY Cortland; West Region Rep: Janae Schlabs-Shirley, East Texas Baptist University. Tournament and Camp Committee Benet Higgs, Bradley University; Craig Snider, Florida State University; Betsy White, Seton Hall University

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FOUR RECEIVE THE CALL TO NFCA HALL OF FAME CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 (SUNYAC) championship in four years and notch their 12th straight 30win campaign. The Red Dragons’ only two losses in five games at the World Series were to national champion Tufts. Cortland has qualified for the past seven NCAA tournaments and went to three straight tournaments from 1997-99 and 2003-05 under Lenhart, advancing to the World Series in 1998, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013. Eight of Cortland’s 12 SUNYAC titles have been won during Lenhart’s tenure. SHE IS a four-time SUNYAC Coach of the Year, was the 1997 NFCA East Region Coach of the Year and her staff has been honored seven times as the NFCA Division III Northeast Region Coaching Staff of the Year. Before Cortland, Lenhart coached five seasons at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, where her teams went 120-77, earning her Wisconsin Women’s Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WWIAC) Coach of the Year honors in 1990 and 1992, while winning the league title in 1992. With an overall record of 757-317-2 (.704) in 24 seasons, Lenhart has the distinction of being just the seventh coach in Division III history to reach the 700-win plateau and is sixth alltime in victories among Division III head coaches. IN 26 SEASONS as the head coach at Oklahoma City University, McSpadden has built the Stars’ program into a major NAIA powerhouse. He has guided his squad to eight national titles (1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007) and 13 total championship games, the most in both categories in NAIA

history, during 25 visits to the NAIA have appeared in 11 Gulf South Championships. Conference championship games, winning a conference-record eight A FOUR-TIME NFCA NAIA titles and three straight from 2006-08. National Coaching Staff of the In September, Stuedeman was Year and seven-time NFCA NAIA inducted into the Huntingdon College Southwest Region Coaching Staff of Athletic Hall of Fame, where she the Year honoree, McSpadden has was a catcher from 1990-92, earning accumulated a staggering record of all-district honors all three seasons 1,368-344, to sit at the top of the list and garnering All-American status in of active winningest coaches in NAIA 1992. softball, and led his program to 16 Sooner Athletic Conference crowns. AS ONLY the second full-time He has also coached over 40 All- Executive Director in the history of Americans, more than 23 NAIA the NFCA, Baker has proven to be scholar-athletes and had four former an invaluable contributor during a OCU players help their respective time of unprecedented growth and countries win Olympic medals. prosperity in the national softball Most recently in 2013, the coaches’ organization. Oklahoma City University and NAIA Named to her current position in Hall of Famer guided the Stars to 51 1994, she serves the Association victories, the title in the inaugural as the primary liaison to the NAIA Championship Opening Round NFCA’s Board of Directors, Oklahoma City bracket and to the Division I softball and the affiliate NAIA Championships for the 22nd membership. consecutive season and NAIA-best A native of Jackson, Miss., 27th time overall. Baker possesses more than STUEDEMAN HAS compiled an 846-266-1 record over 18 seasons as the only coach in University of Alabama-Huntsville program history. She has guided the Division II Chargers to 11 straight NCAA tournament appearances and averaged 47 wins each season. Her teams have never had fewer than 24 wins, and she has never had a losing season. Alabama-Huntsville went 43-17 last season and reached the NCAA South Super Regional, along the way earning Stuedeman her eighth career Gulf South Conference Coach of the Year award. Her staff, meanwhile, has been chosen as NFCA South Region Coaching Staff of the Year six times. Stuedeman’s teams have earned 16 NCAA berths and won four South Region titles (1999, 2001, 2009, 2011). Alabama-Huntsville was the Division II runner-up in 2009 and 2011. Under Stuedeman, the Chargers

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DECISIONS ABOUND IN THE COACHING BOXES CONTINUED FROM PAGE 14 And then, of course, we all know that coaches never make mental mistakes. Never! Coach Porko, Smitty’s iconoclastic and eminent friend in Indiana, stands in the first base coaches’ box, but he does not give signs, believing that his batter and any runners have the wherewithal to make appropriate decisions, including when to bunt and when to steal. If the right decision is not made, practice the next day is

30 years of experience in the sports industry, including seven years at the NCAA, where she served as assistant and associate director of championships, while administering all three NCAA softball championships. PRIOR TO THAT, she worked for the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee as project director and editor of Olympic Record, the official daily program of the 1984 Olympic Games. Baker got her start in athletics in sports information, working at San Diego State and Stanford universities. Later she served as the Associate Director of Athletics at Truman State University. A graduate of Delta State University and the University of Southern Mississippi, Baker is married to NFCA Hall of Fame coach Jay Miller, and they have one daughter, Nikki, who is in graduate school at Illinois State University. somewhat brutal. Interesting, but his teams win. Any new coach will have the jitters when stepping into the coaching box the first few times. Nerves will come to the fore and there is fear that the wrong thing will be done. This will gradually disappear as time goes on, but many times coaches will secondguess themselves when things go wrong no matter the experience they have. It is essential that they not beat themselves up over mistakes, but chalk them up to experience and move on. No one ever said coaching is easy, eh?

Hopefully, this peace of mind and her natural ability will be enough to provide the outcome that she CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 has dreamed of, but either way she is a winner in the eyes of mature joys that this moment holds, but observers, herself the most important the mentally strong athlete will among them. The entire process of not. Whatever outcomes lay ahead, approaching her potential has been this performance will define how fun, but no experience could be more good she can be at this point in her life. If she has no regrets about her fun than this culminating moment. When you arrive at the preparation, then she has already mountaintop, enjoy the view! succeeded.

ACHIEVEMENTS AND SETBACKS CAN BE FUN


DECEMBER 2013

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CONVENTION IS A HIT WITH ATTENDEES CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 opportunity for success 3) Relating – learning to create a climate of trust around your team and 4) Reflecting & Adaptation – learning to evaluate what’s happening as objectively and scientifically as possible in order to recognize the reasons something was or wasn’t successful and make necessary changes to reach your goals. FOLLOWING THE preconvention seminar, the NFCA Golden Shoe, Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year and National Fastpitch Coaches College FourStar Master Coach awardees in attendance were honored during the afternoon’s General Session. Following presentations on the state of National Pro Fastpitch by league commissioner Cheri Kempf, the new NFCA recruiting app in partnership with NCSA by former UCLA coach Sue Enquist, opportunities in USA women’s baseball by Jenny Dalton Hill and updates on the Amateur Softball Association and USA Softball from Julie Bartel and Chris Sebren. NFCA Executive Director Lacy Lee Baker provided members with an update on the state and growth of the Association. NFCA President and Nebraska head coach Rhonda Revelle followed with the annual President’s report and Terry Pettit provided the keynote address. OVER 100 COACHES were honored for reaching various career milestones on December 5 at the annual NFCA/Easton Victory Club luncheon, which recognizes member head coaches for each 100 victories they achieve throughout their careers. Coaches being honored for achieving 1,000 or more wins received a beautifully engraved vase, those having reached plateaus stretching from 300-900 victories were awarded personalized plaques and certificates were presented to

NFCA Executive Director Lacy Lee Baker, left, addresses the General Session, while NFCA President and Nebraska head coach Rhonda Revelle looks on. Photo by Dave Hines.

100 or 200-win coaches in honor of their special achievements. This year, five coaches were lauded for either reaching or exceeding the 1,000-victory plateau. Ken Bailey of the SC Bandits hit the 1,200-win mark, Milton Simmons of Sports + Plus, the University of Tennessee’s Ralph Weekly and Central Michigan University’s Margo Jonker each picked up their 1,100th triumphs and George DiMatteo of Lewis University garnered his 1,000th victory. ALONGSIDE THE excitement of the exhibit hall starting up in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center were talks by Michigan head coach Carol Hutchins and Hofstra head coach Bill Edwards and his staff. Hutchins got things started in front of an overflow crowd by presenting a talk entitled “Tradition, Hard Work & Success: Developing a Winning Program for the Long Term.” Edwards and his staff took to the stage next with an informative presentation entitled “Choosing

Your Optimum Team Defense.” Later in the evening a very popular NFCA convention tradition, the mentoring session, continued in grand fashion. Under the guidance of NFCA Hall of Famer Sue Enquist, over 100 experienced coaches volunteered to give advice and life lessons to over 600 head and assistant coaches. A pair of hospitality events sponsored by Diamond Sports wrapped up the NFCA Convention’s second day, allowing coaches the opportunity to fellowship together. For those looking for a little wilder time, the “Party Zone” proved the choice, while those looking for a quieter environment spent their time at the “Social Lounge.” ON DECEMBER 6, California University of Pennsylvania head coach Rick Bertagnolli, Florida Atlantic University head coach Joan Joyce, Minnesota State University, Mankato head coach Lori Meyer and University of Alabama head coach Patrick

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Murphy joined one of softball’s most elite fraternities, with their respective inductions into the NFCA Hall of Fame. The highly respected quartet joined 58 prior members in the Hall, receiving the prestigious accolade for careers spent positively influencing not just the sport of softball, but also countless student-athletes. Together the group boasts an incredible 3,508 total victories, has combined for over 93 total years of service as head coaches and possesses three national championships while also combining to make 50 visits to their respective NCAA Tournaments. NUMEROUS coaching staffs covering each division of the sport of softball were honored with NFCA Regional and National Coaching Staff of the Year accolades on December 7 as the convention came to a successful close. Following the brunch, the convention program switched its focus to breakout speaker sessions. Included were topics such as Sara Hayes’ “Building a Successful Softball Business,” Yvette Healy’s “Teach, Inspire & Connect To Your Players Through Books & Articles,” Amanda Lehotak’s “The Secret Life of a Staff” and Kirk Walker and Dr. Sue Rankin’s “Maximizing Success With Equity, Diversity & Inclusion.” The annual “Drills, Drills, Drills” session, with discussion on pitching, hitting, defensive and base running drills, was hosted by Tufts head coach Cheryl Milligan, Nebraska assistant coach Diane Miller, Dartmouth head coach Rachel Hanson and Texas Glory head coach Kevin Shelton. The remainder of the afternoon was highlighted by presentations from mental training expert Aaron Weintraub (Empowering CultureDefining Leaders in an Age of Entitlement), Texas assistant coach Corrie Hill (Creating Your Offense Through Mechanics, Mentality & Philosophy) and Washington assistant coach Lance Glasoe (Training Today’s Pitchers).

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