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Catching a Ball on the Fence

January 14, 2022 | 0 Comments

Many of us have seen the videos of the girls running through fences to rob home runs which may look like a sheer will, but catching balls against a fence is something that should be practiced and taught. This blog will discuss important things to teach players how to safely approach fences. 

The first step is to get your players comfortable with finding the fence. You can do this by placing a coach against a fence and players facing them about 7-8 feet from the fence. Toss the ball up, so it’s coming down next to the fence, and have players run towards the fence with their arm closest to the fence out, so they’re feeling for it. When players put their arm out, they should bend their elbow to avoid hyper-extending their arm on the fence. As they get more comfortable with the fence, the coach can move back and start them farther, forcing them to run farther and faster. The reality of catching balls along the fence is that players are often in a dead sprint to catch this ball, and it can be scary to think about running into a fence at full speed. 

Another big part of catching balls along a fence is the communication from teammates. The whole team needs to use the same terminology when notifying a teammate they’re getting dangerously close to the fence. You’ll want to use 2-3 different terminology to notify the player of where the fence is. When a player is tracking a ball, it means their head is looking to the ball’s sky, which can cause them to be unsure of where they are on the field. The player closest to the fielder going after the ball should let them know whether they:

  1. Are not close to the fence at all.
  2. Getting closer to the fence.
  3. Are right on the fence.

If a player is running towards the fence but isn’t at risk of running into it, you’ll want to let them know that they have room. Players should repeat “got room” until the player catches the ball or until they’re running out of room. To warn them they’re approaching the fence, many teams will say “find it” which lets them know to put their arm out because they are getting closer to the fence. When a player is roughly 3-4 steps (depending on how fast they’re going and age) away from the fence, a teammate may say “fence” which lets them know they are only a few steps away and should put their arm out or stop. Communication is essential for balls on the fence and can prevent players from serious injury.

Teaching Responsibility and Accountability Through Softball

January 7, 2022 | 0 Comments

Sports have the utmost potential to teach youth about real-world lessons. Obvious lessons include working hard to obtain goals and pushing yourself to be the best you can be. However, there are so many teaching moments that come with the sport. Here we’ll discuss how girls can learn responsibility and accountability through softball.

One thing coaches should always teach their players is that it is their responsibility to pick up after themselves whether they’re at home or on the fields. Make sure dugouts are picked up after games regardless of the mess there before. When girls get older through high school and college ball, they are taught that the equipment is used by them, so it is their job to keep track and take care of it. This goes for the team and personal equipment. As girls get older, they will be responsible for getting themselves to and from games, practice, workouts, etc.

Accountability is another big lesson taught through sports. Players have to be held accountable for their actions, and they have to accept them to get better. We’ve all met that player who has an excuse every time they make an error or mess up whether the field has too many rocks on it or maybe the sun was in their eyes. This usually stems from players wanting to be perfect and fearing failure. Athletes should constantly be reminded that failing and learning are acceptable and the key to improving as an athlete. Holding players accountable can start meeting team expectations, such as always being on time or always coming prepared with the right equipment.

Team Bonding

December 31, 2021 | 0 Comments

Team bonding may seem like just a way for girls to get together outside of softball, but the benefits can contribute immensely to team chemistry. Gathering players together outside of softball allows them to learn more about each other. Building strong team chemistry creates a bond that can significantly affect play. All teams have a common goal, but the team is “all in” to achieving those goals and has a greater chance of thriving. Coaches will often create competitive environments where players will compete within their team for playing time, creating a competitive drive. Still, it is essential to realize that the team as a whole must work together at the end of the day. Team bonding should be a fun, positive environment where the girls can relax. For competitive players, there are times where softball takes up weekends and weeknights in their schedule, which can cause them to miss out on school-related activities. This can be a time where they just get to be kids. Below, Fastpitch Masters has compiled a list of things to do for team bonding.

 

Bowling

Bonfire with smores

Sleepover

A craft (these can be bows, or costumes for special tournaments)

Escape Room

Laser Tag

Community Service

Scavenger Hunt

Game night (board games/card games)

Murder Mystery

Karaoke 

Yoga

Hiking

Camping

Kickball

Museum

Zoo

Pool/beach party

Pizza making

Mini golf

Fastpitch Masters Softball Camps

Click the map below to look at camps in your area

120 Camps nation wide annually

Winter Camps (A-Z)
AL - Mobile 01/15/2022
AR - Little Rock 01/29/2022
AR - Northwest Arkansas 01/30/2022
CO - Colorado Springs 01/16/2022
CO - Denver 11/27/2021
CO - Fort Collins 01/17/2022
CT - Hartford 11/14/2021
DE - Middletown 11/14/2021
FL - Jacksonville 11/27/2021
FL - Sarasota 11/28/2021
FL - Tallahassee 01/23/2022
GA - Statesboro 12/12/2021
IA - Des Moines 11/20/2021
IA - Iowa City 01/17/2021
IA - Cedar Falls 11/21/2021
IL - Chicago 12/11/2021
IL - Peoria 12/12/2021
IL - Rockford 01/15/2022
IL - Springfield 12/12/2021
IN - Fort Wayne 11/14/2021
IN - Indianapolis 12/11/2021
IN - Lafayette 01/23/2022
KS - Hays 01/15/2022
KS - Pittsburg 01/23/2022
KS - Salina 11/28/2021
KS - Wichita 12/5/2021
LA - New Orleans 01/9/2022
MA - Springfield 12/18/2021
MD - Baltimore 01/23/2022
ME - Portland 11/6/2021
MI - Flint 01/9/2022
MI - Grand Rapids 01/8/2022
MN - Twin Cities 11/7/2021
MO - Cape Girardeau 01/30/2022
MO - Columbia 12/5/2021
MO - Kansas City 02/5/2022
MO - Springfield 01/22/2022
MO - St. Louis 12/4/2021
MS - Jackson 01/16/2022
NC - Charlotte 12/11/2021
NE - Lincoln 11/20/2021
NH - New Hampshire 11/7/2021
NJ - New Jersey 11/13/2021
OH - Cincinnati 01/22/2022
OH - Cleveland 12/5/2021
OH - Columbus 11/13/2021
OH - Toledo 12/4/2021
OK - Oklahoma City 12/4/2021
OK - Tulsa 01/16/2022
OR - Portland 12/28/2021
PA - Lancaster 11/21/2021
PA - Lancaster 01/22/2022
PA - Pittsburgh 11/20/2021
RI - Providence 12/19/2021
SC - Charleston 01/9/2022
SC - Columbia 01/8/2022
SD - Sioux Falls 11/21/2021
TN - Kingsport 11/21/2021
TN - Knoxville 11/20/2021
TN - Nashville 01/29/2022
TX - Dallas 01/15/2022
TX - Houston 01/8/2022
UT - Salt Lake City 01/8/2022
VA - Manassas 11/13/2021
VA - Richmond 11/14/2021
VA - Virginia Beach 11/13/2021
WA - Kennewick 01/15/2022
WA - Seattle 12/29/2021
WA - Spokane 01/16/2022
WI - Madison 11/6/2021
WI - Milwaukee 11/7/2021
WI - Superior 11/6/2021