I thought it would be important to share my experiences associated with the Spring Break Hitting Camps that we just completed and which were co-instructed by JoAnn (last name) of Rhino Softball, and myself – Christine Stephens of CS Sports Productions.

We provided two sessions, one for a younger group ranging in age from 8-11 and one for an older group ranging from 12-16.  Each group was limited to no more than 20 athletes.  It is our philosophy that running a camp with smaller, more concentrated numbers creates an opportunity for greater one on one training giving the athletes a unique training experience, unlike those camps which cater to larger groups (50 to 100) with little one on one time devoted to each participant.

The girls who attended the week long event were incredible.  When they showed up on Monday morning, little did they know that by Wednesday they would learn just how a powerful, compact swing could change the quality of their skills.

At the beginning of the camp, we asked the girls to simply “be open to changing the methods they had already learned and adopted”.  These girls threw themselves into that notion and as a result of their willingness to try on new something new, they demonstrated a much higher level of skill by the final day of hitting.

Joann and I both believe that the older methods of teaching how to swing for softball (much like the way baseball is taught) are out moded and out dated.  The game of softball today is much faster and the bats and balls are a lot livelier.  As this game has evolved so have our teaching methods.  Our methods of teaching girls to swing have been proven by research to be the most efficient and consistent way to swing a bat!

In our camps we teach a compact, quick and powerful swing which is vital for today’s players to survive at the plate against the strong pitchers they now face.

We know that by teaching girls the best way to swing early on in their career, it is not necessary later on to make adjustments to correct poor habits or faulty ways of hitting that do not give these girls the level of performance we have come to expect.

We will be doing more of these concentrated/contained hitting camps throughout the Summer, Fall, and Christmas Break so if you or your rising softball star missed this one you can join us in the future.

 

Christine Stephens

CS SPORTS PRODUCTIONS

www.cssportsproductions.com

 

 

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The past few years of my coaching career I have noticed that young girls playing the sport of softball do not show any respect for the game.  This is a sign that the coaches of these girls are not teaching their athletes how to respect the sport that gives so much to them.   The game of softball gives young girls and women the opportunity to gain confidence to be successful both as individuals and as a team. It gives them an opportunity to learn discipline, to have fun, to travel and see different parts of the country/world, gives them life long friendships, and an environment to develop into respectable, responsible, hardworking women.  It is understandable to see a rec-ball player not knowing how to respect the game, but when an athlete chooses to play for an elite travel ball program they need to be taught how to respect the game and how to play the game at a higher level.

My question then is, when did it stop being a part of the coaches job description to teach our young athletes to respect the game that gives so much to them?  Respect for the game begins when the coaches are holding their own players accountable for their actions, i.e. Being on time, not talking back to a coach, not speaking while a coach is speaking, or looking a coach in the eyes.  I have created a list of other simple ways athletes can show respect for the game of Softball.

1)   HUSTLING to and from your position at the beginning of an inning whether it’s the first inning of the weekend or the 20th inning.

2)   Running out your hit whether it was a good one, poor one, caught line drive or pop up.

3)   Catchers and Hitters should not make eye contact with the plate umpire when questioning a pitch location.

4)   Getting into a proper ready stance prior to the pitch being thrown, EVERY PITCH.

5)   Runners SLIDING when there is a play being made that includes them.

6)   Wearing the uniform CORRECTLY.

7)   Not walking on or across a NEWLY lined field.

8)   Caring for your own equipment, including: Not throwing your glove, bat or helmet, or having a parent carry it.

So its up to us as coaches to hold our elite travel players to a higher standard.  If our athletes start to respect the game they will gain a deeper love for the game and a greater appreciation for what it can do for them.