2008 Coaches Clinics Report
Twelve coaches from different ICGS levels participated in a coaches clinic on sunday morning April 20th 2008 from 08:00 to 10:30. All the participants attending were happy with the clinic and expressed their satisfaction at the instruction. We both think that it was a very worthwhile event and one that we think could be very helpful for coaches at all levels. Coach Fickel (City High from Iowa City) was very enthusiastic and willing to share his knowledge with those attending. He was even willing to put on multiple clinics next year if we think it would be helpful. We may want to consider a flier in the coaches packet next year or maybe having a little more time between the coaches meeting and the clinic so coaches can get their schedules organized. Otherwise I would encourage everyone to attend, if possible. We received an email from one of the coaches that stated:
Thank you and the Board for organizing the coaches clinic this weekend. And a special thanks to Coach Fickel and Coach Nelson for volunteering their time and expertise. I very much enjoyed the clinic and learned more in that two hour period than I've learned in six years of coaching girls softball.
Keep up the great work,"
Coach Fickle emphasized many things in his 2.5 hour clinic. We learned baserunning, fielding, throwing, batting and pitching drills. However, I would like to re-emphasize some of his remarks.
1. We want a progressive development of the players. Because of the competing interests for the girls times, we want to strive to get the girls to want to pick up their gloves every year.
2. Pack a 90 minute practice into 60 minutes. There should not be any standing around. This is best done by using a skill station approach. Set up your practices so that each girl always has something to do. Use your whole field.
3. Never fight momentum
4. Get a pre-set warmup sequence organized and try to kill 2 birds with one stone (base running while doing your warm-up)
5. Fielding, catching: Track your ball to the glove. Coaches have to uses means so the girls are not afraid of the ball. Increase their confidence first and build up to faster ground and fly balls.
6. Outfield: Start early in teaching the appropriate way to catch a fly ball (over the shoulder, never in a basket) and challenge the girls to be able to do it in space while running.
7. Batting: Hands to the ball and squish the bug is the technique he promotes. Coaches pitching to their players should refrain from using a lob pitch but try to keep the ball on a plane. Using the tee at many different heights and positions allows to work on the hitting mechanics in a very efficient way.
8. Pitching: A sequence of pitching drills was explained: wrist snaps, scissors, K, arm speed, leg drive. Coach Nelson emphases rhythm and always staying in the power line.
All in all it was a good clinic and we are hoping it will become an annual event where coaches get to learn and be able to improve our instructional component :)
Bob Cronbaugh and Michel Ladouceur