2017 NFCA Coaches Clinic wraps up day one

ELIZABETH, Ind. — Over 300 coaches descended on the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Hotel and Casino, just 15 miles from downtown Louisville, for year two of the NFCA Coaches Clinic.

Featuring a stellar lineup of nationally-known coaches, the two-day educational event sponsored by Strike Tec Systems, MPC Promotions and Republic Bank, provided a first-rate opportunity for softball instructors at all levels to learn from some of the game’s best.

Softball Excellence founder and president led off with an entertaining and insightful presentation “Coaching Kids These Days- Teenagers and other Tales from the Twilight Zone” followed by Kentucky head coach Rachel Lawson’s “Organizing Practices to Produce Game Day Results.”

After a short break, the program continued with LSU skipper Beth Torina and the first of her three pitching-focused talks, “The Game within the Game-Pitch Calling and Pitcher/Cather Communication.” Lawson returned to the stage with “Developing a Winning Culture” and Torina jumped right back on with “Sound Pitching Mechanics Helps Build Success in the Circle.”

Following dinner, UCLA head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez presented on the other half the battery- “Developing High-Level Catchers.” Torina wrapped up her hurler trifecta with inventive methods to work with pitchers in “Creative Pitching Drills and Workouts.”

The first day ended with a fun game of “Last Coach Standing,” during which eight coaches- the four day-one presenters, Oklahoma’s Patty Gasso, Male High School (Ky.) head coach Josh Bloomer, Denison assistant Amanda Fazio and Vicksburg High School head coach Brian Ellis battled head-to-head in a bracket-style competition.

Coaches facing off in each round had the same randomly-drawn topic and just one minute to present their best drill/idea/lesson in that subject. Audience applause determined which of the two coaches did the best job with their presentation and moved on the next round.

The competition eliminated coaches until Lawson and Torina faced off in the finals. Torina was declared the winner by recreating a few of her player’s “Celebrations” that were developed during their team’s retreat.

Additionally, attendees were able to mingle with the coaches during a social hour hosted by National Scouting Report (NSR). NSR were one of nine vendors coaches had an opportunity to visit and check out the latest in softball apparel, equipment and technology.

Saturday’s second day has Gasso joining Bristow, Lawson and Inouye-Perez for more instruction on hitting, offensive and defensive strategies, practice drills, game-day preparation and team-building, along with Gasso’s “Coaching the Female Athlete.”