National Sports Clinics - National Coaching Clinic Returning to Minneapolis
National Sports Clinics are excited to offer you the opportunity to attend the National Softball Coaches Clinic! As many of you know,
NSC conducts National Softball Coaches Clinics across the nation each year.
All of the clinics offer the finest instruction available to coaches at all levels and
the commitment to the clinics hasn't changed since the beginning, more than 20 years ago.
The clinics are held in a relaxed, fun environment that allows the participants to learn from the very best coaches, players and clinicians in the world.
The clinics are widely recognized as the very best in the U.S. thanks to the commitment and dedication of our extraordinary instructors.
There will be two days of instruction, softball exhibits, a coaches packet for each participant, door prizes, social hour and more!
The clinic will provide instruction on how to help their athletes improve their softball skills, knowlege and ability to execute. There will be something for everyone - no matter their coaching knowledge and experience. It's a fantastic way to learn from the best and meet others who share your interest in fastpitch softball. You can network with other coaches and spend some one-on-one time with
the instructors during breaks or the Coaches Social Hour.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2014
SATURDAY, JANUARY 18, 2014
|11:30 - 1:00 Registration — Exhibitor Display
1:00 - 2:00 LORI SIPPEL: Drills to Teach Proper Pitching Mechanics & Sequencing
2:00 - 3:00 RANDY SCHNEIDER: Men Coaching Women/Girls: What Works & What Doesn't
3:00 - 3:30 Exhibitor Display — Break
3:30 - 4:30 CINDY BRISTOW: Creating Competitors in Practice
4:30 - 5:30 MIKE WHITE: Offensive Strategies That Put Pressure on Defenses
5:30 - 7:00 Dinner (on your own)
| 8:00 - 8:45 RANDY SCHNEIDER: Breaking Down the Swing: Mastering the Fundamentals
8:45 - 9:30 MIKE WHITE: Recruiting Realities: How the Process Really Works
9:30 - 10:15 LORI SIPPEL: Count Management: BallPlacement With Respect to Count
10:15 - 10:30 Exhibitor Display — Break
10:30 - 11:15 CINDY BRISTOW: Skills & Drills to Develop Solid Infielders
11:15 - 12:00 KIRK WALKER: Building a Culture of Success
12:00 - 1:15 Lunch (on your own)
|7:00 - 8:00KIRK WALKER: Throwing Mechanics & Drills Position by Position
8:00 - 8:45 LORI SIPPEL: Movement Pitches: North-South vs. East-West
8:45 - 9:30 MIKE WHITE: Oregon's Top 10 Hitting Drills & How You Can Incorporate Them Into Your Practice
9:30 - 11:00 Coaches Social Hour — Exhibitor Display
|1:15 - 2:00 RANDY SCHNEIDER: Baserunning: Speed & Smarts Can Make the Difference
2:00 - 2:45 KIRK WALKER: Outfield Positioning, Footwork & Throwing
2:45 - 3:30 CINDY BRISTOW: Team Drills - Practicing the Way You Want Your Team to Play!
Jim Hanson to take the helm at Bloomington Jefferson H.S.
Chad Nyberg, Bloomington Jefferson HS Activities Director,
announced that Jim Hanson has accepted the Head Softball Coaching position at Jefferson High School.
"Jim has a wealth of coaching experience at both the high
school and youth ranks in and around Bloomington. He has most recently been
coaching at Kennedy [High School] the past 4 years and before that he spent time
at St Louis Park and Bloomington Lutheran," said Nyberg.
U.S. athletes still reluctant to admit head injuries - report
Many young athletes still do not admit when they have suffered a head injury despite increased awareness about the risks of concussions in children and teenagers, U.S. health advisers said on Wednesday, urging sports leagues and government agencies to take more action.
Various groups have tried to raise awareness about the seriousness of brain injuries, and sports leagues have implemented rule changes aimed at preventing them. Professional leagues, including the National Football League, are also wrestling with the issue amid complaints from some players about long-term impacts on the brain.
But there is still not enough data on how to prevent and treat them, the experts said in an analysis of sports-related concussions in young athletes from the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council. (Report: http://r.reuters.com/xus34v)
"Despite the increased attention, however, confusion and controversy persist in many areas," panelists said the report, which was sponsored by several government agencies along with $75,000 from the NFL.
Overall, studies show youth concussions occur at higher rates in certain sports, during competition rather than practice and among girls, the 17-member panel concluded.
Most recovery plans call for athletes with concussions to rest, but "current research does not indicate a standard or universal level and duration of rest needed," panelists added.
In 2009, U.S. hospitals treated 250,000 youth for sports-related concussions and other brain injuries, up from 150,000 in 2001, according to the report, which analyzed all available studies and data on 5- to 21-year-olds.
It was unclear if concussions are on the rise or whether increased awareness had prompted greater diagnoses, the report added. Reporting differences and other factors may also help explain why data show higher rates among girls, it said.
Still, many cases go unreported.
For Hannah Steenhuysen, a high school soccer goalie in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, it was hard to admit she had been hit too hard with a ball and risk missing out on her favorite sport.
"You don't tell anyone usually when you get a headache because you don't want to be out of the game," she said.
Severe headaches from her second concussion last year took her off the team and left her struggling for months to catch up on assignments.
"I couldn't watch TV or text or even read - it was really tough," said Steenhuysen. "When I tried to go back to school, I couldn't keep up and everything got jumbled in my head."
CURRENT EFFORTS INADEQUATE
Concussions are a mild form of traumatic brain injury that can cause memory problems, headaches, sensitivity to light, among other symptoms. Mood changes are also a worry, and concerns remain about a possible link to mental illness.
The report urged athletic groups and federal health agencies to gather more data overall, calling current efforts "inadequate."
Some parents have already taken steps on their own.
Bill and Suzanne Watters of Oakland, New Jersey bought their then 14-year-old son a $350 helmet after he suffered a concussion last year during a football game.
They disagree over whether their son should return to the field, but he is playing again this season. "He loves the game, and that's what he wants to do," his mother said.
The report said it "found little evidence" that helmets, mouthguards or headbands reduce the risk of concussion.
While much of the attention has centered around American football with its fierce body blows and tackling, other sports also carry risks. Bicycle crashes were the leading cause of mild brain injuries among youth, data showed.
Overall, more male athletes in high schools and college report concussions in football, ice hockey, lacrosse, wrestling and soccer, the report said.
Among similarly aged young women, the highest rates of reported concussions were in soccer, lacrosse and basketball.
With the exception of cheerleading, head injuries were most likely to occur during competition, not practice, the report said.
Father and daughter conclude 2013 football season
The conclusion of the football game between the Zumbrota-Mazeppa Cougars and Pine Island Panthers seventh grade teams on Tuesday, October 15, marked the end of the season for both teams, with ZM coming out on top 20-16. It also was the end of the season for a father and daughter, both involved in the game, but on opposing sides. Though not unusual to have relatives on opposing sides involving area teams, the ZM vs. PI game included PI seventh grade coach Geoff Wagner and his daughter, ZM seventh grade football player, Sofia Wagner.
Though Sofia could have chosen the more traditional volleyball, soccer, or cross country options for a fall sport, she chose football because it "gives better conditioning for hockey...and you get to hit people." Geoff explained that all four of his and wife Jody's daughters play hockey.
Sofia admits she didn't play youth football and "didn't know anything about football" until this year. She wasn't familiar with the positions or the roles. Geoff said that isn't the case with hockey, which Sofia started playing at age three.
This fall, Sofia had the opportunity to play several positions including linebacker, fullback and kicker. Geoff was pleased to see how Josh Funk, the ZM seventh grade coach, allowed her to play the different positions. As a dad, he was "truly proud of her playing running back and being able to score some touchdowns during the season." ZM's season was 2-6 with one game called after two quarters due to weather. PI's season ended at 3-5.
A very small number of girls are involved in playing football in youth programs or at the junior high school level in the southeast Minnesota area, according to both Wagner and Funk.
Geoff teaches sixth grade in Pine Island. Though he has had other coaching
positions, this was his first year coaching seventh grade football. He noted it
was nice to coach them right after having had them in the classroom the past
school year. But he also said. "Having coached Sofia in hockey, it was weird
coaching against her in football this week."
When asked if dad gave daughter football advice this fall, Geoff said they didn't talk anything specific. But the first year football coach added, "At this level (seventh grade), the job isn't to win games, but to have fun and learn to play the game."
With the family involved in sports, when asked if there is a little sports talk
around the dinner table, Sofia was quick to respond, "Every day!"
Sofia's goal is to play six years of high school football. She also plans to continue with hockey, by playing in the Dodge County Wildcat Hockey Co-op program this winter, followed by track and field in the spring.
Zumbrota News Record
Motivational ploy pays off for Brookstone
Georgia softball team
The Brookstone softball team played a game against Schley County at the end of September, a loss that disappointed both the players and coach Nate McConnell.
McConnell didn't speak to the team during a quiet bus ride home, senior Caroline Sparks said. When they arrived back at the Brookstone parking lot, he finally broke his silence.
"We got back to the school, and he closed the gates at the top of the hill and said,
'All right, let's get out,'" Sparks said. "He said, 'Let's go.' He put a line down and he started running up and down the hill with us. Finally, one of us beat him, and he said,
'When someone wants it as bad as I do, then we'll be successful.'"
Fast forward a few weeks and his words, which Sparks said the players really took to heart, have been proven true.
The Lady Cougars open play in the GHSA Class A state private-school tournament against First Presbyterian Day at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the South Commons softball complex.
It's a position they were in two seasons ago, but the team feels that it as a much better chance at success this year.
"We had never been in that situation before, so we had no idea what to expect," Sparks said. "We went in just thinking it'd be fun. This year, we know what to expect. We've been able to mentally prepare for it."
"We're more focused," junior Elle Turner added. "We know how to handle ourselves."
Brookstone is the only team left standing from the Bi-City area. Harris County was among the final 16 teams in Class AAAAA, but bowed out to Northgate a win shy of the state tournament.
McConnell said his team is where it is because of the teams in this area, and it is proud to carry the torch.
"I've learned a lot from those coaches just being around them," he said. "They're a big reason we're here, because I take a little bit from everybody."
McConnell didn't offer an assessment of his team's chances in the tournament, but did say he felt like there was something different about this year's team than the past couple years that could help it find success.
"I've only been around here for three years, but there's just something a little different about the atmosphere this year," said McConnell, who was an assistant under former coach Debbie Ball the past two seasons. "I mean, we were down 2-0 in the second game against Calvary Day last week. We had two outs and two strikes in the final inning, but got a runner on and everybody kept believing. It says a lot about their character."
It also says a lot about the drive of the team that it held a practice immediately following the win against Calvary.
"It motivated us," Turner said simply.
McConnell said he hasn't focused too much on his potential opponents. He knows a little about First Presbyterian Day, but with six other teams playing, it's impossible to know everything about everybody.
The important thing, he said, is to worry about themselves and have a short memory.
"You can't let the past linger, no matter what happens," he said. "If you hit a home run or you strike out, you have to have a short-term memory for your next at bat. Live for that moment."
That's what the team will be focused on as it tries to play all three days and win a state championship for the first time since 2003.
"I think I can speak for everyone when I say how exciting that would be," junior Isabel McCluskey said.