As part of our ongoing College Profile series, we talk to Bob Beretta, Interim Head Coach and Senior Associate Athletic Director at West Point.
West Point is located about 55 miles north of New York City. Beretta describes a very unique opportunity where students play softball, get an Ivy League level education and prepare for their service in the military.
“The greatest thing about the tournament happened outside the foul lines”
Cathedral City, CA – You wouldn’t be wrong to say that you saw great softball at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic over the weekend. Watching some of the best NCAA teams the country like UCLA, Oklahoma, Kentucky was amazing. Athletes were making extraordinary plays all over the field.
No one would be surprised if your jaw dropped watching Monica Abbott throw pitches at blinding speed. Or that the professional players for the Scrapyard Dogs and Team Japan were so strong and skilled as they develop even more after college.
But the greatest thing about the tournament happened outside the foul lines. I sat there and watched families cheering on their daughters, granddaughters or nieces. They waited eagerly after the games to give them hugs and tell them how proud they were. The young ladies were off to college and times like these with family were cherished moments.
Parents chatted with their daughters’ old teammates. Old teammates who had gone to different schools were catching up. Parents chatted with parents and coaches they knew from softball teams gone by.
It was slow getting from one game to the other because you would see people you knew, or be introduced to new friends. Or maybe you were just reminiscing about how these girls had grown from being t-ball players to collegiate or potential collegiate athletes.
Yes, the games were amazing and the competition was fierce. But the massive gathering of softball families and friends was a heart-warming feeling. This sport brings people together and helps them build bonds that last a lifetime. Can’t wait to see it again next year.
“Could you see yourself at this school without softball?”
Sometimes, schools come calling for softball players, providing a ready-made list of choices. But very often, players have to go out and find the right school for them. University of San Diego Head Coach Melissa McElvain explains one way to narrow down the list of possible colleges where players might want to go.
Coach Mac suggests asking a series of questions about what a softball player might want in a University. Ultimately, she says athletes should be comfortable with a school even if they didn’t play softball. Here’s why….
In our second of three segments with Firecrackers Coach Sean Brashear, we talk about his best advice to parents about paving the path to success. He also talks about the fine line between pushing your kid and letting them push themselves.
For many young softball players, we’re getting into the heart of the season. Recreational leagues will soon have their tournaments, travel teams will try to qualify for National Tournaments and the eyes of college coaches will be looking for the talent they need to fill their future roster.
Parents, coaches and teammates have high expectations and hopes of glory. All of this turns up the pressure on young ladies who aren’t even old enough to vote, or even drive.
In the first of our 3-part interview, Firecrackers Coach Sean Brashear talks with Softball Nation about how softball players can prepare for the pressure of playing on a bigger stage.