The 2016 Softball Factory Select Training in Vero Beach at Historic Dodgertown last weekend exceeded expectations in terms of talent, attitude, and work ethic according to coaches and scouts. All of the players were extremely respectful and bought in to everything being taught to them in each session. In total, 47 players attended the event and each one brought something different to the table.
Thursday Night was check in night for the athletes, and the evening concluded with the welcome meeting around 10 pm. During checking in, staff mingled with parents and talked to the players, enhancing the overall experience for everyone.
Bright and early on Friday morning, the players were out on the field, ready for a full day of training.
The morning session consisted of all defensive work to introduce the proper mechanics and fundamentals for each position. Each athlete learned a ton in just one session of introduction.
“It’s always great to see how much they can learn in just a couple of hours, because most of them have never been told the correct way to play their position,” said on-field director, CJ Browder.
After lunch, players rotated between speed/agility, base running, tee work, and on-field BP. Speed & Strength Coach, Richard ‘Tippy’ Golphin worked in each of the rotations so that the kids could start to become familiar with how their body works with strength and agility training and also the proper running technique. After dinner, players split into two groups. One group participated in a rotation in the cages while the other group was in the recruiting seminar, spending about an hour at each station. Coach Nicki Trumpler and Coach Nancy Evans ran the recruiting seminar and did a great job, while many questions were asked by parents and the athletes. The hitting cage rotation consisted of two front toss stations with different drills to work on hand path and engaging the lower half, and also tee stations to work on the basic mechanics of contact points.
Saturday morning saw a similar set up for the morning session, progressing on what the players had worked on the day prior. Each coach went more in depth and explained more on what each position needed to do to play the position to their full potential at a high level.
After Lunch, players continued their defensive work so the catchers could work with outfielders on throws to the plate, infielders could get a lot of ground balls and work on what they had learned, pitchers pitched to catchers, outfielders working with infielders on cut situations, and lastly infielders working on bunt coverages all together with catchers and pitchers involved as the coaches prepared the players for live game situations.
After defense, the ladies had a very productive hitting circuit with speed/agility, tee work, along with two lanes of hitting on the field with base running. The group on field was split into two groups, one on the bases and one hitting. Both groups hit for fifteen minutes each, gaining as many reps as they could get in within that time period. Five coaches were on the field, talking to hitters and base runners and throwing front toss as well. Coach Tippy had his own field and did an amazing job with speed and agility, while Jill Semento worked with the other groups on the tees.
After Dinner wrapped, players went back out to the field and completed all of their measurables. The girls had a great time and the energy was great throughout the whole session. The girls had worked so hard all day and held themselves to high expectations. Coaches talked to the players about all they had learned that day and had a great talk with them before heading back to get some rest for the final day of the event.
On Sunday morning, all the girls were finally ready to put what they had learned into game play. Two games were played to maximize each player getting playing time as opposed to us just playing one with 47 players. There was a game held on two fields with a lot of energy and great things happening. It was a pleasure to be apart of such a great event with such great athletes. They were respectful and knew was expected of them at all times, while holding themselves accountable just as we would. I believe it all starts from the top and our staff set such a great example from the start to the end.
Easton Fastpitch Award Winners From Dodgertown (with comments from Coach Browder)
Emma Kuhrt (Most Outstanding Camper) Easton Catching Glove Recipient- This kid has everything any coach could ever desire in an athlete as far as attitude, respect, and work ethic. I’m not sure if I’ve seen an athlete like this in a long time. She displayed the love, heart and passion for the game and how bad she wanted to succeed at EVERYTHING she was doing, no matter what it was. Every time she was talking to a coach or a friend you could see how genuine she was. The definition of a self-less, amazing kid that wants the person next to her to succeed just as much as she wants herself.
Sydney Carter (MVP) Easton Glove Recipient- MVP says it all. Sydney was the best at the camp and continued to display how great her grit, and instincts were for the game. She’s such a great athlete at a young age. Definitely has the potential to go somewhere at the Division I level.
Posey Pence (Infielder Award) Easton Glove Recipient- Posey showed her skills off throughout the camp with her smooth hands and footwork. She got even better throughout the time she was with us and continued to show her skills as an athlete at everything she did the entire time. Very athletic and great kid!
Tori Maas (Outfielder Award) Easton Glove Recipient- Again, such a respectful and awesome kid to be around overall and her outfield skills, footwork, and angles to the ball were awesome. She wasn’t the strongest on the offensive side but she tore it up in the grass! She never stopped wanting to learn and get better with everything the coaches were talking about. Tori is an athlete that is never satisfied, and displays so much respect for the game.
Virginia Gibson (Most Improved): Under Armour Glasses Recipient– The sweetest kid you could ever coach. She got so much better at every aspect of her game and was SO thankful for everything and everyone helping her. She was the quietest one, but every time she opened her mouth it was worth hearing. She never took a rep off and gave it her ALL the whole camp.
“I can’t say enough how great the staff, kids, and overall the event went,” said Browder. “I truly think each and every person left this event with a smile and great vision for what Softball Factory has to offer and what a great experience it left in all of our minds. One for the books for sure. Once again, I am humbled to be part of such a great company focused on the development of such great kids.”