By Derek Atwood
I witnessed amazing feats of courage, strength and passion last week-end. I have to share it with you.
I recently returned from Zoom Into June at Hemet, California. This west coast showcase attracts college coaches from across the country, to observe talented travel fastpitch players from the seventh grade through high school.
Zoom Into June is about potential, achievement and a paid education. I witnessed valuable life lessons at this event.
On Friday, Day 1, the focus was on individual skills. The Skills Clinic was held in the morning. Only the best women’s fastpitch players from the west coast were invited. Each player had these skills measured and evaluated:
- Pitching velocity
- Bat speed
- Overarm throw velocity
- Arm strength from the outfield
- Running time from home to first base
- Running time from home to home
You could feel the nervous anticipation and excitement in the air as each girl’s name was called. After all, college coaches from across the country were watching them.
Friday afternoon was devoted to hand-picked all star games. The teams were comprised of girls who had never played together. Each girl wore her number on a colored shirt. The shirt color designated the year she will graduate from high school. Tension was high in the afternoon. Each girl’s future was at stake. A lot was riding on how they would be evaluated by the college coaches in the stands.
Saturday, Day 2 was devoted to tournament play. The girls were back with their regular teams on Saturday. This was the day the college coaches evaluated the girls on team chemistry. It wasn’t just about individual skills. It was about winning as a team.
During both days of Zoom Into June, I witnessed amazing personal transformations. On Friday morning, I watched girls who couldn’t hide their nervousness. Early in the day, I watched them summon every ounce of courage they possess. They may have still been a little nervous inside, but you couldn’t see it on the outside. They mixed their personal strength, courage and skills to deliver top-notch performances.
Here’s an indicator of the high level of performance I witnessed: College coaches are getting verbal commitments from eight-graders.
Girls’ softball doesn’t stop at Little League. For many players, it’s just the beginning.
See the courage, the energy and the passion for yourself. Join the excitement at the next showcase or tournament.
About the Author:
Derek Atwood is in National Sales at Ringor and is a coach and father of a 12U and 16U fastpitch player. As a former college and professional baseball player with 2 daughters, Derek has been passionate about the big yellow ball for 8 years as both a coach and parent..