By Sara Thompson
For this month’s column, I would like to discuss the new partnership between Little League International and the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) softball league.
Both organizations look for this partnership to increase the overall awareness for the game of softball. With five teams across the Northeastern U.S., and the highest level of athletes from across the United States, the NPF provides a great link to training tools for our coaches and athletes, as well as direct access to NPF players.
During the spring, many Little Leaguers participate in Little League Softball Days across the country. This summer, the NPF will host two softball days at each of their five venues where Little Leaguers and their coaches will be able to attend and watch softball at an elite level for free. After the game, Little Leaguers will have the opportunity to meet and talk with NPF players like Jennie Finch (Chicago Bandits), Cat Osterman (Rockford Thunder) and Monica Abbott (Washington Glory).
Over the last few months, many have requested instructional information to help their coaches and athletes learn the basics of the sport. This relationship will provide coaches and managers with skills and drills from the NPF in every Coach’s Box newsletter. (Coaches and Managers can sign-up to receive Little League newsletters at http://www.littleleague.org/Learn_More/About_Our_Organization/Enews.htm). In addition, the NPF will contribute numerous articles and video clips throughout the year to the Coaches Resource Center (http://www.littleleaguecoach.org/). You will need to contact your District Administrator or League President for the registration code to access this database.
Many coaches, managers and players also attend camps and clinics as ways to receive hands-on training. The NPF and its teams will provide a 30-percent discount to all Little League players and coaches at this year’s training sessions. More information about the camps and clinics will be posted on the Little League camp page in the coming months.
To learn more about the partnership between Little League and the NPF, please visit http://www.littleleague.org/Learn_More/partners.htm. To learn more about the NPF and view their 2009 schedule, visit http://www.profastpitch.com.
Please email me with your questions, comments or topics at asksara@LittleLeague.org.