Universities Team Up With Local Little Leagues to Host Softball Clinics
During the 2010 softball season, three universities in New York and Pennsylvania teamed up with various Little League Softball programs to host clinics focused on teaching young athletes the fundamentals of the game.
While the focus of each event was building a strong, fundamental base, teams also played softball games to help make learning the proper techniques of throwing, catching, hitting and base running fun. The collegiate softball teams from York College in York, Pa.; Columbia University in New York, N.Y.; and St. John’s University in Queens, N.Y., all received positive feedback from the local leagues and hope to build on their events for 2011.
“As a new coach, I wanted to become involved in the community and my players wanted to get involved in helping kids learn to play softball,” Nicole Starry, head softball coach at York College, said. “We held the event to get to know the softball community. We made a connection with the kids and were thrilled when many of them came to our games the next day.”
“These college coaches have taught at the highest level and can provide a wealth of information to local leagues, managers and players,” Sara Thompson, Little League International’s Softball Manager said. “I would like to applaud the colleges and Little Leagues for taking the initiative to coordinate these events. It not only offers a great learning experience for the participants, but these clinics help build a relationship between the two organizations and provides positive role models for the Little Leaguers.”
The St. John’s University softball team had nearly 40 players attend its clinic. The team’s upperclassmen shared their experiences and love of the game with the Little League softball players, while helping them to improve their skills.
“We broke down the fundamentals for the girls so they could really understand how the game works and have even more fun with it,” Jenna Bergere, St. John’s junior infielder, said.
“Whether it’s a Division I university, a junior college or a high school softball team, these are great resources and relationships for local leagues to develop and utilize,” Ms. Thompson said.
If your league or district is interested in building relationships within the community and potentially organizing future softball camps and clinics, Little League would recommend contacting your local college, university or high school coaches this offseason.
Inquiries on how to charter Little League Softball are to be directed to Sara Thompson, Little League’s Softball Manager, at: 570-326-1921, ext. 217; or e-mail: sthompson@LittleLeague.org. Additional information on Little League Softball is available at: www.LittleLeagueSoftball.org.