Thursday, 31 May 2012

4 Better Ways to Support Your Kids at Their Games

ByKevin Dt McDonnell

As my daughter Amy advances through her high school fast pitch softball career, I have found that the players are not only on different levels of skill, but the views the parents have, can be significantly different as well. As a former ball player who made it as far as college, played softball for years, served as an umpire for a year and even did some coaching, I find what happens off the field sometimes harder to deal with. We all have our stories, but just like we monitor and learn on the field, we have to sometimes monitor ourselves as well.

The first thing I noticed is really simple. As bad as an umpire may be, getting on his case never benefits the team, the speed of the game, or him improving his skill set. Through the course of a season, we usually come across that guy who, for whatever reason, wants to be the center of attention, and actually seems to seek out a confrontation. Luckily we can cheer or boo, then let the coach deal with it.

The second thing we can do is actually cheer and root for other parents' kids. We all want our kid to be the next franchise player but face it, most of them will never have the tools, put in the time, or even care enough to get to that point. If your child isn't the clean up hitter, hope that kid does do well. I actually was watching my kids J.V. game and as the varsity played on the field next to ours, a mother approached me. She pointed to the varsity outfielder and told me she hoped that kid would miss a ball and lose the game for the varsity so that maybe her kid could come up and play there. Meanwhile her kid struck out 3 times on the J.V. field. I would rather earn the position then be the better bad player. That also spoke volumes for the mother.

Grow up! Being a guy, I have recently found that the ladies are vicious sometimes. Amy seems to get along with most of the girls, however, two of the girls recently had an issue in the locker room, and now one has a cast on her hand and is out for the year. Some of the moms are worse! Every so often you come across a girl who might grunt or a team with a cheer that may push your buttons. When a mom on your side starts to make that noise or mocks the cheer it sounds so much worse. Don't do it! The other team may get under your skin, but you may be driving your own team and their fans nuts. We work our jobs all day working with others, but at night and on weekends, we can't turn into animals. Behave. I myself have never encountered anyone with an alcohol problem at a game, but this also needs to be monitored by yourself as well.

The last point is just to simply stay positive and have fun. If you get home after the game and your spouse is talking about you instead of the game, view your approach. Even with your back round as a former athlete, whatever the level, sometimes we may not be the best teachers, or our points may not translate to our kids. It's incredible how we lose ourselves and at the end of the day we feel spent because we got upset for a weird reason and didn't just enjoy the game. Good luck and have fun.

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Thursday, 3 May 2012

Ways to Purchase a Pitching Machine

ByRichard W Wilson

Baseball and softball are some of the games that require constant practice and concentration. These are the most popular games and people are really fond of playing them. You can fond many types of playing accessories in the market that can help you with the game and might help in enhancing your skills. The pitching machine is one such instrument or accessory that can be used to improve gaming skills. Sometimes people like to practice their game alone to judge their skills and game in a better way. In such a case it is better to buy this machine so that you can practice alone or without a partner. You will also be able to improve your skills as the machine constantly shoots the balls in one direction which leads to improvised batting skills and concentration.

This machine is really beneficial and the person will not really have to miss his practice session anytime. You can find many versions of the pitching machine in the market. People usually prefer the one with some modern and advanced features and functions. There are certain factors that one should be careful about before buying the machine. You should be well versed with the operating system of the machine and should know how to use it. If you feel that you do not have enough knowledge then you can always conduct an online research session to know more about it.

There are many different types of machines available in market and you can vary them according to their size, price and features. People buy it according to their needs and budget. You can either purchase it from the local markets or from the online stores. However, purchasing from an online store can be considered as a better option because you can get to choose from a wide variety of machines and can save your time and resources. If you are not sure about a particular product then you can always read the customer feedback to get an idea about the quality of the machine. The price of the machine usually ranges between 200-2000 dollars. The machine used for professional purposes is usually expensive as it needs to be advanced.

You can also go for the manual machines if you are not interested in purchasing the automatic ones. The small and portable manual machines are good for personal practice. Thus, this was some essential information about how to purchase a pitching machine.

Our entire selection of pitching machines & batting cages are on sale now. Also enjoy free shipping on your baseball or softball Pitching Machine or batting cage this week only.

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Fastpitch Softball Drills - Develop Speed and Accuracy With These Pitching Drills

ByBecky Wittenburg

Once softball pitchers have developed their technique, they often reach a plateau where they no longer improve. However, there is always potential to be a better pitcher. These innovative fastpitch softball drills were designed to help pitchers develop their speed and accuracy on the mound.

Snap Drill

This fastpitch softball drill was developed to practice the snap of the wrist at the end of the pitch. Using the wrist muscles to snap the ball as it is released will increase the velocity of the pitch.

For this drill, two pitchers will stand about ten feet apart. The first pitcher will start with the pitching hand down at the side, holding the ball. She then takes her wrist back slightly before flipping the ball forward to her teammate, focusing on using as much power as possible. The partner will catch the pitch and use the same technique to snap the ball back. Each pitcher should snap the ball twenty-five times, working to increase strength in the wrist and velocity in the snap. This also serves as a great pitching warm-up.

Two for One

This drill for fastpitch softball helps the pitcher develop fielding skills while practicing pitches. The pitcher needs to always be prepared for a ball hit back to the mound.

Set up this drill with the pitcher at the mound and the catcher at the plate, each with one ball. As the pitcher delivers her pitch, the catcher will toss a ground ball to the mound. The pitcher should field the ball and use it for her next pitch, while the catcher will receive the pitch and use it for her next toss. Complete the routine twenty times, focusing on proper technique and increasing reaction time.

Distance Pitching

This pitching drill develops arm strength while emphasizing accuracy of pitches.

Start with the pitcher twenty feet from home plate, pitching to the catcher at home. The pitcher throws as many pitches as it takes to get five strikes, according to the catcher's judgment. Next, the pitcher should move back ten feet and pitch five strikes from that position, and so on until she is sixty feet from home plate.

Pitching from a long distance stretches the arm and increases strength, resulting in more powerful pitches. Using the catcher to determine strikes will keep the focus on accuracy, as well.

Isolation Drill

This softball drill for pitching focuses on the last portion of the pitch. By isolating the final stage of the pitching motion, players can develop the specific moves required to deliver an accurate pitch.

Have the pitcher stand thirty feet away from a teammate. The pitcher will start by raising the pitching arm and curling the wrist to form a letter "c" above the head. She should then complete the pitch from this position, concentrating on swinging the arm down, firing the hips, snapping the wrist, and releasing the pitch.

And if you'd like to see more free softball drills and coaching tips, go here to watch a free video:

Becky Wittenburg is a kids softball coach, and the owner and publisher of, the web's #1 resource for softball drills, tips, and practice ideas for youth and high school coaches.

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Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Recreational Softball Coaching Does Not Require Experience

BySonny Snyder

A few years ago, I was called by a friend whether I was game in coaching a 10U and a 8U girls softball travel team. I came clean and said, I've never coached! And even though I knew that I was the last individual who should be coaching softball, I also knew that it was the appropriate thing to do. Since then, I have not once regretted accepting the invite to coach! It's been a great learning experience and an opportunity of a lifetime to spend quality time with my two lovely daughters.

After welcoming the idea to help out coaching, I immediately started researching for softball on the Internet. I found many softball drills, softball practice plans, softball quotes and softball instructional videos. I started to put together ideas from different websites. I decided to showcase those resources accessible from one location hoping to make it easier for you.

It didn't take long for me to realize that there's a huge difference between teaching girls the basics of softball and making decisions before, during and after a softball game. What it boils down to is that whether you've ever coached or not, coaching a fastpitch softball team can be rewarding and beneficial to that group of girls!!! And believe or not probably more rewarding for you!!! Always keep the focus on your team and you can't go wrong.

That fall traveling with the girls softball teams brought many learning and joyful experiences. But after a fall and spring of preparing, that summer brought a unexpected experience. My summer girls softball team became the undefeated Champions in our city's Babe Ruth Summer League. What was even more impressive, we went on to become the 2009 Babe Ruth SouthWest Regional 8U Champions!!!!!

So next time you are asked to help coach softball or any sport, considered it!!! All it takes is some time and effort!

Softball made easy using softball quotes, softball drills and softball practice plans! Visit us at (

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Softball Sales - Search Online for the Best Prices and Selection

Even though the weather is cool outside, if you're a softball fanatic then you're probably on the lookout for softball sales to get you ready for next season.

Or perhaps you know someone who loves softball (not to be confused with baseball), and you're looking for the perfect gift. Softball sales are a great avenue to find gifts for the softball enthusiast since these days saving money is on most peoples' minds.

Softball Sales Can Include Closeout and Discounted Merchandise

At the end of the year, most retailers will offer significant savings on closeout and discontinued merchandise. Even current items can be heavily discounted.

Closeout and discontinued items are new, not used, but their manufacturers may be planning on introducing improved models for the next season. This means that retailers will offer special softball sales to reduce their current inventory in order to make room for new items.

What Can You Find at Softball Sales?

In a word, everything!

Softball sales typically include discounted prices on all things softball. This can be softballs, mitts, bats, batting gloves, batting helmets, uniforms, equipment bags, shoes, cleats, softball training aids and more.

You can find even peripheral items like softball uniform tube socks, baseball caps and sports headbands.

And let's say you hit the winning homerun for last year's playoffs. Where would you find a softball cube to protect your special ball? A softball specialty retailer!

Softball sales will generally comprise of any item that can become outdated or worn out. These sales may also include new and innovative technologies, such as the fastpitch bat or the fastpitch series softball glove.

Where Can You Find Softball Sales?

Any retailer that carries sporting equipment will also offer softball sales. This could be your local Gander Mountain store, Big 5 Sporting Goods store or Sports Authority store. Many discount stores like Walmart and Target will carry a limited amount of softball equipment, but this is primarily for the local little league market.

If you're wanting specialized softball equipment then you'll want to shop online, particularly if you don't have a large sporting goods chain store nearby. Often you can find better deals and better equipment online since you can take advantage of large retailers like Amazon or eBay. Searching online also helps you to reach retailers who specialize in softball equipment for the serious player.

20 years ago you wouldn't be able to locate this type of specialty retailer since you had to know where they were perhaps through a friend's referral.

There are retailers who major in one specific market today. Because of the world wide web, anyone can find them now. Imagine a store that just caters to the softball enthusiast! With the internet, you can find unique softball items that are available nowhere else. And with the newest softball technology, you can run faster, catch better, hit better and even score better!

Looking for a Custom Team Uniform?

Softball sales retailers can, in many cases, provide options for your team's custom uniforms.

Would you like a black and gold uniform with embroidered tigers for your team? Search online for retailers who offer uniforms. You'll be able to find many colors and designs, and if you can't find what you want, many retailers offer custom design options.

You can even create a uniform that is screen-printed or embroidered with your team logo.

If you're looking for a specialty softball or other equipment, you'll want to check out softball sales online for best selection and prices.

Olivia loves family and home, and enjoys sharing her experiences with others. She has been writing for more than 25 years about topics that she finds interesting. To see more of her material, please go to Softball Sales

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

A Brief Introduction to Soccer Scholarships

ByMary J. Barras

All Colleges and Universities these days have various scholarship programs in place to help a multitude of students procure a quality education. Scholarships are a form of financial aid to help students from weak financial backgrounds to attain further education. Each scholarship is awarded based of different criteria. The most common types of scholarships are Merit-based, Need-based, Student-specific and Career-Specific. Merit-based scholarships are based on the student's superior skills in academic, athletic or artistic field. When the student's ability is recognized, scholarships are awarded by private organizations or by the college itself, to which the student has applied. Need-based scholarships are given to those students who are incapable of putting together the tuition fees and related expenses. Student-specific scholarship contenders are generally assessed on race, gender, medical history or religion. These scholarships are often given to students from minority groups. Career-based scholarships are given by the college or university to students pursuing a particular field of education. Some scholarships may even come with a "bond", stating that after he or she has finished the required study he or she must join the organization that provided the scholarship for a stipulated time period. The most common form of such scholarships is offered by the defense associations of various countries.

Sports scholarships or Athletic Scholarships are a form of Merit-based scholarship. They are awarded based entirely on the student's ability to play a sport. These scholarships are generally hard to come by because the competition is very fierce. A Soccer scholarship is an example of such a scholarship. Universities have in their employment scouts who assess the skill of players in various high schools and recommend players to the scholarship lists. These scouts are often approached by the high school coach who has noticed a rising star on his team. The scouts often come to important matches and judge the player's performance. If the performance is everything the coach promised, the player can expect a spectacular windfall. But not all scholarships cover the entire tuition cost. The reason for this is though the university offers a certain number of scholarships the scouts end up recruiting double the number of players and offering them half the scholarship.

Of course the player's expertise on the field is not the only factor towards a scholarship assessment. Being able to score the highest number of goals in a soccer game can only get you so far. His or her academic record also plays an important role in getting the scholarship. The player has to be able to keep up respectable grades so as to not side-track education altogether. Not only does a contender have to maintain at least a "B" to apply for the scholarship but must also be able to get those grades once he or she joins university as well. A continual drop in grades can be grounds for revoking the scholarship. Though the soccer scholarship is awarded to the next soccer superstar out there, equal stress is placed on an overall growth of the student. These scholarships literally push you to be all that you can.

Sports Scholarships for girls and boys like Golf, Track & Field, Swimming, Tennis & Soccer Scholarships. At United Sports USA we are committed to helping talented boys and girls continue their sporting career in an American university environment.

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Teaching Children How To Play Softball Effectively

ByGreg Pierce

Children at a very young age are very adventurous, playful and full of vitality and energy. They have the stamina that adults cannot level up. For this reason, it would be best for us to train or expose our children into sport while they are at their best. As children are very flexible and easy to teach, they will absorb anything that is being taught to them.

If your kid is a boy, baseball or softball can be a good sport to start up with although girls can play with softball as there are women athletes playing this game. At a very young age you must introduce this game to your kids as a child play. Not as a serious game so that they will learn to love it as well as enjoy playing the game. You can already inculcate in them the basic principles of softball without them knowing that you are already teaching the basics of softball in a way that they will not get bored. Children have very short attention span, therefore, when you try to teach a child you must make your mentoring as interesting and enjoyable as possible.

When you can attain this, you are sure enough that the thing you have instilled in them will be deeply rooted, as it will become a habit. A follow up when they will mature will make their movement perfect. Constant training will make them competitive and endurance will soon build up. Not to mention the skills they will be forming with them, as they grow older.

Another thing that will be a benefit for them is that they will grow up to be strong and healthy kids as they already have develop their stamina and endurance to stress and other physical activities. Therefore training them while they are still young will give them the potential to become an expert or an ace in their field of sport when they become adults.

The only thing teachers must do is to make the training enjoyable and worthwhile, avoid strenuous and rigorous training at their early age. Since excessive training is only intended for adults. Children should be handled with since our purpose is to make them love the game and enjoy it while they are learning the basic movement and techniques of softball. To inspire them to learn more you should appreciate their little deeds, as it will boost up their morale thus yearning to play more will be the result.

You do not have to go through the hassle of going out to buy soccer socks, you can do it online! check out for more choices of girl soccer socks here.

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