story & photo
by Christopher Annino
Several weeks ago both young and old softball enthusiasts had the privilege to see some of the best speak about various ways of training. The event was the 2010 Mohegan Sun World Softball Coaches’ Convention. Organized by America’s Game, the event had the following superstars present: Softball Olympic Champions Jennie Finch and Jessica Mendoza, Crystl Bustos, Legendary UCLA Coach Sue Enquist, Michigan State University Associate Head Coach Kathryn Gleason, Planet Fast Pitch Founder Denise Davis and renowned sports psychology consultant Ken Ravizza among others.
Jessica Mendoza gave a special presentation about the importance of resistance training. “I think resistance training with rubber bands makes a whole lot of difference. It really helps with stamina, speed and certain core strength which is crucial in this sport,” said Jessica.
Crystl Bustos, who runs several programs for inner city kids spoke about the importance of mentoring. She also gave several key mistakes soft ball coaches make when training young female athletes. “Coaches need to remember that a woman’s body is different from a man’s especially when it comes to training the legs. A lot of coaches like to weight train – that is a huge problem because women’s muscles develop a lot differently than men’s. And it can result in serious injury.” Crystl later added, “In regards to Softball being back in the Olympics, I think it will happen again. It’s a fast growing sport and the world is really starting to recognize it.”
Later, in an exclusive Jenni Finch said, “I am a pitcher and the thing to know for anyone who is thinking about being a pitcher is they shouldn’t just focus on one position. They should try to play as many positions as they can. This will help them understand the game better.”
“The secret to my success was, I always got to the park early and left later than anyone else. It is hard work, but if you want it enough you can do it,” said Jenni.
For more information on the World Softball Coaches Convention at the Mohegan Sun visit www.softballcoachesclinic.com.