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“5 Crucial Decisions For Softball Success”

“5 Crucial Decisions For Softball Success” Written By John Michael Kelly

As the spring softball season approaches, whether high school, travel or recreational I’d like you to pause for a moment and consider all the decisions your athlete has to make during the course of a game, and how little time she really has to make those decisions and react to ball, pitch or play. A typical batter has less than 1/2 second to determine pitch velocity, movement of the ball and ultimate spot to place the barrel of the bat each swing. No small feat! The same crazy quick time pressured decisions are true for fielding and base running.

Ultimately your athlete’s or team’s level of on the field success is dictated by the decisions she/they make. And these decisions are a product of many factors, most all of which are found within her head.

Behind every action is an emotion; behind every emotion is a thought. So how can you insure that your athlete or team thinks and feels optimally so that she/they make good decisions on the field?

1. Decide to play in the MOMENT. – Dwelling on past mistakes or worrying about future ones makes focusing on the task at hand impossible. “Be Here Now,” and watch decision making improve immediately.

2. Decide to NOT make any one mistake/at bat or play more important than it needs to be. – The athlete decides in her head how much power she gives any one “event” on the field. The more power she gives it the bigger it gets in her head; the less power she gives it the sooner the mistake fades away.

3. Decide to always practice with a clearly defined PURPOSE in mind. – Building confidence and making good decisions is the result of proper preparation, for competence breeds confidence.

4. Decide to focus on the PROCESS of getting better instead of your batting average, ERA, fielding % or wins and losses. – Learning to focus on EFFORT and refraining from self-judgment is always the best recipe for a quick bounce back after a mistake on the field.

5. Decide to take RESPONSIBILITY for your thinking and emotional state on the field. – Success happens by design, not by accident so come into a game with a plan, ready to face those adversity demons head on!

In truth so many poor decisions on the field are due to doubt and hesitation, a fear of making a mistake. If your athlete or team can implement these five decisions and you as parent or coach support them you will soon see infinitely better game decision making, better performance levels and a greater joy for playing the game!

Thanks for reading!
John Michael Kelly

John Michael Kelly, America’s Sports Confidence Coach, is known for skyrocketing the self-confidence and game performance levels for thousands of youth athletes and teams from coast to coast by reducing the stress and increasing the joy for playing the game! John also coaches travel softball with the 18u and 18 Gold teams for The Next Level (“TNL”) organization in sunny San Diego. You can follow John at and 


by posted 08/26/2015
2015 FallBall registration UPDATE


Registration is now open for the 2015 FallBall season!

If you were not registered for the spring season, fallball registration makes you eligible for the remaining summer sessions, fallball and the winter sessions until Dec 31st.

If you were registered for the spring season, you are still eligible for the summer sessions and the winter sessions until Dec 31st, but you need to register for fallball to play the fall season.


by posted 08/26/2015


Summer sessions are still on this week,
Wednesday 8/26 for pitchers and catchers,
Thursday 8/27 general clinic.

If we have parking issues with football using the quad, this will be our last week.


Sessions will continue on a week to week basis for as long as I can keep them going.
We may run into field availability issues soon, with fall ball starting and we lose fields in the fall to football, slow pitch and the adults this year.

Speaking of Fallball,
we need to get teams setup and on the field by the end of the month,
so please register as soon as possible. 
You can register online or we may be able to register you in person
on Monday, Weds or Thursday in the 6-8pm timeframe.
If you want to register in person, please come around 6-6:20pm or around 7:30-7:45,
to limit disruptions to the clinics/games/practices.
Pleasee send me (coach Rick) a note or text if you plan on registering in person.

Hope you are all enjoying your Summer
and hope we see you soon!

by posted 08/16/2015

by posted 08/03/2015
Online Registration for the 2015 Fallball season

Online Registration for the
2015 Fallball 
is open 

by posted 08/03/2015
Summer Ball 2015

Summer Ball 2015

Summer Ball will start on Wednesday July 15.  It will run on Weds and Thursday evenings into August (not sure of the end date yet). There is no cost for Summer Ball this year.

The sessions will run from 6:30 to 8:00 (or so).  We start later to avoid the heat as much as possible.
The General Sessions are for any player tee ball and up. 
The pitcher/catcher sessions are for players 7 and up.

The July 15th session will be a general session (for players tee ball and up). 
The July 16th session will be a pitchers and catchers clinic run by Coach Mark for coaches (please attend if at all possible, Coach Mark will be teaching us how to help our pitchers) and for players (7 and up).

Starting on July 22nd, The sessions will switch, Pitchers and Catchers will be on Wednesdays and the General Clinic will be on Thursdays. Sorry for confusing the days, but we needed to work around multiple schedules. Coach Mark will start us off on Thursday July 16th and afterwards we switch to Wednesdays so Coach Al can help out with the pitchers.

For the first Pitching session, I would like the coaches and my helpers to be arrive for a 6:00 start. That will give us time to set up and for Coach Mark to go over some coaching tips, etc.

The pitchers and catchers sessions are open to any player who wants to work on their skills or any player who thinks they want to try pitching or catching. I encourage the younger girls to give both a try.  You may discover a hidden talent.

If you're an older pitcher (who takes lessons already), you're welcome to join us as an assistant or to get in some reps. I am willing to stay later if my assistants would like to work together for a while after the main session ends.

If you're an older player and you'd like to help out in the regular sessions, please show up 15-30 minutes before the sessions. This is a good opportunity to accumulate some community service hours if you need them and coaching others gives you a different perspective on the game.

If you have any questions, send me a note at 
and I will do my best to answer them.

Coach Rick

by posted 07/05/2015
5 steps to a GREAT at-bat!
Softball Drills and Coaching Tips 

5 steps to a GREAT at-bat! 

Here's a quick 5-step routine that will help your hitters quiet the noise and 
let their muscle memory take over at the plate... 

1. In the Hole 
Begin getting ready early so as not to feel rushed. 
Stretch and prepare by using relaxation techniques and positive visualization. 
Recall any pertinent information about the pitcher. 
Check-in to access your present state of mind and use a relaxation technique to calm fears. 

2. on Deck 
Finalize your hitting plan in your head and visualize a successful at-bat. 
While using self-talk, take a few practice swings to determine the pitcher's timing. 
Check your emotional level again and stay in control. 

3. Before the At-Bat 
Get the sign from the coach and visualize a successful swing. 
Complete all preparatory actions in the hitting routine. 

4. In the Box 
Relax with deep controlled breathing to transition to the muscle memory stage. 
Right before the pitch take a deep breath and release slowly. 
Suck in a little air right as the pitcher reaches the point of release. 

5. After Each Pitch 
Step out of the batter's box while checking-in mentally. 
Get rid of any negative talk or feelings. 
Make visual adjustments and use the hitting routine again to prepare for the next pitch. 

Check it out here: 

by posted 06/09/2015
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