Recently Softball Excellence had the pleasure of traveling to Australia to work with Softball Australia on creating Pitching Excellence Schools and to helping train their top Girls & Boys softball players. Check out the great sights we saw and see just what softball looks like Down Under!
Softball is alive and well Down Under and Softball Excellence was pleased to be a part of 2 great events:
- The brand new Pitching Excellence Schools and the Friendship Series Softball Event. The Pitching Excellence Schools will be the training ground for Australia's next generation of international world-class pitchers, both female and male. These schools will consist of top Australian instructors identifying and training young pitchers in the method of whole-motion pitching, which create pitchers who are capable of making their own adjustments with the goal of ultimately succeeding on the national and international stage. Softball Excellence was a partner with Softball Australia in creating and developing this concept, curriculum and training, along with Chet Grey from Softball Australia and all the fantastic instructors and coaches down under! Softball Australia is their version of USA Softball - it's the national governing body of softball in Australia.
- The Friendship Series Softball Event is a fantastic concept that involves the Top 30 16 & Under Girls softball players in Australia along with the Top 30 16 & Under Boys softball players in Australia - all brought together to one place (the Blacktown Softball Complex, home to the 2000 Sydney Olympic Softball Competition and the current home of the New South Wales Softball Association). These 30 boys and 30 girls then spend about 2.5 days training with top coaches developing and refining their skills, followed by 2 - 3 days of softball games against club teams from around Australia as well as international teams from New Zealand and the USA.
This format of training and games is a fantastic way for Australia to train their young talent, keep an eye on their progress as well as train and develop their coaches. We have nothing like it in the US and it really is something that was an honor to be a part of. I spent a great deal of time working with the boys and they were so open to being coached by a woman and simply wanted to get better - they didn't care who taught them or where their instruction came from.
My impressions of Australia and this trip:
- It's an awesome country that looks, and feels a lot like the US
- The Australian people are fantastic! They are very proud of their country, are very happy people and easy-going and don't seem to get stressed out about much!
- Sydney is one the world's great cities and if you ever get the chance to go - go!
- The Opera House is as awesome close up as it is in the pictures!
- The Harbor Bridge is too high and climbing it isn't for ninnies like me!
- Their animals are very cool in a weird sort-of way.
- Their softball players are just like ours - they love softball, love playing it, really want to be good, would love to visit another country, and live on their cell phones.
- Their softball coaches are just like ours - they love softball, are volunteers, wish they could get paid to coach softball, are hungry to learn as much as possible and do their very best to be great coaches.
To share the sights and adventures of this trip along with Robin from Softball Excellence and my Mom, check out The Dugout for all of our new Australia pictures.