It is offseason for the national competitions, which means there is some time to go out and help out at our regional winter schools.
The winter schools are a perfect chance for any girl to sign up for approximately (differs per school) 8 weeks of specialized practices. From pitching and catching to fielding and from hitting to base running, every aspect of the game will be covered in the practices.
Where will I be at this winter? Since a couple of years I have been working with the program of the winter school of the middle of the Netherlands. This is the region where I come from and it has always been a fun experience. From just helping out the other trainers a few years ago to this year actually making the practice workouts. And there is more, for the first time there is a separate pitching school where I can do whatever I want. Well not whatever of course, but I'm very excited to see what the girls will learn from my 8 week program specialized in pitching.
Of course I can't help out all the girls by myself so Mandy is helping me out. As National team and junior National team players we try to share our experiences and knowledge with the girls at the winter school. Not just in the middle region are girls from the National teams and Golden/Silver league helping out, you can learn from several players (and coaches) all over the country. To be honest, even I like to learn during those practices, everyone has different ideas and ways of training.
It has definitely not always been an option to get practice at different environments from different coaches. It is a perfect way to experience something different during the winter and also to not have to sit out a few months before the season starts again. A nice setup and a good program can definitely make the difference in having fun and getting better. Besides the softball part, girls and parents get to meet girls from other clubs and see what they already know about softball.
The middle of the Netherlands school starts tomorrow, and I think the others will soon follow or start as well. Have fun and before you know it is January and you have to go back to 'normal' ;)