Banditfest Showcase in Chicago

posted Jan 4, 2013, 10:02 AM by Venom Ohtwo   [ updated Jan 4, 2013, 10:03 AM ]
1/4/2013

Venom Coaches:
 
I wanted to share an experience with you all.  I met with a few of the Chicago & Beverly Bandits coaches and picked their brains about their goals.  I shared ours here and I will tell you Venom Fastpitch will now be on the tips of their tongues
 
History on Derek Allister.  He and his wife have been coaches and players at the Division I level and they have been scouting for the past 15 years.  Their daughter is now a coach at Minnesota.  They have teamed up with the Bandits to showcase the talent to the Division I coaches.  They have a database (web-based) that connects their reports to the DI coaches.
 
This showcase was really quite impressive.  The facilities were freaking awesome and they were organized and well prepared.  They split it into 3 sessions and each session they ran through everything.  They measured overhead throwing speeds, catcher pop times, pitchers speeds & movement pitches, Home to First, Home to Home, Infield evaluation was no joke...hit the ball very hard and checked on their lateral movement, transition abilities, passion for the play, arm strength, accuracy.  The outfield evaluations were pretty much the same...nothing was easy.  Then they broke into the hitting session.  One thing I forgot to mention was the all the players played together regardless of class.  But they were identified by the color of their shirts.  They hit off the tee....then front toss.  Then the pitchers and catchers entered the cages (6 of them) and pitched live hitting/pitching sessions.  The college coaches and scouts were looking at the pitchers and catchers ability to call the 5 pitch sequence.  They were looking at the catchers setup, receiving and blocking ability as well.  The pitchers all threw 63 to 64 with great movement.  The hitters moved into each cage non stop getting 5 pitches against all the pitchers.  It was a really awesome showcase...The stress and challenge Ricki faced was great for her.  I  do need to say that this showcase is for DI prospects...not sure that Ricki is really there but that is up to them to decide.  The following coaches I seen personally...OSU, Oklahoma, Indiana, Purdue, Wisconsisn, Michigan, Minnesota, Penn State, Michigan State, Northwestern, Nebraska, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Texas, Washington, California, Oregon, Georgia.  There were over 40 coaches there...some not wearing their colors:)  I guess they didn't want to be bothered.
 
I want us to focus on our girls skills development.  There is only so much that you can do with them, but you can constantly preach to the parents and give them the information that they need to help plan for the players success.
 
Here are some things they look at and I'm telling you very strict with.  Are looking for these things:
 
Division I (Majors - meaning Big 10, ACC, SEC, PAC 10, BIG 12, ect):
Height (Outfielders 5'7) (Infielders 5'5)
Home to First (Outfielders 2.7) (Middle 2.6) (Corners 3.0)
Home to Home (Outfielders below 12) (Middle 11.5) (Corners 12)
Overhead throwing speed (58 to 62)
 
They score each player and then they come out on the Allister Report in this case by Overall then by position then by year.  Then they rank by Region & State.  The important thing to know is that they are looking for younger players that either are hitting these marks or have the potential to hit these marks.  They invite the players back to their summer and winter showcases to check on the process of their development.
 
It really was a great experience and now that I have made this connection...we should be able to use it.  It was alittle frustrating trying to get information about this at first.  Not a lot available when I received knowledge of it.  But it's only their 2nd year teamed with the Beverly Bandits...it will get better.  Our players goals should be these marks.  I will tell you that I have learned through this process that we most definitely need video profiles and strong schedules for our girls to even be considered.  And oh by the way, they look at GPA and class ranking too.  The player gets points for those two things. 
 
Just wanted to share with you so you can plan accordingly.  Please don't be old fashion and let colleges come to you...make things happen for your players.  Hold practices that involve video recording showcasing the things I just talked about.  Keep a tough schedule and keep hard & accurate stats.  You can call a mouse and elephant if you really want...but well you know the rest of the story.  Blown up stats are the worst for our players.  And one thing that gets my goat is that players and parents like to say..."my daughter has 5 pitches!"  Well if a curve-ball doesn't move and you can't throw a change up for a strike where they want it...then they don't have them in their arsenal.
 
On to Kent State tomorrow!!
 
Thanks for reading and thanks for what you do.
 
Rick
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