Everything Fastpitch - The Podcast
Everything Fastpitch is a podcast hosted by Coach Tory Acheson and Coach Don McKinlay. Tory and Don are former college coaches that are now full time instructors and travel ball coaches. Since retiring form active collegiate coaching they have committed themselves to providing educational materials to the fastpitch community. This podcast is one of the resources they are providing. Their website has 500+ blog posts and they have a YouTube channel. All of these cover fastpitch softball from coaching and training beginner athletes up through college athletes. It is a great resource for players, parents and coaches. Whether it be training...
Coaches: Require safety gear!
This episode highlights the need for players to use protective gear and coaches need to promote and require their players to use them.Support the show
CWS games - Connect your players / Considering players for awards / Formula for confidence / Re-engaging a pitcher after being hit / Coaching Female Athletes is different / CWS Regional Surprises
This weeks lineup:Warmup SegmentValue in watching the CWS games. With limited professional players, these are the players that our players can look up to, emulate,have connection to, etc (@7:57)Listener Question: When people are considering players for awards, is it just on the field accomplishment or do other things get consideration? (@11:54)Paige's Power Play: The formula for confidence (@17:04)DR3 Fastpitch Pitching Question: My daughter was hit in the shin with a line drive and it has affected her pitching. What can I do to help her? (@20:09)Coaching Female Athletes is significantly different. (@36:13)CWS Regional Surprises (@48:55)Action Coach Tip...
Coach Tory's Recap of the D1 Softball Regionals
Coach Tory Acheson with his decades of Collegiate Softball experience gives you his breakdown of the D1 Regionals that were completed this past weekend. And then it's on to the Super Regionals.Support the show
Understanding positioning of middle infielders to cover on a steal.
The coaches discuss a method of positive and negative distance to help players understand where they need to position themselves and be able to cover a base on a steal. Left on their own, they are usually to far or to close to the base. Practice methods are discussed for them to better visualize where they should be.Support the show
Visualization / Pitchers moving to 12 inch balls / Exploited a rule to your advantage is wrong / Manager vs Coach / Awards are important to players
This weeks lineup:Warmup SegmentListener Question: Salaries of top level college coaches. (@13:42)Paige's Power Play: Visualization (@20:30)DR3 Fastpitch Pitching Question: Advice on a pitcher moving from the 11 inch ball to the 12 inch ball. (@23:56)Team exploited a rule to force interference. (@30:00)Ability to assemble a good team vs. coaching a team up. (@40:33)Awards are important to players. (@48:39)Support the show
Coach Tory's Comments on the CWS Selections
Coach Tory gives you his take on the selection committees choices of teams in this years CWS field.Support the show
Coach: What is your reaction level?
Coaches fall into different categories when it come to reacting to events that happen in a game or practice. From over reacting to under reacting. Evaluate yourself and see what really works with your players when bad things happen. Listen to hear our advice.Support the show
Catchers overworked / Set up for success / Young pitcher advice / Answer to unruly parents / Justin McLeod interview / Teach obstruction rule
This weeks lineup:Warmup SegmentListener Question: Let's talk about Catchers being overworked. (@15:43)Paige's Power Play: How to set your daughter up for success. (@24:30)DR3 Fastpitch Pitching Question: Advice for a small 9 year old pitcher. (@26:41)A Little League Association answer to unruly parents. (@37:52)Interview with Justin McCleod of Extra Inning Softball. (@45:24)Action Coaching Tip: Teach the obstruction rule. (@1:18:09)Support the show
Defending Delayed Steals
A listener ask a question about how to defend delayed steals. The coaches discuss what delayed skills are, the types of situations where they occur and how to defend them.Support the show
Don't lose sight of fun / Advice on reframing comments / Gene pool of players / Trends in the College game
This weeks lineup:Warmup SegmentListener Question: How to balance skills with positions because of fear of injuries. (@10:12)Paige's Power Play: Don’t lose sight of the fun part of competing (@17:36) DR3 Fastpitch Pitching Question: How to not let comments get in my head? (@22:33) Watching players who parents were high level athletes. (@35:39)Home stretch of the college season (@45:17)Action Coach (@54:56)Support the show
Help players work on weaknesses
Left on their own, most players will practice what they are good at. It is our jobs as coaches to communicate with our players on specific things that they need to work on when they are practicing outside of team practices. This episode discusses the need to communicate and proper communication.Support the show
Stop thinking things are hard / Target for pitchers / Wasting time and time limits / Pitchers and Strikeouts / Use protective equipment
This weeks lineup:Warmup SegmentListener Question: My daughter is a pitcher and a catcher. She is being told that she must chose one or the other. What are your thoughts? (@12:36)Paige's Power Play: Stop thinking things are hard. (@18:05)DR3 Fastpitch pitching question: I am tall and when catching for my daughter my target is high. What advice can you give me to make it easier for my daughter? (@20:48)Wasting time in games with time limits. (@31:02)Listener response of why they think strikeouts are the highest priority because she doesn't trust the defense. (@46:45)Coaches use protective equipment. (@55:28)
Calling pitches is a subject that has a lot of opinions. Some coaches understand that getting efficient outs is the primary objective. Some are looking for strikeouts. Some use the situation only. Whatever the pitch called and whoever called it, the foremost thought must be educating the pitchers and catchers on the art of calling pitches. If you want them to reach the higher levels of the game, they must understand why certain pitches should be thrown and at what time. The coaches discuss this and offer suggestions and opinions.Support the show
Reframing Adversity / Develop a Pitching Staff / Instant Replay - Good or Bad / Taking a 3-0 Pitch??? / Behavior Styles
This weeks lineup:Warmup SegmentListener Question: Thoughts on a team organized screaming at opposing pitcher. (@10:32)Paige's Power Play: Reframing Adversity (@17:35)DR3 Fastpitch Pitching Corner: How can we convince our coach that he needs to develop a pitching staff not just use 1 or 2 pitchers? (@21:24)Instant Replay - Good or Bad (@34:58)Taking a 3-0 pitch ??? (@45:40)Action Coach Tip: Behavior styles and communication (@55:38)Support the show
Playing to win versus playing not to lose
The discussion today revolves around the many benefits of playing to win as opposed to playing it safe and trying not to lose. It may cost you today to be aggressive, but in the long run can develop an attitude for your players that they are always in the game and to not let down.Support the show
Incorporate fun activities into practice / Speed up the fastpitch game / Adjust our attitude when players don't show up for practice
This weeks lineupWarmup SegmentListener Question: Should my daughter be a utility player? (@12:29)Paige's Power Play: What does mental preparation look like? (@19:13)DR3 Fastpitch Pitching Question: My daughter is 10 years old, how much time should she be practicing pitching? (@21:47)Incorporate fun activities into practice. Players of all ages like to have fun, set aside some practice time for something fun that also develops playing skills. (@31:07)The pitch clock is working for MLB, should we implement some changes to the fastpitch game to get more playing time per game? (@41:43)We plan practices ahead of time and them multiple players do...
Finding Winning Players for your team
Some players don't look the part, but are just winners. You may tryout a player or have a player recommended to you but at first glance just doesn't stand out. Look deeper and look for other assets that might make this player a difference maker.Support the show
Challenge of Cutting a Player / Both sides of a viral video / An out is not always a mechanical problem
This weeks lineup:Warmup SegmentListener Question: How are national births awarded? (@08:10)Paige's Power Play: (@13:32)DR3 Fastpitch Pitching Question: (@17:37)Challenge of Cutting a Player (@28:03)Both sides of a social media viral video (@36:19)An out is not always a mechanical problem (@43:02)Support the show
Catchers should not stay in one position behind the batter. Unfortunately there are usually holes there because that's what a lot of catchers do. But the catcher has to position themselves based upon where the batter is standing and pitch selection. A good catcher can make a dig difference for the pitcher and has an opportunity to create more outs.Support the show
Listener Questions / Mental Game Advice / Pitching Questions / Tips from a successful D1 player on playing at the highest level / Playing Time Guidelines
This weeks lineup:Warmup SegmentListener Question: I have players that also play on rec teams. I think they would be better off practicing with our travel team. What do you think? (@15:00)Paige's Power Play: What championship teams believe. (@22:25)DR3Fastpitch Pitching Question: Conflict with a coach on how to throw certain pitches. (@26:37)Body types and preconceived ideas (@46:19)5 tips to consider if your dream is to play at the highest level by a D1 player (@57:32)Establish guidelines to determine who plays (@01:14:02)Support the show
Major League Baseball has proven that moving defensive players around is very effective. While we don't have the resources to carry it to their level, it can give us a competitive advantage. Coach Tory gives you some advice and some things to think about to train coaches and players the art of defensive positioning.Support the show
Expectations / Smaller pitcher / It's not always the pitch callers fault / Sports that complement softball / Ground balls are bad
This weeks lineup:Warmup SegmentListener Question: What is the #1 absolute for a hitter? (@10:40)Paige's Power Play: Expectations (@14:11)DR3 Fastpitch Pitching Corner: I have a smaller pitcher who does not throw hard (@18:16)It's not always the pitch callers fault (@35:03)What are other sports that compliment softball? (@44:37)Ground Balls are bad (@53:57)Support the show
Use terminology that makes sense to right handers and left handers!
Coaches need to understand the strengths and weaknesses between left handed and right handed players and use them to their advantage. To start with, use terminology that can apply to both right and left handed players. For example, instead of saying right and left, say glove hand or throwing hand. Positioning and footwork are identical relative to the glove hand. Also, coaches your left handers and right handers have different strengths. Use them to your advantage. You position right handers where they can be most effective. Your left handers shouldn't be in the same spot.Support the show
Pitching Question: Which pitch to throw? / Interview with Val Alston, author of "Confident, Calm, & Clutch" / Balancing schedule early in the season
This weeks lineup:Warmup SegmentListener Question: Is there a downside to playing second base? (@11:05)Paige's Power Play (@18:05)DR3 Fastpitch Pitching Question: Would you rather throw your best pitch no matter the hitter's strength or throw a weaker pitch to attack the hitter's weakness? (@21:42)Interview with Val Alston, author of "Confident, Calm, & Clutch: How to Build Confidence and Mental Toughness for Young Athletes Using Sports Psychology" She is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant with the Association of Applied Sport Psychology and a trained Health and Wellness Coach from the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy (FMCA). (@35:19)Seeing more of the top c...
White Ball Era
The coaches reminisce about their beginning days when things were a lot different. Sometimes they mention the white ball era and they wanted to explain to the listeners what they were talking about.Support the show
Exercises to avoid for pitchers / Percentage of players that did not find a new team through the portal / Work on Visual Skills
This Weeks LineupWarmup SegmentListener Question: How do you know when it is time to move on to a new team? (@14:41)Paige's Power Play (@25:59)DR3Fastpitch Pitching Corner: Are their exercises that should be avoided in the weight room? (@28:47)Percentage of players that did not find a new team through the 2022 Transfer Portal (@43:30)Work on Visual Skills (@56:27)Action Coach (1:16:44)Support the show
Teach them to take care of their equipment
This weeks discussion revolves around that players today do not respect their equipment and take care of it appropriately. Most types of equipment is discussed and the basics of taking care of it properly. Encourage your players to listen to this and help them understand that it is their responsibility.Support the show
Start Back vs Step Back / Pitchers tipping pitches / Observations from a softball parent
This weeks lineup:Warmup SegmentListener Question: His daughter has a choice to be a full time player on the JV team or a roll player on the varsity team. What do you think? (@19:14)Paige's Power Play (@29:19)DR3Fastpitch Pitching Corner - What do you feel about the start back vs step back approach to pitching? (@35:17)Spending time looking for pitchers tipping off pitches. (@44:02)Observations from a softball parent whose daughter is at the end of her career. (@58:09)Support the show
The Last Out - Shouldn't be any different than any other out
The coaches discuss helping to prepare players for that pressure situation of the last out of a game. It shouldn't be any different than any other out, but it is. It takes a collective effort of the player, parents, coaches and spectators to maintain a demeanor that makes it easier.Support the show
Tip for Players College Visits / Does Softball have to be your major in college?
This weeks lineup:Warmup SegmentListener Question: How do you decide on which camps to attend? (@19:30)Paige's Power Play (@28:14)DR3Fastpitch Pitching Corner (@32:38)Tips for players going on college visits. Make it easier to compare them over an extended time. (@43:50)If playing college softball is in your future, an important consideration is your major at that school and can you major in that field and still play softball. At some schools is is almost impossible to play softball and have a major that has classes that conflict with practices and games. (@53:14)Action Coach (@1:04:43)Support the show
Is it motivated, disciplined or both?
Coaches all say they want motivated players. The discussion today revolves around the fact that motivation is not a constant. What we really want are disciplined players that practice and play at a constant level no matter their level of motivation on a particular day. It takes motivation to get started, but discipline to stay the course.Support the show
Importance of small ball / Understanding runner interference
This weeks lineup:Warmup SegmentListener Question: My daughter is a left-handed catcher. Is that a negative? (@14:23)Paige's Power Play (@23:03)DR3 Fastpitch Pitching Corner (@26:44)Importance of Small Ball (@36:42)Understanding runner interference. A coach asked for some strategies for his base runners to avoid interfering with the fielder. (@45:39)Action Coach (@55:52)Support the show
"You Can Observe A Lot By Watching", Yogi Berra
As Yogi Berra said, "You Can Observe A Lot By Watching". From birth we develop by imitating what we see. If we teach our players how to really "watch" good players, they will become better players. They should be watching all of the subtle things going on with players not just following the ball. Seeing the total game is a skill that has to be learned and makes the game a classroom.Support the show
Exposing your players to different ways of doing things / Part 3 of influential women in softball
This weeks lineup:Warmup SegmentListener Question: My daughter was demoted to the outfield. What do I do?The coaches respond with reasons the outfield is not a demotion. (@21:04)Paige's Power Play (@30:07)Daniel Rubin and the DR3 Pitching Corner (@33:00)Exposing your players to different ways of doing things. (@44:41)Part 3 of the most influential women in softball. (@1:01:33)Action Coach (@1:10:33)Support the show
Not every player has college aspirations, treat them the same.
Not every player on a team has aspirations to play in college. For a variety of reasons, college is just not in their future. They still are good players and enjoy playing the game. Accept that and make sure you are coaching them with the same enthusiasm as the potential college players. Your job is to make all of your players the best version of themselves no matter what is in their future.Support the show
Do large organizations make sense for travel teams? / Part 2 of ground breaking women
This weeks lineup:Warmup SegmentListener Question: My daughter is very young and wants to be a catcher. I am having trouble finding catching gear that fits. Any suggestions? (@13:42)Paige's Power Play (@19:07)Do large organizations make sense for travel teams? (@22:30)Part 2 of ground breaking women (@33:40)Action Coach (@48:00)Support the show
Don't commit to creating a new team too early.
It happens frequently, a core group of 3 or 4 players want to start a new team. The coaches make a point for you not to jump into the pool before you have really thought this out. You should have more players as a core than what you are going to have to recruit. And remember there are a lot of teams looking for pitchers and catchers especially.Support the show
Part 2 of interview with Justin McLeod / Ground breaking women in college softball
This weeks lineup:Warmup SegmentListenerQuestion: My daughter is a pitcher and I am having trouble finding a good pitching tow. Do you have any advice? (@12:59)Paige's Power Play (@18:42)Part 2 of our interview with Justin McLeod of Extra Inning Softball. (@24:08)The coaches go through the first five from a list of women pioneers in softball. (@49:16)Action Coach (@1:04:45)
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Coaching Decisions are not made in a vacuum.
The coaches discuss that we can't coach by a book and we have to be aware of the circumstances of the game and players. Sometimes it makes sense to do something that doesn't make sense "by the book". Everyone connected with the team needs to "buy in" to the way you coach and be prepared to execute and support the calls you make. Remember, it is easy to judge a decision based upon the outcome. But always playing it safe leads to a team not playing up to their potential.Support the show
Interview with Justin McLeod of Extra Inning Softball / She doesn't want to play in college
This weeks lineup:Warmup SegmentListener Question: Many of my players are starting to go to college camps. What advice should I give them to help them make a good first impression? (@10:25)Paige's Power Play (@13:51)Interview with Justin McLeod of Extra Inning Softball (@20:01)What to do when she says "I don't want to play college softball?" (@54:47)Action Coach (@1:06:34)Support the show