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UCLA & Arizona Look To Return To WCWS In 2015

UCLA and Arizona look to return to WCWS in 2015

“UCLA and Arizona look to return to WCWS in 2015″ Written By Bill Plummer

Will this be the year for UCLA and Arizona? Could be and you can imagine both schools will give their all in trying to get back to the Women’s College World Series. Neither school has been back to the prestigious event since 2010.

Years ago these two teams dominated the Women’s College World Series. Beginning with the first NCAA sponsored WCWS in 1982, UCLA won seven national titles between 1982-1992 while Arizona won eight titles. The Bruins overall have won 11 national titles with the last in 2010 while the Wildcats captured their last title in 2007. The Wildcats did, however, lose to the Bruins in the highest scoring finale, 15-9, in 2010. Since then the two schools to their frustration have been denied a trip back to a place that they were extremely familiar with.

But while the Wildcats and Bruins were trying to get back to Oklahoma City, numerous colleges and universities were getting better, with the SEC having won the last two World Series after the event had been dominated by the Pac-12 with 23 national titles. Last year was the first time that a Pac-12 team wasn’t entered in the event.

For elite softball programs like Arizona and UCLA, it’s not about rebuilding, it’s about reloading. These teams have the talent but also are deep and versatile. They have players who can played a variety of positions. They have athletes who can come off the bench or out of the bullpen and get the job done. And they have athletes who range from freshmen to seniors who are capable of stepping up and leaving their mark. Those qualities ensure that the best teams are at the top of the national spotlight each year.

Besides playing each other in the Pac-12, UCLA and Arizona traditionally schedule some of the best competition in the United States. Arizona will play five of the eight 2014 Women’s College World Series participants including defending champ Florida. In all, UA will play 24 games against NCAA tournament participants from a season ago. The Wildcats’ schedule features 19 nationally televised contests. Seventeen of UA’s 24 conference games will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks while the Cats also have two games on the ESPN family of networks.

UCLA, which was recently ranked No. 3 in the country, will be featured on TV 20 times this season, including 19 of 24 Pac-12 contests and 20 of the last 27 games of the regular season.

Following the first five tournaments of the year (SoCal Collegiate Classic, Feb. 5-8, Easton Stadium; Wilson/DeMarini Desert Classic, Feb. 13-15, Las Vegas/Henderson, Nev.; Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, Feb. 19-22, Cathedral City, Calif.; Louisville Slugger Invitational, Feb. 27-March 1, Lakewood/Long Beach, Calif.; and Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament, March 6-8, Easton Stadium), the Bruins will host Baylor in a non-conference matchup, which will be televised on Pac-12 Networks, on Tuesday, March 10 at 5 p.m.

Only time will tell if UCLA and Arizona get back to a place that they are very familiar with. And you can bet not making that trip for the past four years has gotten to be frustrating and maybe 2015 will be the year that the Bruins and Wildcats get back to where they belong.

Athlete Motivation

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“Athlete Motivation” Written By Shannon McDougall

Highly motivated athletes are said to have a personality that reflects that motivation, much like an athlete that is not highly motivated. A softball player for example who enjoys the challenge of tough opponents and continually wants to improve on his/her skills is highly externally as well as intrinsically motivated. An external motivation might be a college scholarship, winning a championship or the approval of someone they look up to. Intrinsic motivation is the desire to simply improve and play well. Not relating specifically to anything outside of themselves but for themselves.

Players who are not intrinsically motivated may be susceptible to Social loafing, playing lesser opponents to ensure success and “not trying” so that if they lose, there is a valid reason.

The difference between quality of motivation and quantity is that the quantity of motivation is the amount of time spent on the activity and how the athlete is performing. The quality is directly related to what the athlete is getting out of the sport and how long they stay involved in a positive manner. Our hope is that all softball players remain in the sport well into their adulthood.

One of the motivating factors is Self-efficacy or perceived abilities. Self-efficacy is the self-judgment of an athlete’s ability to perform a task. This is generally related to past and recent performance, and can have an effect on the athletes perception of ability to sustain and control their mastery of the skill. If they feel good about their skills they are likely to be more motivated than a softball player who has low self confidence and feels unable to achieve the desired results during competition or at practices. If they feel that they have control of their abilities to improve they will be much more likely to be self directed in their participation,

The following are examples for each of the six antecedents of self-efficacy in a sport setting.

1. past performance – how did the athlete perform the task previously, this will have some influence on their perceived ability to perform it again.

2. vicarious experience – if she can do it, then I must be able to do it; watching someone else perform a task that looks relatively easy can give an immediate feeling of self-efficacy.

3. verbal persuasion – “I believe in you”, or “do it this way” says the coach; having someone who is knowledgeable say verbally that the athlete is capable will generally add confidence to the attempt.

4. physiological state – the athletes perception of their physiological condition will have a physical effect on their self-efficacy; “am I ready for this?”, “I am nervous”, “I have had lots of rest”

5. emotional state – ideally, a positive mood state is felt before and during competition, if however a negative mood state is felt, learning strategies such as negative thought stopping can be helpful. If an athlete is in a positive mood state, he/she will likely have a higher self-efficacy and if he/she has a negative mood state such as frustration, a lower mood state may result.

6. Imaginable experiences – this can be very useful in skill acquisition, or for example if an athlete is unsure about her/his ability to perform a skill or perform in the competition, they can use imagery as a sort of rehearsal to gain confidence.

Weiner’s attribution theory includes internal-external attributions in which the cause of the performance was a result of an internal attribute where pride and personal satisfaction may be felt, or external attribute may cause disappointment, frustration and anger. The unstable-stable attribution suggests that the performance was a result of an unstable attribution such as umpires or stable attributes such as skill level of the athlete. The uncontrollable-controllable attribution is an emotional response. If the athlete feels that they are in control of the performance, they will be more motivated and accountable for their development. If the athlete feels that the performance and their environment is uncontrollable, they may develop a form of learned helpless. They feel that they are simply not good and will not be good so it is no use.

A motivated athlete will typically attribute their good or bad performances to controllable, internal and unstable factors. An athlete who has motivational difficulties will generally attribute their performance to uncontrollable, stable and external factors.

Where does this leave you as a coach? Provide as much information for your softball athletes as you can. The more they know and the more they can control the more motivated they are likely to be. It is common for coaches to simply lay out the rules and the way the season will go and then say leave it to me. Just show up at practices, do what I plan and we will be good. This approach although may be easier for you to control, takes away from the ability of the athlete to self-direct. A self directed athlete is your best tool for success in your season weather it is at the beginning or during the final tournament. Give it a try and let me know how it goes :)

Video On Demand

Mens Fastpitch Softball, What Happened To It???

Mens Fastpitch Softball, What Happened To It???

Mens Fastpitch Softball, What Happened To It??? Written By Troy Olson

I find it very amusing that I tell people I have a softball game and they naturally assume I am playing slow pitch softball. Did you know that there is actually Mens Fastpitch Softball in America? I happen to live in Wisconsin and we have a lot of Fastpitch Teams in our state, the league I play in is in a small town called Cushing. Our league is consistently between 8-12 teams per year, just depending on who is around for the summer. Most tournaments will once again draw 8-12 teams with several traveling from Minnesota to participate.

At one time Mens Fastpitch was a huge sport in this country, in the 60’s and 70’s it was at its peak. There was all kinds of hugely talented teams and of course the most famous of them all “The King and His Court.” So what happened to this one time flourishing sport?

In my opinion its a combination of several things, first was the evolution of slowpitch softball. Most people aren’t happy going 1 for 3 at the plate, jumping to slowpitch would allow even poor hitters to put the ball in play all the time. It also seems with no practice one can still compete in slowpitch. Lets be honest if you are going to be successful at Fastpitch you have to put time and practice, you just don’t pick up a bat and hit riseballs out of the park.

The second part of the equation is lack of homegrown pitching, this has really hurt our sport. Pitching in fastpitch softball takes a lot of time and effort to be good. Most of the great pitchers right now in the Mens game are from foreign countries like New Zealand, Australia, and Mexico. Don’t get me wrong there are some real good pitchers from America but we just don’t seem to produce as many as other countries.

The third reason I feel our sport is declining is TIME. To play this game and be good, its going to take a little time. This game is different than baseball or slowpitch. It appears to me a lot of young guys aren’t patient enough to take the time to develop into great fastpitch players. Our society as a whole doesn’t seem to have a lot of free time, we are all busy with work, school, family, and dozens of other things.

One positive thing I have noticed is kind of a resurgence of interest in Mens Fastpitch Softball lately. It is starting to slowly turn around and I have even seen a few new teams sprouting up. I think some of this is the fact that there is an entire generation that has never seen Mens Fastpitch, with the raving success that the womens side has seen I think guys are starting to get the itch to try the sport. I hope that men can take a look at how the women have been able to promote their sport and with a little help maybe we can revive this wonderful game.

Win A 2015 Anderson Rocketech Bat

This month on The Win Some Softball Stuff Show you can win a 2015 Anderson Rocketech Fastpitch Softball Bat. Produced By Gary Leland

This month you have the opportunity to win a 2015 Anderson Rocketech Fastpitch Bat. Watch the video to find out how to enter.

Make sure and watch on the 25th of every month for our newest contest.

The Anderson RockeTech FP, with its all-metal exterior multiwall design, has a barrel-weighted minus 9 swing weight and is designed to take advantage of a strong fastpitch hitter’s skill and ability. The RFP is as hot as it can be and still be legal. If you’re serious enough to put in the time at practice, you’re ready for the RFP and the results you deserve. However, you may need a bigger trophy case because the RFP is a souvenir maker.

RockeTech Features:
The all-metal RockeTech bat includes the PowerArch – exterior sleeve – multi-wall design that features two matched aluminum walls, an inner shell that wields the patented PowerArch contour and an exterior sleeve that wraps the inner shell with added elastic performance, durability and provides a feel that uniquely end-loaded. Together they create a highly responsive hitting surface that includes a generous effective hitting area and superior feel.

The TaperFlex contour is designed to optimize the flexural and vibrational response of the bat by distributing the mass of the taper in such a way that a harmonic flexural response is achieved. When combined, the result is a bat that has superior feel, superior performance and a truly unique hitting experience.

The Ultra-Thin Handle is designed to maximize batspeed by allowing the handle to fit nicely into the batter’s fingers rather than in the palms of their hands. It is designed thin to make it easily customizable for each hitter. You can make the handle bigger by adding a thicker grip, but you cannot make it smaller once it is formed.

The Thin Sport Grip provides a tacky feel and supports the thin handle design by making the handle as thin as possible. The Sport Grip allows those that want a thicker handle to be able to simply overwrap it with another grip or with tape to customize the fit of their Anderson bat.

The patented Weldless-Ergonomic Knob adds weight where it is transparent to the swing. It improves the balance of the bat and maximizes the MOI while adding the additional distance that only mass in the right place can give you. The construction is patented and the shape of the ergonomic knob was designed in cooperation with a team of orthopedic surgeons to provide a safer, more comfortable feel.

The TruFlex Toughened-Lightweight Cap adds to the performance and feel of the bat by providing the support in the end of the bat necessary to maximize the energy transfer of the barrel to the ball while maintaining just enough flex to control the amount of vibration created at contact. The reduced weight in the cap improves the bat’s MOI.

A reduced Moment of Inertia (the effort necessary to swing the bat) is the object of all of the weight manipulation included in the overall design and the design of every component used in an Anderson bat. This attention to the structural details makes it possible to swing a heavier bat with less effort. A quicker, more powerful swing makes it possible to provide each and every player with Game Improvement by Design.

Fastpitch TV Cap (pitcher)

Sale!
Fastpitch Softball Cap

The New Fastpitch TV Cap

$24.95 $19.95

In Stock And Ready To Ship

Will leave my Texas warehouse the next business day

PHONE: 817-303-6620

Adult Sizes ONLY!

Clear selection
SKU: FP001. Category: .

Product Description

Created for the true softball fan by Fastpitch TV

Additional Information

Weight 1 lbs
Dimensions 9 x 8 x 7 in
Size

Large/X-large, Small/Medium

We designed this cap with only one thing in mind, and that was Fastpitch Softball.

Mesh Back, and Flex Fit
Visor – Uform
Shape Mid-Pro

Only $19.95 and in stock in my Texas store.

817-303-6620

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