SCO Community Spotlight: Coaching Softball in the Special Olympics

An interview with Bill Fields

If you coach travel softball, it’s a good chance you are volunteering your time. Or at least very close to volunteering.  This is the case with a very high percentage of the Softball Coach Online newsletter subscribers.

Every once in a while, I receive a notification from a subscriber that falls outside the “norm” of the typical high school or travel ball coach that subscribes to our content.

Today I want to share about a very unique type of volunteer softball coaching that you might not have anywhere on your “radar.”

And that’s Special Olympics softball.

A few months back I received an email subscriber notification from Bill Fields, and it caught my attention. So I reached out and Bill agreed to give me some information about the coaching that he has been doing for many years.

Like many of us, he got “hooked” into coaching to help one of his own children. And he has been doing it ever since.

Keep reading to learn about this very cool program, and how you might be able to get involved. Here are the questions that I asked Bill and the responses he gave:


And the Survey Says????

Travel Ball Parent Survey Results

I recently sent out a survey via Facebook for travel ball parents. You may have participated! In fact, within the span of just a few hours I had 163 responses before I turned the survey off.

The open-ended questions had some passionate responses, and as one would expect the responses ranged from one end of the spectrum to the other.

Keep reading for an overview of the results.


A Fastpitch Softball Practice Drill for Short-Hops

A great drill for advanced infielders!

As infielders advance in their skill-level, learning how to properly field a short-hop is a necessity. And having a fastpitch softball practice drill or two to work on them is a huge help.

And that is what I will share with you today. Click the video below to learn about the “high-toss short-hop drill” and then continue reading for a few extra tips!

As mentioned in the video, this is a fastpitch softball practice drill for more advanced players.


Four Effective Fastpitch Softball Drills for 10U and 12U Travel Ball Coaches

Each month, thousands of travel ball coaches scan the internet for fastpitch softball drills for 10U and 12U players. And thousands more for 8U, 14U, 16U and 18U. 

Fastpitch Softball Drills for 10U

While we often like to lump groups together into broad categories (travel ball, high school, rec league, etc.), the reality is that each group has subcategories with very specific needs. While many parts of the game apply for all age levels, an 8U or 10U player is much different than an 18U player. (more…)

5 Keys For Men Coaching Fastpitch Softball

How to have a successful transition and make a greater impact....

Each weekend, ball fields scattered across the country are filled with youth softball teams being coached by men (oftentimes a father of a player). Talk to many of them and you will find story after story of former baseball players that are now coaching fastpitch softball for the first time.

coaching fastpitch softball

And loving it.

The game is addicting.

Once you get a taste of the faster paced game it can be hard to go back to coaching baseball.

I love baseball and hope my own son wants to play it when he gets older…

But… (more…)

Great Resources for Finding Fastpitch Softball Drills

and much much more...

Fastpitch softball drills can cover a WIDE range of areas. It’s not just about the typical skills of throwing, hitting, infield, outfield, etc…although these are the most obvious.

fastpitch softball drills

It’s also the less “obvious” areas such as team building, conditioning, and mental strength.

In today’s post I am going to do something a little bit different than usual.

At Softball Coach Online, my mission is to serve other fastpitch softball coaches (specifically high school and travel ball coaches) with information and products that help them improve their program.


Team Building Activities For Softball: The “I Got Your Back Drill”

A great activity for building a culture of team unity

Building a culture of team chemistry takes time and intentional effort. It happens easier with some groups than others. In this weeks post I share one of my favorite team building activities for softball that can help you in this endeavor.

team building activities for softball

This is one of the activities that I teach coaches inside the Intermediate to Expert Team Building Course. It is one of my favorites because it can be done so quickly. And it will have a lasting impact on certain players.

It can even have a lasting impact on you as a coach!  (more…)

Fastpitch Softball Equipment to Take Your Travel Ball Team to the Next Level

4 pieces of equipment to take practice to the next level!

Ever watch a practice that looked unorganized? Or perhaps you wish you could feel a little more organized for your own practices? Sometimes a couple pieces of fastpitch softball equipment is all you need for taking your practices from good to great!

fastpitch softball equipment

But as a travel ball coach, your budget may be limited. Been there. So where do you start? (more…)

Have We Missed the Boat on the Benefits of Playing Softball?

Overcoming the "me-first" attitude with our players...

We all know the benefits of playing softball for our players. Or do we? Somewhere in the past 15 years the lines have been distorted regarding what these “benefits” exactly are.

benefits of playing softball

I know a coach that once had a player tell him that she did not want to participate in his off-season activities any longer. It happens. I’ve had these types of conversations with players myself. (more…)

6 Indoor Softball Drills For Infielders

...and thoughts on running an effective indoor practice...

One of the challenges of coaching an outdoor sport is having to battle the elements. Having a plan with some indoor softball drills is a necessity if you coach “up north.”

indoor softball drills

When I was a college coach in Iowa, we spent the first 2 months of our season practicing in the schools recreation center. Even down here in sunny florida we battle the rain and occasionally rent the indoor softball facility down the street.

So what do you do when you have the limited space of an indoor facility? As a starting point you need to assess the indoor space and the equipment that you have. (more…)