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.


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…)

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…)

Book Review: 1-Pitch Warrior by Justin Dehmer

An excellent book for the mental game

If you know that the mental game is important, but you aren’t sure where to start, then this book review is for you! The name of the book is 1-Pitch Warrior (by Justin Dehmer). Keep reading below to learn why I believe this is a must-read for softball coaches.


1-Pitch Warrior

I have read other mental training books such as The Mental Game of Baseball by H.A. Dorfman. This book is well-known and is also “information-rich”, but it takes MUCH longer to process. In fact, the book by Dorfman has 330 pages of content compared to the 110 pages in 1-Pitch Warrior. (more…)

Why Positive Body Language is Important

And why coaches need to be aware

Ever watch a game and notice a player that isn’t blatantly having a poor attitude, but something just seems a LITTLE bit off? We all notice the big body language “fouls,” but as coaches we need to watch for the “small” things and teach our players the importance of positive body language.

positive body language

Let me give an example. A while back I was at an event where the coach happened to be a friend of mine.  I was so impressed with the players and their effort, their work ethic, and their attention to detail. (more…)

Motivating a Team: The Importance of Saying “I’m Proud of You”

And impacting your players...

If you have been coaching for any length of time, you are well aware of the challenges. Motivating a team to play at their best can be fun, frustrating, exhilarating, and exhausting all wrapped into one. You can go from feeling awesome one day to wondering what the heck happened the next.

motivating a team

It is the only place where your efforts are put on display in front of the “masses.” And some individuals WILL think you are a genius one minute and an idiot the next.


How to Create Youth Programs When Coaching High School Softball

And 5 Benefits They Can Provide

If you are coaching high school softball, I believe one of the best things you can do for sustaining a competitive program is think about creative ways to get lower school aged girls involved in your program.

coaching high school softball

This past November and December we had our annual Youth Softball “Mini-League” for girls in grades Kindergarten-2nd grade. We “herded cats” for one day per week for four weeks, and then culminated with “game-day” on a Saturday morning. (more…)

How to Make a Softball Lineup to Score More Runs

Do you want to score more runs with your team this year? Then you may want to take some time to research the best ways on how to make a softball lineup.

how to make a softball lineup

Sometimes these decisions are just a “gut” feeling. However, I do have two important “rules of thumb” that I always consider when thinking through all of the factors about how to make a softball lineup that will help my team score more runs.

Consideration #1: Group Your “Rabbits” Together

By “rabbits” I mean your girls with the most speed. If you want to maximize your ability to score runs and put pressure on the defense, then having fast players that can run the bases well is a huge factor!

Usually my 9, 1, and 2 hitters will be three of my fastest. Oftentimes these will be my slappers.

Just keep in mind that if you are going to put them at the top of the order then they should also be consistent hitters with your higher batting averages. (more…)

How do You Prefer to be Corrected?

4 Guidelines For Correcting Your Players Mistakes

My first year as a head coach I thought it was my duty to yell at my players when they made a mistake, didn’t play up to their potential, etc.  I was not a “monster,” but I definitely handled some things in a way that was…well…less than impressive.

One of the moments that I have never forgotten during that season was when my first baseman dropped a routine pop-up. Of course it was a close game, and this dropped ball was with 2 outs. And of course…we ended up losing.