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ASA Names Instructional Staff

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK- In a move that parallels other Olympic Sports and is directly in line with USOC Venture Goals, USA Softball has assembled a veteran coaching and instructional staff to assist head coach Ralph Raymond in his pursuit of the gold medal at the Sydney Olympics.

Raymond will direct a staff of seven specialists who will have specific responsibilities and provide instructional assistance at his direction. On-the-field coaches will be Shirley Topley of Anaheim, Calif., and Margo Jonker of Mt. Pleasant, Mich. Topley, who has a wealth of international experience and was a staff coach during preparation for the 1996 Olympics, will serve as the third-base coach while Jonker, who was an assistant coach on the 1998 World Championship team, handles conditioning during travel and coaches first base.

The instructional staff features two veteran "teaching" coaches in Don Sarno of Brea, Calif., and Ralph Weekly of Chattanooga, Tenn. Sarno, an internationally known pitching coach, will work withthe pitchers in camp situations and advise Coaches Raymond and Topley relative to pitching matters. Weekly, the third base and hitting coach for the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team, will continue to work with USA hitters as directed by Coach Raymond.

Dr. Ken Ravizza, an internationally known sports psychologist, who has worked with several USA Olympic medalists as well as the California Angels, will work with Coach Raymond to develop and implement a comprehensive mental game program.

The sixth and seventh staff positions will be a strength and conditioning instructor, and a team trainer. They will be filled after team camps at the USOCTC in San Diego this spring.