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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Every year the NFCA National Convention provides its attendees with a diverse array of speakers. Additionally, coaches can continue their education by attending one of the Association’s five National Fastpitch Coaches College (NFCC) courses or take part in one of three pre-convention seminars.

The NFCC courses bookend (Dec. 4-5 & Dec. 9-10) the convention program, while seminars are offered on Wednesday morning, Dec. 6. These excellent educational opportunities, taught by some of the top coaches in the sport, were created to help coaches continue to enhance their professional skills.

The 2017 NFCA National Convention is being held Dec. 6-9 at Bally’s Las Vegas. For more information and to register click on the links provided.

NFCC Information/Registration | Convention Registration | Speakers | Schedule

National Fastpitch Coaches College (NFCC)

This year we’ve added a fifth option after splitting NFCC 402 into two classes- NFCC 402A (Advanced Analysis of Pitching) and NFCC 402B (Advanced Analysis of Hitting and Short Game). Joining the NFCC 402 classes on Dec. 4 & 5 is NFCC 401 (Unlock Your Coaching Potential). Our post-convention classes in 2017 are NFCC 403 (Position Play/Defensive Skills) and NFCC 407 (Game-Day Coaching).

NFCC 402A – Advanced Analysis of Pitching
Instructors: Beth Torina (LSU), Rachel Lawson (Kentucky), Beverly Smith (South Carolina)

NFCC 402B - Advanced Analysis of Hitting and Short Game
Instructors: Diane Miller (Nebraska), Tripp MacKay (Texas), Lizzy Ristano (Notre Dame)

NFCC 401 - Unlock Your Coaching Potential
Instructors: Rhonda Revelle (Nebraska), Cindy Bristow (Softball Excellence), Gayle Blevins (Iowa/retired)

NFCC 403 - Position Play/Defensive Skills
Instructors: Megan Smith (Kansas), Fran Troyan (Lehigh), Jo Evans (Texas A&M)

NFCC 407 – Winning Strategies for Game-Day Coaching
Instructors – Lonni Alameda (Florida State), George Wares (Central), Kelly Inouye-Perez (UCLA)

Pre-Convention Seminars

As with our NFCC courses, the NFCA has added an additional pre-convention seminar, bringing the total to three. These three-hour seminars will be held simultaneously on Dec. 6, 9:00 a.m. to noon. The Assistant Coach University returns for a third consecutive year. Matt Meuchel’s look at statistics and metrics, along with a Lessons in Leadership panel join the program in 2017.

Assistant Coach University

Once again, a star-studded group of successful college softball coaches will help assistant coaches become a valuable member of their own team’s coaching staff by providing them with the skills they need to thrive under their head coach’s leadership during this special three-hour seminar. This session will give assistant coaches of all levels the tools necessary for success.

This year’s presenters include Northwestern University coaches Kate and Caryl Drohan, longtime coach and current NFCA Executive Director Carol Bruggeman, Washington University head coach and 2000 Olympic gold medalist Michelle Venturella, current UCLA assistant and former Oregon state head coach Kirk Walker and Texas A&M University assistant coach Kara Dill. 

There will also be a live Q&A discussion where the presenters will address any questions or concerns that may not have been answered already.

How Statistics & Metrics Can Help Win More Games

Matt Meuchel’s crowd-pleasing roundtable session from last year’s NFCA National Convention in New Orleans, “How Statistics & Metrics Can Help You Win More Games” has been expanded into a full-length pre-convention seminar this year. Meuchel, who compiles the reports used each spring by the NFCA’s All-America Committees to help select honorees, is a well-known expert in statistical analysis.

In his first season as an assistant coach at the University of Arkansas, Meuchel helped the Razorbacks win 21 more games than the previous year, going 31-24 and earning the program’s seventh NCAA Tournament appearance. Ten players had individual statistical performances that ranked among the top 10 single-season marks in school history, while as a team Arkansas posted top-five marks in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, runs scored, doubles, home runs, runs batted in and total bases.

Lessons in Leadership

Are you a little tired of hearing about developing leadership from presenters who are outside of the softball world and then trying to figure out a way to implement their concepts? New for 2017, this pre-convention seminar is filled with "quick hits" from some of our sport's brightest coaches. Developing leadership in yourself, assistant coaches, and student-athletes is a growing initiative amongst coaches. Come hear from your fellow coaches to get a better understanding of what they are doing in their programs and why it works for them.

NFCA Hall of Famers Yvette Girouard and Patrick Murphy have combined to win over 2,300 games. Girouard had 30 winning seasons at LSU and Southwestern Louisiana (now Louisiana-Lafayette), while Murphy passed 1,000 wins this season and guided the Crimson Tide to the 2012 NCAA crown. Karen Weekly has 1,025 victories as co-head coach with her husband Ralph, and has guided the Lady Vols to seven Women’s College World Series appearances and a pair of runner-up finishes. Deanna Gumpf has won 668 games and led the Irish to the NCAA Tournament in every one of her 16 seasons at the helm. New Auburn head coach Mickey Dean has 543 wins as a collegiate head coach (478 at the NCAA Division I level) and has led his programs to seven NCAA postseason appearances, including five straight at James Madison.

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