CHICAGO – Another successful NFCA National Convention is in the books with 1,679 attendees descending on the Sheraton Grand Chicago over the last four days. The 2018 Convention concluded on Saturday with the Champions Brunch, “Drills, Drills, Drills,” Chalk Talks and the final two speaker sessions. It is the first NFCA Convention outside of Las Vegas to surpass the 1,600 mark.
The final day of convention convened at 9:00 a.m. with “Drills, Drills, Drills” as Mississippi State’s Samantha Ricketts (hitting), UMass Lowell’s Danielle Henderson (pitching) and Michigan’s Bonnie Tholl (Defense) provided tips and drills in their areas of expertise.
"What an outstanding event!” said NFCA Executive Director Carol Bruggeman. “We like to promote our convention as the Greatest Softball Show on Earth and I believed it lived up to the hype! The energy and excitement level was at an all-time high.”
The brunch celebrated coaching achievements over a hearty breakfast. Our top Easton/NFCA academic teams and six Four-Star Master Coaches, and eight member coaches were awarded the Easton/NFCA Assistant Coach of the Year, followed by the presentation of the regional and national coaching staffs of the year. Each national recipient’s head coach or staff member gave thanks and spoke in front of their peers.
Following brunch, Chalk Talks took place, giving attendees an opportunity to gain knowledge on five different topics in 30-minute sessions. Leading the way were Samantha Ekstrand (NFCA Legal Counsel) and Megan Ciolli Bartlett (Ball State) in “The Importance of a Paper Trail”, Brandon Elliott’s (Virginia Wesleyan) "Can't Win With-out them: Advanced Outfield Play,” Kyla Holas’ Pitching Arm Car by the Numbers,”, Michelle Venturella (WashU) and Tina DeAngelo (Drake) with “Charging the Battery: The Pitching/Catching Relationship” and “Softball Operations & Recruiting Efficiency” with Arizona’s Stacy Iveson, Illinois’ Michael Palmer and Oklahoma’s Jackie Livingstone.
Taking it home with the final two sessions was North Carolina State’s Jennifer Patrick-Swift and her topic "Using Technology to Enhance your Players & Program" presented by NFCA Official Sponsor, Diamond Kinetics. Prior to her speaking, University of Illinois Springfield (Shannon Guthrie), Deer Park (Texas) High School (Erica Cantu) and Texas Blaze Travel (Tammie Davis) were recognized as the winners of the 2018 Diamond Kinetics Technology Scholarship.
See you in Atlantic City in 2019.