LOUISVILLE, Ky. — In keeping with its stated purpose to support softball coaches in their quest for excellence and advance the sport, the NFCA brought together over 2,600 coaches this winter at its eight regional Coaches Clinics.
As always, the NFCA Coaches Clinics featured an all-star group of speakers — five at each two-day event — who touched on a wide variety of topics facing today’s coaches.
In addition to getting coaches excited for the spring season with first-class instruction and ideas that attendees could immediately use with their teams, the clinics offered an opportunity to network with fellow coaches and check out exhibitors showing off the latest products and services for softball teams. The clinics also provided a small taste of what the week-long NFCA Convention offers to coaches each December.
"Thank you to our speakers, attendees, and exhibitors for making our 2018-19 Coaches Clinics a huge success,” NFCA Executive Director Carol Bruggeman said. “Our clinics continue to grow not only in attendance, but in the excitement and energy level surrounding them.”
“Although education remains the main goal, the networking opportunities are also worth the price of admission. Not to mention the relationships built with coaches and vendors continue to last throughout the year. We would like to give a special welcome to the 556 new members who ‘joined the NFCA team’ at our clinics this season."
Attendees who joined the NFCA on-site at any of the clinics were able to get a special discounted rate for their first year of membership. Adding those new members brought the NFCA total to 5,700 for the first time in Association history.
Additional special thanks to our NFCA Coaches Clinics partners, Bownet and Blast.
All eight locations followed the same schedule format, with the topics tailored to the speakers presenting at that particular location. All sites featured a Q&A session with the speakers and a social hour on Friday, and then closed Saturday’s session by sending some lucky attendees home with the softball equipment used on stage during the two days.
Additional attendee prize giveaways were conducted both days during breaks between speakers, including a contest just for member coaches at each of the eight locations to win a free Coaches Clinic registration for that site next year.
Kansas City, the final clinic of the series on Feb. 1-2, took top attendance honors again this year with 486 participants, while the Nashville clinic on Jan. 18-19 was second with 385 attendees, Charlotte was third with 364, and Louisville ranked fourth with 330.
This was the second year of clinics since the NFCA acquired the seven National Softball Coaches Clinics founded by NFCA Hall of Famer Mary Nutter and her longtime business partner Traci Mayberry that had been a staple of softball instruction for three decades, joining the NFCA’s existing Louisville clinic in its educational lineup.
Collections this year at the eight locations raised a combined $2,800 to support the NFCA’s Mary Nutter Scholarship, which provides funding to allow selected member coaches to attend the NFCA National Convention each year.
It’s not too soon to start marking your calendars for the 2019-20 NFCA Coaches Clinics, which kick off in Chicago on Dec. 13-14. A second Chicago clinic will be held the same weekend as the Louisville clinic on Jan. 3-4, 2020, followed by Nashville and Portland on Jan. 10-11, and Charlotte on Jan. 17-18. Clinics in Minneapolis and Kansas City close things out on Jan. 24-25. More details and registration will be available later this year.