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Urban girls exposure to softball

Jun 15, 2009
1
0
Bloomfield, CT
I live in Bloomfield which is right outside of Hartford, CT and have been coaching my daughter's little league softball team(they are in the 10-12 year old division) for four years. My team is the only predominately African American team in the area. Most of my players have limited experience but they play well together and are great kids. Girls from the Bloomfield/Hartford area play basketball or track and field. Those are the only sports they are exposed to. Our team has done pretty well (lost in semi-finals last year and are 8-3 this year) but I am looking to get more girls from this area(which is predominately African American) playing at a younger age. The high school teams in the area are bad primarily because the girls on the teams were not exposed to softball when they were younger. There are no programs available in their neighborhoods. The only reason my town still has a team is because I decided to keep the program going. My team is the only softball team we have in Bloomfield. I would like to have multiple teams in a few age divisions. I need more girls and adults to accomplish this. I recently called Major League Baseball about their RBI (reviving baseball/softball in inner cities) program. I am waiting to hear from them. Does anyone know of any other programs or have any advice that can help me to expand/expose the sport to more urban kids?
 

Cannonball

Ex "Expert"
Feb 25, 2009
3,795
48
Mark,

African American players can be found throughout the country and so, it is possible to search out some of these players as examples to the youth you are working with as examples of what they can achieve.

My dd played for a local travel team but wanted more. We were fortunate to "make" a travel team from another community that was also starting a program. They started with the creation of a 14U team and then 12U team. Now it has 16U, 14U, 12U and finally 10U (2 teams). In doing so, the girls were first selected and then the 14Us and 12Us practiced together. In doing so, they all learned at an excellerated rate BUT also it enabled them to go out into the community and promote the program. When we had tryouts in the fall (the second time this program has had tryouts) we were inundated with players wanted to tryout. You have to keep in mind that you might not have as much growth as quickly but, if you start with a good feeder program even if it is one or two teams, it will grow if the girls have good experiences.
 
Jun 6, 2009
240
0
I live in Bloomfield which is right outside of Hartford, CT and have been coaching my daughter's little league softball team(they are in the 10-12 year old division) for four years. My team is the only predominately African American team in the area. Most of my players have limited experience but they play well together and are great kids. Girls from the Bloomfield/Hartford area play basketball or track and field. Those are the only sports they are exposed to. Our team has done pretty well (lost in semi-finals last year and are 8-3 this year) but I am looking to get more girls from this area(which is predominately African American) playing at a younger age. The high school teams in the area are bad primarily because the girls on the teams were not exposed to softball when they were younger. There are no programs available in their neighborhoods. The only reason my town still has a team is because I decided to keep the program going. My team is the only softball team we have in Bloomfield. I would like to have multiple teams in a few age divisions. I need more girls and adults to accomplish this. I recently called Major League Baseball about their RBI (reviving baseball/softball in inner cities) program. I am waiting to hear from them. Does anyone know of any other programs or have any advice that can help me to expand/expose the sport to more urban kids?



I think the bold and underlined portion of the above says it all. YOU are making the biggest difference in these yong girls lives. It must be you who carries forward and creates opportunities for underserved members of the community. RBI is one way. Our team usually carried one or two RBI players, so they would have opportunities to play at the highest levels that would not have been ordinarily available to them. My daughter (who attended one of the most elite/expensive private schools in the area) also played on the rbi team one year in addition to her travel team. She learned much from the experience and also gave back in return.

Stay with it Mark. These kids need you.

Below is a link to the RBI here. Call or email Ed or Jose, I'm sure they could give you some great pointers that will help.


RBI SOFTBALL
 
May 9, 2008
432
0
Hartford, CT
Bloomfield Ct

Hi Mark,

We live in Rocky Hill...not 30 minutes from you.

Is this a LL affiliated team / organization?

If so, there is an organization in Wallingford CT that arranges Tournaments and Fall Ball leagues for girls this age (Minors Majors Juniors (9-16 years I believe))

If not LL, why not look into this option and playing teams in your district (7)
which happens to be our District.
We have four 9-12 year old teams and we play other teams in our district as well.
(I'm married to the Softball director....LOL)

You could also put together a Travel type team...not sure which is more cost effective (Travel or setting up LL )(actually since Bloomfield has a boys LL you can hook up under that organization)
 
Jun 2, 2008
62
0
Great job!

The simple fact that you got something going, and have managed to keep it going is commendable. Additionally, the fact you took the time to research avenues to help, such as RBI and this website is equally commendable.

Great work.

You have some great players from your area that may be willing to come in for a "charity" clinic. The Fico girl, LSU signee, is from that area. Fico racked up an impressive 105-3 record with a 0.07 ERA and won a pair of state championships. She tossed a national high school record 26 perfect games to go along with 47 no-hitters and 95 shutouts en route to 1,884 strikeouts. Although not African American, she is someone from your area that might be willing to help.

You have UMASS up the road with some great players on that team - remember, they took Washington to the max, so obviously some strong softball. Contact them, maybe some of their players will come down for a Saturday clinic, or maybe one of them is from your area.

Good luck!
 

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