Posted November 17th, 2013
Register now for the UT Holiday Softball Camp Hosted by Bayshore Little League! Click here for details.
Posted September 25th, 2013
Guayaquil Report From Team FLA Player, Mara Brody!
On September 17th -23rd members of the Team FLA travelled to Guayaquil, Ecuador to participate in the Copa Ciudad de Guayaquil Invitational sponsored by Liga Del Sur. Little did we know that our journey to Ecuador to play softball would turn into a very special and memorable trip of a lifetime for us that transcended far beyond the softball field and has shown us the importance of giving back. As we stepped off the plane into the Guayaquil airport we were greeted by many smiling faces and local media. We very quickly realized that this trip was unlike any other ASA qualifier, Showcase or Tournament that we had ever travelled to. We realized that our presence and willingness to participate in the Liga Del Sur Invitational meant a great deal to the people of Guayaquil and Liga Del Sur. As the first team from the United States to play in the Tournament the hospitality of the Ecuadorians and in particular the Directors and Staff of Liga Del Sur made us feel welcomed.
Each day our Team participated in double headers in the evening at the Liga Del Sur complex. Although very different from the fields and venues that we are used to playing at in the United States the complex with its manually operated card scoreboard was filled with hope, love and friendship. TEAM FLA played teams from Liga Del Sur and the National Team of Ecuador and went undefeated in the tournament earning the title of Tournament First Place Champions. However, it was the Outreach and Clinics that truly made us as Team FLA players feel like true champions. Team FLA coaches and players participated in several clinics and shared basic fundamental skills with area students. Lessons were provided in throwing, batting, catching, agility and conditioning. A highlight of the clinics included sharing donations of much needed softball/baseball equipment for area youth collected by the Team FLA softball coaches and families.
In addition to the softball fundamental clinics, we participated in outreach activities and visits to local schools where members of Team FLA were able to distribute school supplies that they had collected from their schools back home in the United States. The distribution of school supplies were warmly received by school administration. The kids also like the candy that we were able to share as well!
During our trip we had the opportunity of a lifetime, to spend the night at the Ecuador Naval base, the girls had an amazing time touring the base and getting to meet many of the men who were there. While at the base we had an opportunity to kayak, sail, tour by boat, and go wave running. This was a great experience for all of us and we thank the men and women at the Naval base for inviting us and giving us a great experience that many people will never get.
The warmth and hospitality extended by the Liga Del Sur officials was incredible. Team FLA players toured the City of Guayaquil and learned about the history of the largest city in Ecuador. From sightseeing tours, shopping adventures in local markets, beautiful accommodations, tour of the Naval base to the incredibly delicious food prepared by the woman of Liga Del Sur the TEAM FLA delegation was made to feel at home.
Team FLA's participation in the Liga Del Sur Invitational is certainly a highlight of our softball careers thus far that has touched each member of the Team FLA delegation and will forever remain with us. We will never forget the stories like that of the Peruvian pitcher who travelled 24 hours via bus just to watch a Team from the United States play. After three years of pitching lessons and never having the opportunity to play, this young player was given the opportunity by Team FLA Head Coach Linda Derk to play alongside the same players from the United States that she travelled so far to see. If only for a few days, she became part of Team FLA but forever a member of the Team FLA family. With Team FLA, we have the opportunity to travel all across the United States to play softball and many times take for granted the opportunities that are afforded to us. The desire to play and gain experience from the girls from the United States shown by this young girl from Peru opened many of our eyes to the reality of the vast opportunities and exposure that we are able to enjoy and experience as elite club softball players in the United States.
Thank you Liga Del Sur and our sisters in Softball from Liga Del Sur and the National Team of Ecuador for sharing your love of the sport with us.
By: Mara Brody, Team FLA Player
Posted September 25th, 2013
Register now for the Michele Smith Exposure & Developmental Holiday Camp! Click here for details.
Posted September 25th, 2013
Photos from the Guayaquil, Ecuador Tournament have been posted on the LDI Facebook page. THANK YOU to all who attended!
Posted July 5th, 2013
Linda Derk a Part of the NFCA Partnership Alliance Council (PAC)
National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA)
In an effort to inform the softball community about a new recruiting initiative, the NFCA met with several softball organizations during the NCAA Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City. The Partnership Alliance Council (PAC) was formed by the NFCA to bring together softball associations that share common challenges.
The NFCA received feedback from ASA/USA Softball, Premier Girls Fastpitch (PGF), Little League, Triple Crown Sports and USSSA regarding specific opinions of how the NFCA can better serve their communities. In addition, the organizations were informed of a new mobile phone application that will make it easier for future collegiate players to get their information to college coaches. The NFCA and NCSA Athletic Recruiting are working together on the app, and representatives from both groups were present to explain the new recruiting paradigm to the other organizations.
"We were honored to bring together the leaders of so many great softball organizations," said Kate Drohan, NFCA second vice president and Northwestern University head coach. Our meeting was an outstanding opportunity to come together, share ideas, discuss and give direction to the future of our sport relative to recruiting. We look forward to future collaborations of this group."
The new technology that was introduced at the meeting was heavily influenced by college coaches and provides a user-friendly platform for recruits to enter their information. College coaches will have access to it and will be able to track players they are interested in by setting contact preferences. In addition, coaches will have access to player tournament information, including game times and locations. There is no cost to players to use the app, or for coaches to obtain information.
Recruits will also be able to add video free of charge, as well as "softball measurables," such as running speed, throwing speed, etc., along with contact information on the person or group that did the testing. In the future, the plan is to have multiple opportunities for testing, either through free combines, NFCAverified combine events or invitation-only combines. In addition to the softball organizations, several combine operators were present to listen to the presentation.
Education will also be a key element offered in the free app, which is expected to launch in September 2013. The NCSA and NFCA, in their recruit-education partnership, are both providing great educational pieces for softball players from middle-school age through high school. The recruiting process is ever changing, and this app will help recruits and their parents stay ahead of the game. Olympian Jessica Mendoza, All-American Garland Cooper and Hall of Fame Coach Sue Enquist are just some of the experts that provide advice for the future college player.
Besides the informational part of the meeting, three main areas of interest surfaced from the organizations in attendance -- softball education, recruit education and national performance standards. The NFCA has established committees for further development, and a follow-up conference call will be held with the PAC in August, followed by another in-person meeting Thursday, December 5, at the NFCA National Convention in San Antonio.
Members of the Council:
• Sue Enquist: former UCLA coach and Hall of Famer
• Kate Drohan: Northwestern Head Coach
• Rhonda Revelle: Nebraska Head Coach
• Lizzy Lamier: Notre Dame Associate Coach
• Rachel Hansen: Dartmouth Head Coach
• Chris Herman: Williams Head Coach
• Linda Derk: Team FLA AD and LDI
"I am excited and honored to have the opportunity to be a part of a committee with such a "storied group" of coaches that are passionate about taking our sport to the next level. This committee is dedicated to having a strong mission to help develop a more consistent approach to the development of travel ball coaches, players and parents at all levels." - Linda Derk
Posted June 17th, 2013
Team FLA has been presented with a very unique international opportunity. We have been invited to attend a International Tournament in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The Copa Ciudad de Guayaquil Tournament from Wednesday, September 18 to Saturday, September 21. The organizers have pledged food and lodging for our Team FLA players and Coaches. They will also secure wireless Internet for communications and schoolwork. They will also provide transportation to and from the airport, to and from lodging to the fields, and transportation for a tour of Guayaquil. Our responsibility will be spending money and air travel.
Team FLA Softball is not just the only travel ball organization in the United States invited to this event, we are the first ones ever invited to this tournament. We will be playing National teams from South America (Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Argentina and Peru- to name a few). Linda Derk and staff will be choosing the players to attend. More information and fundraising ideas will be forth coming.
Posted June 17th, 2013
|Team FLA Softball is very proud to announce that Sarah "Sugar" Nevins has been selected for the USA National Team! This is such a huge accomplishment and we are all so proud of Sarah. Sarah was with Team FLA from 8th grade through 12th grade and then off USF to become a very successful collegiate player entering her Senior year. There are not many Travel Ball organizations that has this honor of having a USA National Team player.|
Posted January 28th, 2013
Information is now available for the 2013 University of Tampa Summer Softball Camp and the 2013 LDI Gultcoast International Classic! Click here for all the details!.