Brittany Hendrickson is in her second year as the head softball coach for the Saints after taking-over one of the most successful programs in the NWAC in 2016. She inherited a program that owns eight Southern Region crowns and five NWAC titles.
Hendrickson, who played at Portland State from 2011-2015, racked up numerous Big Sky and collegiate awards during her playing career, including First team, All Big Sky twice (2013, 2015), Second team All Big Sky (2014) and on five occasions was named the Big Sky Player of The Week. She was also PSU’s Team Offensive MVP three times (2013, 2014, 2015).
As a senior at PSU in 2015, Hendrickson led the team in batting average (.393), hits (59), doubles (11), home runs (8), RBI (45), walks (36) and slugging percentage (.627). She was also an outstanding scholar athlete, having been named to the All Big Sky Academic Teams from 2011-2015.
After graduating from PSU, Hendrickson joined the Concordia-Irvine University softball program as an assistant coach. Her responsibilities at Concordia included assisting with operations, recruitment, scouting, fiscal planning, monitoring academic success and fundraising, as well as conducting a strength, speed, agility and conditioning program for the players.
Hendrickson is also in the process of completing her Master’s degree in Coaching and Athletic Administration from Concordia, to go along with her Bachelor’s in Health Studies from PSU.
Q. What are your most successful practice drills (hitting, fielding, baserunning, pitching -- indoor or out)? Can you explain it and tell us what the benefit is?
A. On the offensive side of things, I really believe in seeing as much live pitching as possible. We have a very strong alumni support system where we are able to get a variety in pitchers who will come throw to us. My staff and I also throw live during practices.
One of my favorite defensive drills is 21 outs to perfection. The benefit of this drill is the simulation of pressure that athletes experience during games. All nine players are relied on to do their job and it makes for a fun competition on how fast the team can get to 21 outs.
Q. What information do you want from potential recruits?
A. GPA, Primary/Secondary Position, Batting Avg., home to first time, Club team schedule, High school schedule, why they are interested in Mt. Hood, and if they know what they want to study.
Q. How has the game - or players - changed since you became a coach?
A. It has only been a few years since I was playing. But I’ve already seen changes in the NCAA rules and many advances in practice equipment.
Q. What advice would you give a young player, say 13 or 14, who dreams of playing college softball?
A. Work hard and it will pay off. The game knows how many hours you put into it. I would also tell players to find a club team that challenges them and competes at a high level. Surrounding yourself with teammates who are better than you will push you to become a better player.
Q What is your most memorable softball/baseball experience (coaching or playing)?
A. My most memorable softball experience was beating Idaho State in the Big Sky tournament to make it to Regionals. One of my teammates hit a home run late in the game to put us on top and before her at bat, she dedicated it to her father who had passed away. It was a magical season and it was an amazing experience to be able to represent Portland State University, a smaller D1 school, on the biggest stage.
Q. When you are recruiting, what attributes in a player are you seeking?
A. Hustle, Body Language/Posture, Work ethic, Competitiveness and Heart.
Q. If you weren't a softball coach, what would you be doing?
A. I have a passion for health, fitness and sports. I would be doing something in that field. I used to be a personal trainer and have ran the weights/conditioning program for my team each year that I have coached.
Q. And, finally, what is it about softball you love?
A. I love everything about the game. What I love most about sports is the platform it gives to learn about life and the character development that comes with it. I’ve been blessed with amazing coaches that have taught me life-long lessons. I try to implement the same philosophies so that my athletes leave my program better people.