By Tom Mauldin
If you’re a softball enthusiast or dream of playing college softball, then 2019 will truly be a great “new” year. And a must time to connect with Fastpitch Northwest.
Fastpitch NW, entering its 10th season, has unveiled a plethora of new — and likely to be very exciting and enticing — opportunities for players who want to take their game to the next level.
A new and expanded website;
A new college exposure tournament date;
Nearly twice as many Prospect Evaluation Camps (PECs) as a year ago (in other words, more opportunities for players with less travel);
Additional exposure to college coaches;
And a tournament all-star team to be selected at the college exposure tournament with an all-expense trip paid to participate in the City of Lights Invitational in Las Vegas in October.
Did you catch the “all-expense” trip paid? More PECs, aka more opportunities?
Over the years, Fastpitch Northwest has opened the door for many northwest players to create their player profile, be evaluated and play in front of many northwest coaches. Combining its national-reach website with PECs and its tournament, upwards of 600 players have caught the eyes of college coaches from coast to coast and have ended up on the recruiting end.
After all, the motto for Fastpitch NW is “Taking the Game to the Next Level One Player at a Time.”
“The Fastpitch Northwest Championships have been one of the premier exposure and recruiting events in our region for the last nine years and features top level players from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Hawaii and British Columbia,” said Fastpitch NW general manager Mike Brooks. “Our unique format allows college coaches to see all games and evaluate talent without leaving our eight-field complex at Fort Borst Park in Centralia (WA).
”Brooks, who spent many years with Baseball Northwest and is a former professional baseball player, was quick to point out many new things to be unveiled in the year ahead:
Team Workouts for College Coaches: Coaches will have Event Packets in advance of tournament play (on Monday Aug 5th);
All Academic Game: The Fastpitch NW staff will consult with college coaches from high-academic universities in attendance at the NWC as to who they would like to see play in the Academic Game. Selection is based on grade point average (GPA), test scores, and athletic ability. Brooks noted players should be sure their GPA and SAT/ACT scores are updated on their Fastpitch Northwest website profile. Players will be notified during the tournament if they have been selected;
All Tournament All Star Game: The Fastpitch NW staff consult with college coaches in attendance at the NWC as to which players they are interested in seeing play in the All Star Game. Players will be notified during the tournament if they have been selected;
Top players from the All Star Game will be nominated to play (with all expenses paid) for Team Northwest at the City of Lights National Showcase in Las Vegas in October.
That’s a lot of new enhancements for 2019.
And the staples that have made Fastpitch NW a success will remain as each prospect evaluation camp with offer SPARQ (speed, power, agility, reaction and quickness) testing, NFCA comparative testing (arm speed for, bat speed, catcher’s pop-to-pop time, base running) as well as evaluation of fielding, hitting and pitching.
The evaluations are a key component for an athlete putting themselves on the recruiting trail. It not only lets college coaches know how athletes compare, but is a great indicator for the individual.
Ken Olson and Tom Mauldin are back and will handle much of the testing and host the majority of the prospect camps. Olson was director of Fastpitch NW for nine years and Mauldin has been his assistant for the last eight.
See you on the field.