Monthly Archives: August 2013

1996 Olympic Hero Moves to a Tiny Town with Big Dreams

web_SB_2014_Dot_RichardsonDot Richardson, two time Olympian has moved to Lynchburg, Va to become the head softball coach at Liberty University.  Richardson is taking over for Paul Wetmore who has been with the softball program since 1994.  Wetmore finished his coaching career with a 547-617-1 record.  Now Liberty plans to take the program to a new level by striving to become national ranked and update the facilities. Richardson was recently interviewed by LU and explained she has three goals planned out:

1. Continue the Christ centered focus in the softball program.

2. Make the program more competitive and become nationally ranked.

3. Improve the softball budget to update facilities.

To watch the “Getting to Know Dot Richardson” interview, go to this link : http://www.liberty.edu/flames/index.cfm?PID=10854&TeamID=2

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This is Richardson’s first official collegiate coaching position.  She brings along with her an entire coaching staff which includes her husband, Bob Pinto, and Paige Cassady.  Pinto has over 30 years of softball experience stretching from high school to professional levels.  Cassady has been hired on to be the pitching coach. Cassady brings along several years of collegiate pitching experience from inside and outside the circle.

Left - Bob Pinto Middle - Dot Richardson Right - Paige Cassady

Left – Bob Pinto
Middle – Dot Richardson
Right – Paige Cassady

Along with Richardson’s three main goals, she mentions several attributing goals in her interview.  Richardson hopes to help the female athletes in the softball program to reach their full potential as an athlete.  Not everyone can be the best player on the field but she plans to help each player reach at their own individual highest level that is obtainable.  Richardson also hopes to give these players the ability to impact others off the field when they graduate from LU. These might be the last years these players play the sport, so they need to be able to empower others once the game is over.

So what does this mean to the softball community in Lynchburg?  Having such highly experienced and well-known softball figures in the community will greatly impact softball in Lynchburg.  Richardson has been receiving hundreds of emails from interested high schoolers who want to play at Liberty.  As a result, many of these players will end up getting involved with the nearby high school softball programs, travel softball teams, and even slowpitch leagues.  Having these influencers will improve the local softball player’s skill levels and hopefully bring even more players into the system.  Bringing Dot Richardson on board to the softball program at LU is a win not only for the university, but as well for the community.

Currently, LU’s softball field conditions are not very impressive.  The field looks like a generic high school field and does not match up to other university’s facilities.  Plans to update the field are in the works.  Luckily, LU has just updated that baseball field.  This upgrade will give Liberty a sample to go by when building the new softball field. The plan is to make the softball field a miniature version of the new baseball field.  Below are pictures of both the new Liberty baseball field and the current softball field; which will be upgraded soon!

LU Baseball Field

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LU Softball Field

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Photo credit: http://www.liberty.edu/flames/index.cfm?PID=10867&CoachID=792&TeamID=2 and http://www.dailycommercial.com/sports/article_7ccc94bf-094b-5203-a679-7e9f2824b505.html


6 Fall Ball Must-Have Training Threads

  1. Under Armour Women’s Charged Cotton Storm Slub Pants – Cinched ankle design perfect for turning a normal pair of sweats into capris. Pants are also water resistant and has sweat wicking technology. Can be found at Under Armour, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Amazon.V5-1236054-001_LDF
  2. Classic Baseball Style Long Sleeve Shirt – 10 different colors in in 7 different sizes for $2.50. Who can pass up that deal? Can be found at Boombah.com8-13-2013 5-06-24 PM
  3. Easton Women’s Turboslot III Fastpitch Batting Glove – Perfect for cold weather hitting due to the extra padding. Can be found at Softball.com8-13-2013 5-09-29 PM
  4. Women’s “Easton Pro” Low Rise Softball Pants with Piping – No more granny pants during practice ladies! Softball pants made for girls  who play in this century have finally been made. Can be found at allsportsuniforms.net8-13-2013 5-15-25 PM
  5. Mizuno Wave Rider Indoor Training Shoes – Indoor training is right around the corner. Why not train with the same pair Jennie Finch takes to the gym with her? Can be found at Zappos.com2095110-p-MULTIVIEW
  6. Women’s Heatgear Sonic Long Sleeve – Sweat wicking and anit-microbial technology. Less chances for you to smell while training. Woot! Can be found at Under Armour and Amazon.V5-1233503-577_HTF

Training Cram Session before College Softball Tryouts

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College is right around the corner.  For some softball players that means college tryouts are about to begin! Tryouts can be some of the toughest weeks you will ever go through in college; but will be well worth it once you make the team.  Here are a few training tips on what to focus on before heading off to college.

There are four main training categories for softball: Offense, Defense, Cardio, and Weight Training.

For normal training sessions, I would only do two categories per day and actually only train 3-5 times a week.  But for you, this is a cram session!  Expect to do a lot of running, throwing, and hitting during tryouts; so make that your training focus!  You may run the most you ever run all year during the first weeks of school.  Coaches like to implement lots of vigorous running workouts to test players, get players into shape, and to weed out the weak players.  For your next two weeks, I would recommend running as your main focus.  Make sure to include long distance 1-3 miles and short sprints in your workouts.

For long distance, run outside.  The tryouts are going to be outside so get used to the weather.  For sprints, focus a lot on running the bases.  It is almost guaranteed that you will be timed from home to first.  You may also be timed on home to second, home to third, and around the horn.  Even if you’re not timed, the coach may still just want to see your footwork on the bags; and therefore make you run them.softball-pitching-tips_122553959_s300x300

For weight training, I would not worry on this as much or at all.  Weight training will probably not be included during tryouts.  But, expect it to start immediately once you’ve made the team.  Each team usually has its own lifting regiment it follows, so you may never actually use my recommended lifts.  One again, I would not focus at all on this area before tryouts since it takes days for your body to bounce back after these lifts.  But for future use, here are some of the most beneficial lifts for softball training (Click on links to see videos on how to do the lifts):

Offense training:

Go to the batting cage, hit off the tee, hit softball toss, practice bunting, and take practice swings.  Get your body ready for swinging the bat at practices that can last four hours at times.  Hopefully, at this point you have your technique ready for tryouts. You just need to worry about swinging with endurance and being able to take a lot of consistent cuts.

Defensive training:

Similar to offensive training where you should have you techniques ready for tryouts at this point.  You also need to prepare your throwing arm for long enduring practices.  Find a throwing partner and get a lot of throws in before tryouts. Remember to throw short and long distance.  If you don’t have a partner, grab a bucket of balls, find a target, and throw to that.  You need to build endurance in your arm muscles.  If you are an infielder or catcher, you will also need to build some endurance for squatting.  Take lots of grounders, do timed wall squats, and get used to bending those legs!

After each workout, don’t forget to stretch!


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