Three Star Master Coach
Ok, this is a little self-serving, but I am now a Three Star Master Coach with the NFCA’s Coaches College, or NFCC. Not only is it an achievement on its own, but it also takes me 3/4 of the way toward full Four Star status.
If you’re not familiar with it, the NFCC is a college Masters degree-level program that delves in-depth into various aspects of coaching fastpitch softball. You receive one star for every two courses successfully completed, so obviously I have taken six of the eight courses.
Courses cover everything from the mechanics of pitching, hitting, throwing, etc. to offensive and defensive strategies (two separate courses, by the way), defensive techniques, strategies for game day coaching and more. The latest course for me was #406, Coaching Dynamic Team Practices.
For this course I flew down to Orlando, where I spent two days with about 60 other coaches, from D1 college down to 10U travel. The instructors were Carol Hutchins, Cindy Bristow (both NFCA Hall of Famers) and Carol Bruggeman (no doubt a future inductee). We did several hours of classroom work, and each day we were also outside for two hours watching the instructors run a couple of teams through a sample practice.
While what they did was interesting, it was really watching how they did it that was the most fascinating for me. You got a pretty good opportunity to see why they are where they are. The first day they worked with the Seminole State Junior College team, and the second day with D1 Central Florida University.
If you’re committed to being the best coach you can be, the NFCC is an awesome program to improve your knowledge and help you grow. It’s not cheap — I probably spent more than $1,000 when it was all said and done — but a very worthwhile investment for serious coaches.
Of course, earning Three Star status doesn’t give my team any extra runs to start the game. But it sure helps me feel like we’re preparing the best we can for competition. And it’s fun to be among so many other committed coaches.