Number of Participants: 18
Hours Donated: 12
Value of Time Served: $1,825
Event Type: Children & Youth
School: Pearl River High School
Date: November 2, 2022
Pearl River High School
East Central Avenue, Pearl River
We take great pride in our annual youth softball clinics each year, and we have stepped or game up this Fall as well. I am going into my 10th year coaching the varsity softball team here at Pearl River HS and we historically hold one or two youth clinics each winter prior to the pandemic. Last year, we began holding our clinics in the Fall season, which enabled us to be outdoors. Both our coaches and student-athletes have always believed that it is important to give back to our sport and help inspire the future of our program! Our high school softball players have always enjoyed working with the youth of our community, almost as much as the younger players enjoy working with the older girls. I truly believe our clinics are a big part of our program over the years. So much so that our current juniors and seniors were talking last week to the campers about how they used to come to the clinics and maybe someday they could be volunteering at the clinics just as they were. In addition to the role model aspect, we want to help encourage and inspire the younger players to stay with the sport of softball, which can be a challenge for many reasons these days (travel sports, the popularity of sports, the failure aspect of softball, the slowness of the game at the young ages, etc). In addition to the role model aspect, and ability for the younger players to work with the older, we use this as a fundraiser for our program as well, in which 100% of the funds raised goes directly back into the program (batting cage, field sound system, equipment, etc). Last year we added a batting cage to our facility, in which the youth players were able to use themselves last weekend and were very excited to use, just like the varsity athletes do.
During my 10 years of coaching softball, we have seen the enrollment at the youth level decline each and every year, in both Little League and at the school level. In talking to other coaches and administrators from around the state, this seems to be a recurring issue for our sport. I know my coaches and athletes over the years feel a responsibility to help continue the tradition of Pearl River Softball, both now and in the future. These clinics have also led to several of my current softball players to not only volunteering their time at the clinics, but they also have volunteered their time coaching Little League Fall Ball teams as well. Our alumni that return to watch our HS team play in the Spring, always comment to me that they remember coaching current players during the clinics years ago. It is something that we all take pride in. If there is any way that we can keep the softball tradition alive in Pearl River, our athletes want to be a part of it. In addition to our softball athletes, this year we also have had girls soccer, girls, basketball, and baseball players to also volunteer at our clinics. They all truly enjoy giving back to the future of Pirate athletics!
Although we have typically offered 1-2 clinics per year, this year we have expanded to 6 youth clinics this Fall (between October 13th and November 10th). In addition to our annual “Fielding” and “Hitting” clinics for grades 1-7, this year we have added two “Pitching” clinics for grades 1-7, and two “Introduction to Slap Hitting Clinics” for grades 4-7. We have completed four of our clinics and still have one slap hitting clinic left this week, and our larger fielding clinic next week. Our numbers from the past few years, which had dropped, have soared back up to where they were several years prior to the pandemic. I am certain that in addition to the efforts of the Little League, our High School clinics run by our coaches and High School softball athletes, is a MAJOR contributor to the success of our clinics and the rise in our participation numbers.