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OSA Travel Coaches Corner

Coaches, thank you for volunteering to coach your daughter and her teammates. Our program could not run without your time, energy and commitment! 

Spring Travel Schedule
8U – M/W practice and game days

10U – T/TH practice and game days
12U – M/W practice and game days

Fall Travel Schedule
8U – M/W practice and Saturday game days

10U – T/TH practice and Saturday game days
12U – M/W practice and Sunday game day

OSA Philosophy on Playing Time and Development

Playing Time
In the travel league, there is no requirement that equal playing time will occur. Over the course of the season, coaches will ensure that each player gets ample playing time, but not necessarily at the player’s or parent’s desired position. As the season progresses, particularly at 12U Top Team and above, players will be positioned so that the team is competitive.

The younger the age group, there will be more stress on individual player development and equal playing time. The older the age group, there will be more stress on team development and placing the most competitive team on the field.

Once a team is selected, coaches must treat all of the players on the team as part of the team.

Playing time is at discretion of the head coach based on the following:

  • The need to develop depth of talent at every position.
  • Effort of the player in practices and game situations.
  • Commitment of the player to improve her skills.
  • Skill level of the players on the team.
  • Unexcused absences at practices, games, tournaments and team meetings.

Playing time can also be impacted (but is not limited to) the following:

  • Disciplinary action is being taken.
  • The player has been suspended.
  • The player is injured or sick.
  • Games shortened due to time limit or inclement weather.

Player Development
Player development and depth of talent and skills at each position is extremely important and is encouraged at every age level. As a result, every player needs to receive opportunities during practices and/or games to learn to perform in all game situations. However, not all players have the attributes or training required to play certain positions (for example, pitcher, catcher or shortstop). Therefore, not all players will be given the opportunity to play at her "favorite" position, or where their parent wants them to play. 

Travel coaches will continue to develop the skills of every player on the team. Players should be given opportunities to play at positions where they will be successful and to build player confidence. The younger the age group, the more playing time should be arranged to enhance the development of skills for every player at more than one position. 

Team development should consist of teaching teamwork and the concept of working together toward a common goal. Care must be taken to make certain that every player is a part of the team. Positive reinforcement is a necessity as new positions and skills are developed.

Coaching Resources

We believe you will find the following links and materials helpful. If you agree, feel free to ask your team players and parents to review. Also, if you find other resources to share with coaches, please e-mail them to Cari Bullemer.

Fundamental Videos with Mike Candrea
Mike Candrea is the head softball coach at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. He was the head coach of the United States women's national softball team in 2004, when Team USA won a gold medal, and in 2008, bringing home silver. Candrea is 2nd on the all-time wins list. Watch his YouTube videos with your daughter for a better understanding of the fundamentals:

How to run the bases.

How to throw the softball.

How to field fly balls.

How to field groundballs.

How to improve as a catcher.

How to pitch a softball.

How to hit a softball.

Reading Material
Two of the best softball books available:
The Softball Coaching Bible
The Softball Drill Book

(You can find either book at your local library or bookstore.)

Helpful Websites

Minnesota League - Provides league information including rules, field locations, coach contacts, etc.

League Tracker - This website takes you to the league tracker, where you enter scores and review other teams schedules and records.

Fastsports - This website contains coaching tips, tournament listings, league discussions (forum).

Minnesota Metro Fastpitch League - This is the website used for fall ball.

North American Fastpitch Association - This website has all registration and National information for region 3.

INSTRUCTIONS/DEMONSTRATIONS from Orono High School Coaches Chris Johnson & Chad Christians

These helpful handouts were distributed at the Coaches Clinic conducted on Sunday, April 7 at the Orono High School gym. Orono Varsity Head Coach Chris Johnson and Asst. Coach Chad Christians provided the training that evening and also these materials in order to have consistency throughout all levels of the Orono softball program. Please adhere to the fundamental forms and language used in these documents.

Asst. Coach Chad Christians demonstrating with an athlete.

Head Coach Checklist

Below is a checklist of things to do to get started in anticipation of the season:

1) Prior to April 9th 2020, register your team on the applicable league site below. OSA recommends that 8U register as “2” teams and 10U/12U as “B” teams.

8U - 8U Metro Area League Team Registration Form
10U/12U - Big West League Team Registration Form

All levels: the team league fees will be handled by OSA, so no need for you to do anything in that regard. Please send the OSA Travel Program Director an email once you have registered your team.

2) Create your softball roster on; you will need a roster to play softball in the league and in tournaments. Information that can assist in the softball roster creation process can be found here.

3) 10U/12U – Attend the Big West League coaches meeting on tentatively April 9th, 2020 at the Medina Entertainment Center. There you will sign in on behalf of your team and set your schedule of weeknight games for the 2020 season (instructions
will be provided at the meeting). 8U – Your schedule will be created by the 8U Metro Area League.

All levels: once you receive your schedule from the league you will contact the OSA Field Coordinator (Tracy Fix / 612-760-3701) to get your assigned Orono practice field and inform them of the nights you will need an umpire (if applicable).

4) Determine weekend tournaments you would like to play during the season. OSA funds 2-3 8U Tournaments in addition to State, and 3-4 10U/12U Tournaments in addition to 10U/12U State Qualifier and State if your team qualifies. Please contact the OSA Treasurer (John Ferril) to get payments needed to register your teams. The websites to find tournaments are as follows:

5) Attend the OSA coaches training on TBD. You will get coaching tips from our Orono softball varsity coaches, receive your equipment and coach’s binder for the season (this could look very different this year).

6) Complete the necessary certification required to coach the team which is listed in the Coaches Certification section below. OSA, Big West, and 8U Metro Area League requires: 

HEAD COACHES to complete the ACE, Safe Sport, Background Check, and Heads Up (concussion training)

Assistant Coaches and Team Managers to complete the Background Check and Heads Up 

Find training here.

7) Host a Parent/Player meeting to Review the Player/Parent Code of Conduct with your team, the Coach’s ejection policy, and review the Conflict/Resolution policy, both of which can be found in the Coaches Resources above or in your Coaches Handbook. 

8) Attend the OSA/OBA Opening Day (2020 Cancelled) and Picture Day (TBD). You will receive uniforms during this time and your team will be announced at the event. 

9) Each coach is allowed to nominate up to 2 girls for the USA Selects team. Contact the OSA program director for more information. Entry into the event is paid for by OSA.

If you have feedback, questions, or concerns about travel, please contact our OSA Travel Program Director.  

Brandon Oslund

Brandon Oslund

Travel Program Director

Phone: 612-889-4480


You will receive an ACE card like this in the mail soon after completion.

All Head Coaches are REQUIRED to complete the ACE Certification Course and the online CDC Heads Up Concussion Training. Assistant coaches are required to do the Background Check and CDC Heads Up Concussion Training. Team managers are excluded from these requirements.

OSA requires HEAD COACHES to complete:

--> ACE Certification Course – This online course is offered by USA Softball and includes a required Background Check & SafeSport Training. USA Softball requires all ACE educated coaches to first be SafeSport trained before they will have access to their ACE education exam. The SafeSport Training is FREE, takes approximately 3 hrs to complete and is good for 2 years. The ACE Exam takes about 45 minutes and must be completed annually. The cost for this is $25 – for reimbursement, please e-mail your receipt to John Ferril, OSA Treasurer.

--> CDC Heads Up Concussion Training – Complete the online course (approx 30 minutes). This course is FREE. Find the CDC Heads Up Concussion Action Plan below to download, print and keep on hand at practices and games. Find additional Heads Up resources here.

Send proof of completion for ACE Certification (screen shot of completion, receipt or image of ACE card) and CDC Heads Up Concussion Training Certificate to Brandon Oslund, OSA Travel Program Director. Head coaches should keep a copy of this confirmation in their coach's bag, as this may be required at summer and fall state tournaments.

OSA requires TRAVEL ASSISTANT COACHES to complete:

--> Online Background Check. This link will take you to the USA Softball site, you will need to register with USA to set up a personal account. Once you are complete with registration, on your personal landing page there will be a background tab at the bottom. Click this tab and then choose to only do the Background Check Purchase (not the ACE w/ background). The cost for this is $10.00. For reimbursement, please e-mail your receipt to John Ferril.

--> CDC Heads Up Concussion Training – Complete the online course (approx 30 minutes). This course is FREE. Find the CDC Heads Up Concussion Action Plan below to download, print and keep on hand at practices and games. Find additional Heads Up resources here.

Send proof of completion for Background Check and CDC Heads Up Concussion Training Certificate to Brandon Oslund, OSA Travel Program Director.

*Assistant coaches interested in the Coach's Certification will be reimbursed if they wish to take the course (see instructions above).

Certificate to download and send to Director

Having trouble?

Check out these helpful pdf files below to help you navigate through the required training materials.

SportsEngine Page Editing Instructions

Pages can be edited by team coaches and managers if permission has been granted for their specific user IDs by the web administrator. If you believe you need access, contact Cari Bullemer.

To edit pages:

Log on with your user ID and password.

Click into "EDIT MODE" in the corner to edit page content.

To add an item to the CALENDAR, click on the 'add an event' icon on the gold bar above the calendar element.

To add a new section (element) to the team page, select your desired Page Element from the menu (typically Text Block) and click "ADD ELEMENT"

To make changes to a Page Element, just click "EDIT" in the yellow bar

You can rearrange Page Elements by clicking, holding and dragging each element's yellow bar.

For more documentation, please visit the NGIN Knowledge Base.

If you have feedback, questions, or concerns about travel, please contact our OSA Travel Program Director.  

Brandon Oslund

Brandon Oslund

Travel Program Director

Phone: 612-889-4480