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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! 

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

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

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

Complete the following checklist to make the season go more smoothly.

  • ​Attend the Big West League coaches meeting April 9, 2018 at Medina Entertainment Center. There you will register your team and set your schedule of weeknight games for the 2018 season. Once you receive your schedule from Big West league you will contact the OSA Field Coordinator to get your assigned Orono practice field and inform them of the nights you will need an umpire. 
  • Prior to April 1st 2018, register your team on the Big West website so team pages can be created and schedules can be worked on. All team pages will be built by mid-April. All other coaching requirements by the Big West league are listed on the home page of their website.
  • Determine how many weekend tournaments you would like to play during the season. OSA funds up to 4 tournaments in addition to State Qualifier and State if your team qualifies. Please contact the OSA treasurer to get payments needed to register your teams. It is recommended you identify your tournaments early in the season (April) to ensure you get into the ones you want. You many also want to consider a weekend travel tournament. OSA will pay the entry fee but it is the responsibility of the team to pay overnight expenses. Here are the links to the tournament websites:
  • Attend the OSA coaches meeting TBD. You will get coaching tips from our Orono softball varsity coaches and receive your equipment for the season.
  • Attend the OSA/OBA opening day ceremonies. You will receive uniforms during this time and your team will be announced at the event. This will be your time to meet parents and have a team meeting if you want to talk over the season.
  • Complete the necessary certification required to coach the team which is listed in the Coaches Certification section below. There are separate requirements for Head Coach and Assistant Coaches.
  • Review the Player/Parent code of conduct with your team. Review the Conflict/Resolution policy listed below before the start of the season.
  • NAFA/MOA - Many weekend tournaments around the metro offer the chance to play at NAFA or MOA Nationals if you win your bracket. OSA does fund some of the costs of entering your team into the tournament. NAFA fills quickly and there is no guarantee if you qualify that there will be an opening for your team to play if you don't register early. If interested please contact the OSA travel program director to learn more about what needs to be done once you qualify. 
  • USA Selects -  Each coach is allowed to nominate up to 2 girls on their team. Contact the OSA program director for more information. Entry into the event is paid for by OSA.


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 Concussion Training. Assistant coaches are required to do the Background Check and Concussion Training. Team managers are excluded from these requirements.

OSA and Big West 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 beginning in the 2018 season 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.

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

Send proof of completion for ACE Certification (screen shot of completion, receipt or image of ACE card) and 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 and Big West 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.

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

Send proof of completion for Background Check and 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).

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