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BenchYou got picked for a top "A" team in your state but you find yourself on the bench. By paying attention to bench skills and opportunities you can become an MVP. Don't take the opportunity and you might be looking elsewhere next season.

BuntingAll batters need to learn how to bunt. In many games it may be the only way to win. Pay special attention to smaller players who may not be catching onto the mechanics of power hitting. They'll have more fun getting on base than making an infield out every time. And, yes you righties can slap hit left with success.

HittingHitting is the most difficult Softball and Baseball skill to learn. I think its most difficult in Fastpitch. Use mechanics which recognize the minimal time you have to react. Avoid the baseball style coaches who refuse to acknowledge the difference.

CatchingThe catcher runs the Fastpitch game. If you're the catcher and you're not loud and often then you need to work on those skills. You give the signs and the actions of all the players is in front of you. Don't just observe, make sure everyone knows what to do.

InfieldThis one is hard for me to write. I played shortstop and could count on making at least a third of the defensive plays. Now I see second often having more action. And, third base at those short distances is often mindboggling. But, the girls can handle it. Oh well, just remember - no errors!

OutfieldParents, teams improve by playing the best competition. The best competition has the best outfielders. Coaches, you should preach that fact and teach those skills at an early age.

PitchingPitching is the heart of the Fastpitch sport. If your pitching staff is weak or shallow your team has little chance against a team with a good pitching staff. Even at 43 feet in college, pitchers dominate. Aim for at least 3 or 4 hours of pitching practice each week with a full one month break in the winter.

RunningI can't recall losing a foot race to any of my kids. Unfortunately I want all of them to run faster than their slow Dad. Most running material today talks about the need for Fast-twitch muscle firing faster and plyometrics training drills. And I always though I just had to move my feet faster.

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