ACADEMICS Academic standing while in the program is your highest priority. All students are required to maintain grades commensurate with Honors or High Honors during the school year. However, anyone falling short will be allowed to continue lessons while working to regain her scholastic ranking.
COMMITMENT This program is designed for athletes who love to pitch and take pitching seriously. By accepting the requirements you agree to mandatory weekly lessons beginning on September 3rd and ending on March 21st. Subsequently, from March 21st to August 1st all pitchers must maintain a lesson schedule on at least a monthly basis.
ACCOUNTABLITY All students will be expected to maintain a pitching journal and are expected to throw a minimum number of practice pitches per week during the off season which is from September to March: 400 for ages 9-11; 600 for ages 12–17. This requirement is strictly monitored through the use of a personal pitching chart.
CONDITIONING Since softball pitchers are especially prone to injury they need to be in excellent condition. In order to maintain the necessary level of conditioning you are expected to stick to the regime and complete a weekly exercise chart. Our program is designed to promote overall strength while increasing pitching stamina. For college-bound pitchers the regime will be more intensive and in some cases require a program outside of FDS auspices.
SELF-RESPECT Students will always remember to bring training aids and pitching equipment to their lessons, and to keep them clean and in good condition. No cleats are allowed. Dress appropriately. If you look good you'll feel good and will probably pitch better. Self-respect begins with you, and your teammates will look to you for confidence and leadership.
DISCIPLINE If during a lesson a student is not focused, does not listen or performs below her potential she may be given corrective exercises and/or disciplinary homework, and might even have personal privileges revoked by her parents.
DEDICATION Playing other sports can be fun and even helpful to your conditioning, but when they compete with your pitching regiment in terms of focus, time and energy they will negatively impact your ability to succeed as a pitcher. In particular, any student who wishes to play fall or winter sports is expected to come in for weekly lessons, maintain an adequate conditioning program, continue her weekly quota of practice pitches and maintain high honors or honors in school. If a pitcher does not satisfy this essential requirement her status in the program will be reviewed and possibly terminated.
PROMPTNESS All students will be on time for lessons and it is considered unacceptable to be late except when there are unavoidable circumstances. Also, lessons are scheduled consecutively on the hour so if you are late you will only have the remainder of your time slot to practice. If for some reason you are delayed please call my cell phone at 860-605-5336.
GOAL-SETTING Each student is required to submit a list of objective goals for their upcoming season which will be reviewed at the end of that season.
MENTAL TOUGHNESS Using self-defeating terms such as "I can’t" or "I won’t" are patently discouraged. We would rather you think in terms of “I will” and “I can”. Positive conditioning during your lessons will be a determining factor when you take the ball into the pitcher’s circle.
RESPECTING OTHERS Respectful and appropriate behavior are paramount. Simply put, if at any time you show disrespect to an umpire, parent, coach or another player you will be asked to leave the program.
CONCLUSION This program is admittedly not for everyone and it is quite understandable if some young pitchers and/or their parents decide to seek training elsewhere. However, elite athletes that wish to become a dominant force and to pitch at the highest level will find that while the process is difficult and demanding it delivers special and rarified rewards.