Welcome to the homepage for the Harris Heat Fusion 9U/10U travel softball team!
Harris Heat Fusion is a new travel team created on the concept of players, coaches and parents working together to give young women positive softball experiences that develop softball skill, athletic potential, and character. The best way to learn about what our team stands for is to read our mission statement. The players, coaches and parents who make up Harris Heat Fusion are committed to the principles set forth in this document.
To provide young women with positive softball experiences that foster development of character as well as development of athletic potential.
In pursuing its mission, the team will strive to meet the following objectives:
1. To give the players positive softball experiences.
2. To help girls develop good character.
3. To help girls develop their overall athletic potential.
4. To help girls develop their particular potential as softball players.
Team activities will be designed to fulfill the team’s objectives.
1. In order to give the players positive softball experiences...
1.1. Practices will be both instructional and fun.
1.2. Games will be coached in a positive manner, and match ups—whether tournament play or double headers—will be sought that will challenge the players to grow while also offering reasonable opportunities for success.
1.3. Team activities and outings will be designed to build friendships with teammates (e.g., meals after games), expand players’ softball experiences (e.g., watching college or professional softball games), and develop character (e.g., service activities).
2. In order to help girls develop good character and...
2.1. To be good teammates. Activities that foster the virtues of being a good teammate will be incorporated in practices (e.g., giving positive feedback to teammates about areas where they excel or are showing improvement). Players will be expected to treat their teammates in respectful and supportive manners at all times.
2.2. To be good sports. Players will be taught to extend their respect and support for teammates to others with whom they share the field, namely, opponents and officials.
2.3. To be good family members. Players will be encouraged to treat family members with respect and appreciation for the support they provide. For example, players will be reminded to thank family members for bringing them to practices or games, for cheering for them, and so forth.
2.4. To be good citizens. Players will be expected to represent their team and their community in a positive manner at team functions, including outings and activities. They will also be encouraged to keep a proper perspective on softball by being taught about more important issues in our communities and in people’s lives.
3. In order to help girls develop their overall athletic potential...
3.1. Speed, strength and agility training will be incorporated appropriately into all phases of the team calendar in order to help players develop fitness and overall athleticism.
3.2. Games and fun physical activities will be incorporated into practices and workouts in order to foster a love of physical activity in its own right.
3.3. Cross-training and sports other than softball will be incorporated appropriately into workouts in order to foster a love of all sports.
4. In order to help girls develop their particular potential as softball players...
4.1. Practices and team activities will be designed to develop players’ knowledge of the game of softball (including rules, strategies, great players, history of the game, etc.).
4.2. Practices will emphasize development of players’ abilities to execute the fundamentals of the game (including throwing, catching, fielding, base running, hitting, etc.).
4.3. Practices, games and team activities will include various forms of friendly competition in order to foster a healthy competitive spirit.
In striving to meet the objectives and to carry out the activities described above, team members will act in accord with the following principles.
We will do our best to provide a safe environment in which kids can play softball. The game of softball has inherent dangers, and players and families must accept the risk of injury when choosing to play the game; but coaches will do their best to ensure that appropriate protective gear is worn at all times, and that practices and other activities are structured in a way that minimizes unnecessary risk of injury.
As youth coaches, our central task is to teach the game of softball to our players.
Teaching is best done in practices rather than games, and the team will try to offer enough practices—and to use those practices sufficiently well—so that the players will arrive at games prepared to be successful by executing what they have learned in practices. To paraphrase the old coaching rule: we will coach in practices; we will manage games.
Coaches will establish objectives for the entire season before the beginning of winter workouts, and a plan will be developed for pursuing these objectives systematically throughout the course of the season. A lesson plan will be created for every practice, including what will be taught and how it will be taught; these plans will be sent to coaches before practice, and will be available to parents.
Players will be taught the fundamentals of a number of positions. Coaches will determine a position (or positions) at which they think a player can best contribute to the team, and the player will be asked to learn that position (or positions). But each player will also be asked to identify a position that she would like to play, and she will be given instruction at that position as well as an opportunity to challenge for playing time at that position. Decisions about playing time will be made by the coaches, but will be made on the basis of criteria that will be clearly communicated to players.
3. A positive environment
In order to foster a positive experience for all involved, members of the team will strive to use positive supports and interventions in all situations. Coaches will use positive language when teaching players, and will offer positive reinforcement as often as possible. All team members, including family members, will value and offer positive reinforcement for the contributions made by others.
4. Responsibility and accountability
In order for players to benefit fully from participation in this team, there must be personal responsibility and accountability at all levels of the organization, including players, families and coaches. Players must commit to: individual practice; speed, strength and agility training; maintaining a positive attitude; and so forth. Families must commit to: helping players with individual practice; getting players to team practices; assuming financial costs of softball; providing positive emotional support for players; and the like. And coaches must commit to upholding all of the principles of the team outlined in this document. It is especially important for players to understand and embrace the fact that they, not their parents or coaches, are ultimately responsible for their own individual practice and improvement, as well as their own performance. It is also important for players to understand that playing time, and especially playing time at certain positions, is something that is earned and not to be taken for granted.
By teaching the game clearly, practicing the skills required to play it well, and instilling in players the importance of taking responsibility for their own performance, we empower players to succeed on the field. We also empower players to shape their own softball experience: by helping them set goals for themselves and work to achieve those goals; by employing a challenge system to help make decisions about positions and playing time; and by asking player input about appropriate matters. When players are empowered to succeed, they can be confident in the face of challenges and resilient in the wake of mistakes. And they can take this confidence and resilience with them when they leave the field.
6. Good organization
As is the case with any complex group, the team must be well organized. Practice and game schedules will be set and published as far in advance as possible. Proactive planning will be undertaken by the coaches, with appropriate input from players and families, to establish goals for the team and to work out detailed practice plans and other means for pursuing these goals systematically.
7. Good communication
For the team to flourish, there must be excellent communication among all members of the organization. Team leaders will strive for transparency in all matters, including explaining to players what is expected of them, why they are asked to play particular positions, ways in which they might improve their softball skills, and the like. Mechanisms will be put in place to foster player input into team decision making about appropriate issues such as the planning of team outings. And mechanisms like team meetings will be used to foster family input about the appropriateness of team goals, the means being used to pursue them, the players’ experiences, and so forth.