Voluntary practice this Saturday at 3pm at Flynn Park.
†Welcome to the Jacksonville Venom Home Page!
†A Message From Coach For Prospective Players & Parents
Hello players and parents,
My name is Coach Mike Flanagan. I am the
father of three children; two girls (19 and 11) and one boy (5). My experience
with sports began before I could walk, watching my father play fast pitch
softball in Ohio and traveling all over the Midwest to his tournaments. At the
age of twelve, we moved to Jacksonville where I played baseball and football at
MAA, DuPont and Wolfson. After graduating, I was offered a baseball scholarship
to UCF and I was also offered an opportunity to play in the Cincinnati
Reds organization. I chose option B. I also played 15 years of travel softball
while also being a coach and umpire. I have seen all sides of this sport and athletics have
allowed me to travel a large part of the U.S.†Softball could help your children do the
This is an outline of my
plans, philosophies and goals for the coming year:
Above all, school
comes first. These are important transition years for our girls. No
grades, no play. I will ask for parentsí help in this matter. If a
girl isnít traveling because of academics I would still like them at practices
but the times we would be playing games can be used to make up studies.†However, this is up to the parents'
Practice/schedule for fall 2010:
We will try to have 10
practices a month. If that that sounds like a lot, that's just 2-3 a
week, including weekends. We will not waste our time and money playing a
lot of practice tournaments in the fall. If you are concerned that it is
not enough time spent on softball, practices will consist of intensive training
on refining and introducing new skills. I've played/coached every
position and can further your child's development at any position. We
will play scrimmage games with other local teams until I'm sure what we've
learned can translate to a tournament. Playing tournaments when the team
isn't ready can be detrimental to their confidence and it can also lead to repeated
mistakes and cause bad habits to rear their ugly heads. It's quality, not
quantity with me.
Practice/schedule and travel for
We will have a full schedule of
approximately 10 tournaments before the World Series. If we go to Disnet for their World Series then we will target a few more USSSA tournaments to
gain more points for seeding purposes.
Every girl will get individual
attention as well as part of a group and team. When the Assistants are
set, I prefer them to coach the bases during a game. I'll send in
signals, but they will have a lot of leeway. This way I can focus on the
entire team and not get "lost" in the situation. We will call
bunt plays on defense, call location and change of pace pitches all through the
catcher. We will have at least one bunt for hit each game and put as much
pressure on the opposition's defense as possible. Defense is huge with
me, but that only keeps you in a game. My goal is to have everyone taken
a side each practice and get at least 50 swings in. Soft toss, tee, coach
pitch, machine, live pitching at times. I have some good drills with the
We won't play tournaments just for
the sake of playing tournaments. We'll try to stay local in the fall.
I am not a deep pocketed coach/parent. I believe in fund-raising and
sponsorships are great. We, as a team, will try to set up several ways to
raise money. When we do travel, it can get expensive but if we stay
together we can block off discount rates. This is especially true when we
travel with other local teams.†We'll
try to find the best value for the money when it comes to tournaments and accommodations.
Why travel ball?
There are several reasons why travel
ball is better than rec ball. If you are thinking forward to the future,
more college scouts follow travel ball than school ball. After all, why
would a scout travel to each high school to look at one girl when they can go
to a travel tournament and see them all at once?†Most rec leagues are good for beginning
players or parents who want their child to be more active without a major time
commitment. Many are coached by devoted parents who are there for their
children, but may not have strong coaching experience. My oldest daughter
chose not to play travel ball at this age, only school ball. In the next six
years, she had 5 different coaches and wasn't able to get back into to travel
ball because teams were set. She regrets it now.
If you have any further questions,
please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 904-520-3046.