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Two Rivers Alliance


     The last twenty years have seen a sea-change in fastpitch softball.  Primarily, this has come with the growth of travel ball clubs and the shrinking of rec league programs.  There are some advantages to this change, but many disadvantages.  Such as:

        --     Cost (Some teams now charge thousands of dollars), tournaments now cost nearly $500.

        --     Player burn out (some programs now are year-round programs).

        --     "Win at all cost" mentality from parents and coaches now supersedes fun, player development, and sportsmanship. 


     It doesn't have to be this way.  Many of the coaches I have met just this fall share the values that we have.  It's just that we are sometimes limited by forces outside of our control.  Together, we can create an "alliance" of coaches and programs to create the environment we want for our players.  We can do this by:

        --     Hosting local tournaments which will emphasize development and sportsmanship at a reasonable cost.

        --     Creating a website for our coaches and programs.

        --     Hosting social get-togethers for our players to foster sportsmanship.

        --     Hosting coaches clinics.

        --     Hosting player clinics.  


     It starts with us.  Your input and participation is vital.  In fact, it is the ONLY thing that will make this work.  Please join us for our first coaches meeting on November 23rd (Saturday) from 9am - 1pm.   We will be meeting at the Country Inn & Suites (2605 SE 16th Street, Ames).  Just off of HWY30 at the Dayton Road exit.  We have the conference room reserved.  If we get done before 1pm, we can head out.  If it takes longer we can keep the room for a while.  

     Here are the coaches who will be joining us:

  • Todd Johnston (Nighthawks)

  • Cory Michel (Nighthawks)

  • Deb Dillon (Nighthawks)

  • Emily Michel (Nighthawks)

  • Steve Mahlberg (Play4Him)

  • Lisa Mahlberg (Play4Him)

  • Tony Stevens (Ames Girls Softball)

  • Calista Blankman (Boone Stormers)

  • Ben Murray (Madrid)

  • Tori Carsrud (Nevada Cubs)

  • Reid Miller (Ames Umpire)

     I expect several other coaches to attend, plus hopefully several umpires.  We might bring a couple players (their insight is often useful).  You are welcome to bring coaches and players from your programs.  Please DO NOT invite other coaches from other teams without first checking with me.  Quite honestly, there are just a couple coaches out there who do not live up to our expectations of behavior.  As people confirm there ability to join us, I will add their names.  

     Agenda Topics (Not complete)

  • What is the "Two Rivers Alliance"

  • Expectations for Coaches

  • Alliance Website

  • Hosting Local Tournaments/League

  • Coaches/Player Clinics

  • Player social events

  • ASA vs. USSSA

  • Share Drills

     Listed below are links for additional coaching resources.  Please click on the Forum Button below to join our discussion. 

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