First there was the McDonald’s All-American Basketball Game (ESPN), then the U.S. Army All-American Football Bowl (NBC) and then the AFLAC National All-Star Baseball Game (Fox Sports).
Now, from the founders of those events, comes the first in a series of eight planned regional softball events for 2016-17 starting with the Southeast Faster2First Player Showcase (“F2F”) which will take place December 9-11, 2016 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
F2F plans to host additional events for 2017 in Southern California, Northern California, Seattle, Chicago, Philadelphia, Austin and Orlando with the goal of testing 2,500 top college softball prospects ages 12U to 16U.
Covering the age divisions of 12U to 16U, only 350 athletes will be invited for this first prestigious event in Myrtle Beach which will include individual athletic and skills testing, player-specific drills and on-field action including team games and all-star competition, using the latest performance technology.
All athletic data and evaluations will then be electronically communicated to several hundred college coaches within three weeks of conclusion by F2F.
FloSoftball will be onsite to live stream the games as well as evaluate the prospects in-person for Hot 100 consideration.
“The Faster2First Player Showcase will be a great platform for us to see who has the talent and abilities to be considered for the Hot 100 rankings,” said Brentt Eads, who oversees the FloSoftball Hot 100 process. “We love the complete package this event presents—from testing and development to completion in games—and this will go a long way in boosting the stock of those who compete and do well, including the possibility of getting a spot in the Hot 100.”
Three Day Curriculum
The F2F weekend was designed to provide a world-class testing, training and college exposure experience unlike any presented before in the fastpitch arena.
“The Faster2First experience was created to invite the nation’s best and transform softball careers,” says Rich McGuinness, the founder of the event. “It is part NFL Combine, part showcase and part training academy”, says McGuinness. “It was developed for today’s fastpitch athlete that wants it all and inspired by college coaches who wanted to see more”, says McGuinness, a father of two fastpitch girls, who sold his interest in his former company to reimagine the fastpitch world.
“The F2F mission is to test, train and showcase the nation’s top fastpitch athletes during three intense and game-changing days. It will be like no other development event in softball. We believe hard-working and talented young women deserve a world class softball development experience. We also believe that college coaches deserve an independent, objective and in-depth evaluation of today’s emerging softball athletes.”
Over three days, totaling 18 hours of on-field and off-field softball exposure, athletes, their parents and coaches will receive:
- Individual athlete testing and evaluation with more than 20 data points that capture performance and reaction, softball skill and softball IQ.
- For all attending athletes, F2F will send to several hundred softball college coaches with three weeks after the event all the athlete data as well as player evaluations done by former college coaches.
- Skill development and evaluation: world class skill development in all phases of the game as well as skill analysis and classroom settings that breakdown individual play through video analysis.
- Competitive play and evaluation: athletes will compete in one-on-one settings, group settings and game situations including team and all-star games.
- Report card: at the end of the event, every athlete will receive a report card that evaluates her overall game, softball ability, highlighting strengths and weaknesses.
- Classroom programming: athletes will attend breakouts on nutrition, improving physical performance, mental conditioning and college recruiting/exposure.
- Parents’ workshops: parents will be invited to attend break-out sessions that focus on athletic development, college exposure and college recruiting.
Each F2F athlete will receive an athlete jersey for the event.
The in-depth, comprehensive testing that measures physical ability and reaction, skill ability by position, hitting proficiency, pitching prowess, softball IQ and competitiveness includes the following categories:
- Physical: FMS screening, vision testing, body strength, speed and agility
- Hitting: tee evaluation, front toss evaluation, speed (hand, bat and exit), swing analytics
- Position specific: 8 sets of fielding by position, pitch speed/spin/location, pop time and velocity, and throwing
"The F2F team spent two years connecting with college softball coaches from all levels of softball including DI national championship coaches, Hall of Fame and former college softball coaches, and top sports trainers and sports scientists who currently train elite softball athletes,” continues McGuinness.
“College coaches are looking for live evaluations of top athletes ages 10U to 16U that includes nationally ranked softball athletes from club teams and non-club teams from every part of the country.”
“Also, we’ve seen that they want in-depth comprehensive testing that measures physical ability and reaction, skill ability by position, hitting ability, pitching ability, softball IQ and competitiveness. And finally a grade per athlete that measures current ability and projected ability with evaluations from former college softball coaches who understand the DI standard.”
To make the F2F Showcase experience what it is, the event directors of F2F has partnered with AMP Softball training.
College coaching legend Teresa Wilson, who amassed over 800 wins in her career and six times took the Univ. of Washington to the Women’s College World Series with two appearances in the title game (1996, 1999), will oversee the skill testing and player evaluation.
Rob Crews, the founder and CEO of Complete Game, Player Development Company, will direct the F2F Showcase programming, including player visual mechanics, hitting evaluation and positional testing. He has served as a consultant with softball programs such as UCLA, Stanford, Florida, LSU, Central Florida and Maryland and has also been a player development consultant for the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners.
FloSoftball has been announced as the media partner for the Faster2First events and will live stream action during the weekend as well as help with player selection and cover the event editorially. FloSoftball will also utilize the F2F Showcase to evaluate players for its prestigious Hot 100 rankings.