National U15 coaches Anthea Stringer and Chris Telfer have followed up with another successful delivery of Developing Sox Girls Open Clinics.

The 2022 December clinics were held in various regions across the country, with a total of 134 registrations. The Manawatu region had 25 participants, Rolleston (after a late change of location) x32, Counties x49, and Dunedin x28. The numbers equated to a slight increase to last year’s delivery, and not taking into fact the cancellation of the Counties region which had to be cancelled due to COVID-19.

Each clinic ran from 9.30am to 3pm, shorter than last year's schedule of 9am to 4pm, as feedback from athletes suggested it was a little too long. The skills covered in the clinic included glove work, footwork, active receiving and throwing, base running, sliding/dive backs, outfield footwork, force play footwork, tag play positioning, pitchers' pre-game routine, catchers' glovework, middle infield footwork on double plays, hitting insides v outsides, bunting and an interactive game. 

A popular activity among the kids, was sliding, with the Counties group requesting additional techniques to be taught during their lunch break. 20+ girls gave up some of their lunch break to master this skill, a skill often seen as daunting one for this cohort. The coaches have received messages from parents saying that their children have applied the techniques they learned for the first time in games, since the training session.
The kids are hungry for knowledge and not afraid to ask questions which is a highlight for the two coaches.
Both Stringer and Telfer identified base running and game and situational awareness as areas of weakness that club coaches need to be aware of and address. They suggested that more emphasis should be placed on teaching the "why" behind certain techniques and strategies.

In conclusion, Telfer and Stringer found the open clinics to be a valuable experience. “As a coach the open clinics are one of my favourite activities, being able to share knowledge with as many kids as possible is a lot of fun. Having a link between the national programme and kids just starting out in our sport is important. Having a beginner understand that more advanced athletes still have to train the basics empowers them to do those small things and do them well” says Stringer. 


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