Dear Softball Coach,
You are invited to attend The Alliance’s 2nd Annual Summit for Coaches (now renamed The Alliance Fastpitch LIVE), which takes place on Friday, June 2nd in Oklahoma City!
Featuring thought-leaders and your youth coaching peers sharing their insights, experiences and best practices on…
- Becoming better leaders for our youth athletes
- Understanding the evolution of our sport
- Real-life, practical insights on getting the best out of our youth female players at every stage in their development journey
- Building your practice and training programming
- Managing team, athlete, and parent expectations and culture!
This is a rare opportunity for youth coaches to learn together, share insights, and network with fellow softball coaches and vendors during the Women's College World Series.
Together, we can learn and share ideas to better develop our players!
Whether you coach youth, high school, or college…
Or you’re a parent looking to gain an edge…
You won’t want to miss it.
Check Out These Highlights From Last Year’s Summit
Friday, June 2nd, 2023
8:00 AM – Doors open! Check in, sign up for prizes and giveaways, and meet our vendors
5:00 PM – Happy Hour + Networking presented by Sportsradar
6:00 PM – WCWS Game 5 Watch Party - Presented by Chattanooga Sports
9:00PM - Close
$47 for a limited time
Only 100 tickets available
First 50 attendees get VIP access to WCWS Watch Party
All Attendees will receive:
- Free premium access to Versus training app
- Attendee gift bag
- Opportunity to win door prizes and giveaways from presenters and vendors
- Lunch provided
- Drinks at Happy Hour provided!
Friday, June 2, 2023 | Oklahoma City, OK
TOPIC: A pitching system for youth pitchers that prioritizes accuracy
Tony Rico, President of Firecrackers Softball | Co-Found of The Range
After Tony graduated from Cal State Los Angeles in 1988, he began giving private instruction. He played baseball at the collegiate and international levels. He then worked in a variety of professions, including the physical therapy industry, before he became hooked into the realm of fastpitch softball.
After playing overseas, in 1991, Tony entered the fastpitch travel ball world. As a single parent, he gave lessons at home while working in charge of player development under the FC founder, Gary Wardein, in the first generation of Firecracker teams. Tony eventually took over the program in 2003, where over the next 15 years he would establish the Firecracker standard of success by winning every major national championship in the U.S. He also led the charge to a Junior World Championship with Team USA in 2011 under the head coaching of colleague Karen Johns. He created relationships based on respect with his competitors that has allowed him to establish a foundation with other influencers to create the necessary changes needed in our industry. In 2011, he collaborated with now administrator Melinda Manahan and the core start of what is now Firecracker Softball, Inc to reach the demand of the FC brand that now reaches over 20 states.
Tony was born and raised in Bellower, CA, along with his four siblings. He’s the son of a WWII veteran, John, and an amazing mother, Carmen. Tony welcomed his own son, Jon, in 1991, and in 1995 took on the full responsibility of raising his step-son, Sean, along with Jon. Tony has always held his family close to his heart and believes he has a greater purpose in this life, which he strives to fulfill every day.
TOPIC: A pitching system for youth pitchers that prioritizes accuracy
Holly Pearce, Co-Found of The Range
Former NCAA pitcher turned coach, Holly has a background in Sports Psychology as well as 16 years of coaching experience. Holly has a background in Sports Psychology as well as 16 years of coaching experience at the NCAA D1, NAIA, European, DI high school and top travel balls levels.
As a player, Holly was recently inducted into the San Francisco State University Hall of Fame with her teammates, as their 2005 squad was the winningest team in program history.
Holly has helped coach several pitching staffs to success, including a D1 CIF National Championship & three recent top 10 finishes at both PGF and Alliance Nationals in the toughest 18U age division.
Earning her Master's Degree from Utah State University in 2013 under the mentorship of US Olympic Sports Psychologist Dr. Richard Gordin, Holly has committed to blending her experience in the circle with her education in the mental aspects of competitive performance
TOPIC: Why workload management matters for softball pitchers
Ashley Sunshine, Co-Owner and Director of Pitching and Development S2 Breakthrough
Ashley is the Co-Owner and Director of Pitching Development at S2 Breakthrough, a softball player development company located in the suburbs of Chicago. Prior to S2 Breakthrough, Ashley held coaching positions at the DI, D3 and travel ball levels. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Emory University, where she pitched from 2004-2008. Ashley also earned a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
TOPIC: Why workload management matters for softball pitchers
Krista Stoker, Co-Owner and Director of Hitting and Development S2 Breakthrough
Krista is the Co-Owner and Director of Hitting Development at S2 Breakthrough a softball player development company located in the suburbs of Chicago. Additionally, Krista is currently the Head Coach of the Extreme Elite National 18U team. Prior to S2 Breakthrough, Krista was a lawyer and an Assistant Coach at the University of Chicago. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis, where she played from 2004-2008. The Bears traveled to the DIII National Championship Series in 2007, finishing 2nd. Krista also received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago in 2011.
TOPIC: Blending vision, cognition and reaction to hitting instruction
Rob Crews, Complete Game, Founder
TOPIC: Integrating strength and conditioning into your program changes everything!
Mike Stith, Owner of Batbusters Softball
Mike is the commissioner of the California Fastpitch League and one of the founding members of the Fastpitch Alliance. Mike grew up in Whittier CA and attended St Paul High School where he met his wife Deanna and the couple have been married for 36 years and have four daughters Kristin, Katelyn, Lindsay and Alexandra. Mike began his coaching career at St Paul High School coaching under legendary football coach Marijon Ancich and this is where he learned that hard work, dedication to your players and a never-ending work ethic would pay off on the field and in the minds of your players.
Mike began coaching softball in 1993 and began coaching club softball by forming Tuff E Nuff in 1996. After three national championships in five years Mike briefly coached with the California Cruisers before joining Gary Haning on the Orange County Batbusters staff in the fall of 2003. After 7 years as an assistant with Gary Haning Mike separated and began once again his own Batbusters team that briefly turned into Team Mizuno before joining back up the Batbusters in 2014. Mike opened Sports Training Complex in 2007 and has trained and developed 55 NFCA All Americans in that time and continues to always push physical training to develop some of today’s top athletes.
Mike now is the commissioner of the California Fastpitch League and one of the founding members of the Fastpitch Alliance. Mike also is western regional director of the HPP National team program for USA Softball and rarely stops working at growing our sport.
TOPIC: Play Big! Coaching for Confidence
Dr. Tom Hanson, Mental Game Coach, PLAY BIG Academy
Dr. Tom Hanson frees athletes and coaches, executives and work teams to consistently perform at or near their best. His coaching programs in both sport and business train people to “Excel, Enjoy, and Evolve.”
Formerly the Director of Performance Enhancement for the New York Yankees, Dr. Hanson also consulted with the Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Angels, and Minnesota Twins organizations. He helps individuals and teams in all sports and regularly coaches in major university athletic programs such as Harvard University Baseball and Florida State Softball. His business client list ranges from giants like Microsoft, Verizon and Pepperidge Farm to small businesses like Public Trust Advisors and insurance adjusters Johns Eastern.
He co-authored both Heads-Up Baseball: Playing the Game One Pitch at a Time and Heads-Up Baseball 2.0: 5 Skills for Competing One Pitch at a Time with Dr. Ken Ravizza. The books have combined to sell over 200,000 copies, been adopted by many major college and professional teams, used as a college textbook, and been called “the bible for developing mental toughness,” by Collegiate Baseball.
Dr. Hanson also wrote the award-winning PLAY BIG: Mental Toughness Skills that Take Baseball Players to the Next Level, and the best-selling business fable, Who Will Do What by When? -- How to Improve Performance, Accountability and Trust with Integrity, which has sold over 30,000 copies to individuals and organizations, including the United States Government.
Dr. Hanson graduated from Luther College (IA) in 1985, earned his Master’s degree at the University of Illinois (Champaign), and his Ph.D. specializing in sport psychology from the University of Virginia (1991). He served as UVA’s hitting coach for three seasons, and his dissertation research, The Mental Aspects of Hitting, featured interviews with Hank Aaron, Stan Musial, Carl Yastrzemski, Tony Oliva, and Rod Carew. He has made a career of studying greatness and creating technologies that liberate performers from the fears and doubts that too often rob them of the joy and satisfaction they seek, and is a leader in overcoming the “yips” in baseball, golf, tennis and other activities (YipsBeGone.com).
“Most of what performers need to be their best is already inside them,” Hanson says, “I teach tools that enable them to get out of their own way, access their own abilities and freely express their talent.”
For eight years Dr. Hanson taught in the Sport and Exercise Science Department at Skidmore College (NY) where he also served as head baseball coach. He was granted tenure there in 1997, and left two years later to form Heads-Up Performance, Inc. with his wife, Master Certified Coach Birgit Zacher Hanson. They live in Tampa, FL with their son CJ and daughter Angelina.
Dr. Hanson customizes his coaching, consulting and speaking programs to best serve client needs, and can be reached at DrTomHanson@gmail.com or 813-453-3467.
TOPIC: What we’re learning from in-game data capture and player development data in softball
Scott Smith, CEO/Head Coach, Texas Bombers Gold 18U
Scott is the National Program Director and Head Coach for the Texas Bombers Club Program. Scott has coached with the Bombers for 20 years and most recently his Texas Bombers team under his guidance won the USA Softball 16U National Championship in 2016. That same year Smith’s coaching staff was selected as the NFCA National Travel Ball Coaching Staff of the Year. Scott surpassed the 1000-win mark in 2016 and was honored at the Easton Victory Club awards ceremony for reaching that milestone. The Bombers are one of the largest and most successful Travel Programs in the Country ranking in the Top 10 in the country year after year. In 2017 Scott was named the General Manager of the Texas Charge of the NPF, his involvement in pro fastpitch saw him also perform the duties of Assistant Coach for both the Charge and the Scrap Yard Dawgs.
Prior to joining professional softball, he served in the United States Army for 28 years retiring as a 1SG in November of 2016. His love for his country and those who honor it are a top priority for him. Scott started the 4 The Heroes Foundation in 2014 which honors fallen military heroes by utilizing uniform jerseys to place the name of a fallen warrior on the back of the jersey. The jersey is worn all year long and then given to the family once the season is completed. As well the 4 The Heroes foundation has its Woods & Water Program that takes military Veterans on hunting and fishing trips.
Scott attended American Military University, US Army 1SG Course and many other leaderships schools during his tenure in the military.
He and his wife, Irma, reside in New Braunfels TX. Scott has two children, Jade and Gunnar as well as granddaughters, Sloane and Mila.
TOPIC: Coaching youth hitters to be Game Changing Triple Threats
Natasha Watley, Founder, The Natasha Watley Foundation
Natasha Watley is a two–time Olympic Medalist, three-time World Champion, and the driving force behind the Natasha Watley Foundation, a community service nonprofit dedicated to introducing softball to the girls of the nation’s inner cities. More than simply teaching young women how to play the sport, her organization provides a positive alternative to the daily struggles faced by many girls in low-income households.
As a Four-time All American, Natasha joined the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame after leading the Bruins to four straight Women’s College World Series and the NCAA Division 1 Softball Championship title in 2003. In 2004, Natasha played with America’s Olympic team, taking home a gold medal. In 2008, she competed again, winning a silver medal. When softball was removed from the Olympics after the 2008 games, she competed professionally with USSSA Pride and moved to Japan to continue competing. In her 8 years in Japan, she won 5 championships as a member of the Toyota Women’s Softball Team, a part of the Japan Softball League. Now in her 12th season, she is currently a coach for Team Toyota, and an MLB softball Ambassador.
Recently Watley created Game Changers an online resource for triple threats as well as starting her own travel ball organization, Watley Crew.
2022 Alliance Fastpitch Summit
Interested in being a vendor?
Event Vendor – *spots are limited
- Email email@example.com to inquire
- Booth space inside the venue throughout the day
- Includes 2 tickets for the full event
- Access to attendees during registration, lunch, and happy hour
- Attendance data sent to you post event
- Logo and acknowledgement of sponsorship on all promotional materials pre/post Summit