Twelve years ago I fell one game short of playing for a 18U Gold National Championship with my Impact Gold 18U team. I’ll never forget the first game of that tournament, a nail biting 1-0 win over the CA Cruisers and UCLA-bound Angelica Selden. We ended up losing to the Cruisers (who battled back from the loser’s bracket) the game before the championship, but the memories our team made of come-from-behind wins, game winning hits, game saving plays, post-game dinners, and inside jokes are still referenced 12 years later. I ended up playing college with and against many of my Impact Gold teammates and the players from opposing teams. To this day, I still keep up with those girls--I was just in my teammate Megan Gibson’s wedding—and relive those stories from our championship experience.
Twelve years ago I played in a youth fastpitch national championship and today I get to help plan one.
On July 10, 2016, USA Elite Select will begin the first day of our inaugural World Fastpitch Championship (WFC) to be hosted in the Kansas City metro area. The event will kickoff with a coach’s meeting and dinner headlined by two National Championship coaches. Before the culmination of the WFC on July 16th, the event will have seen over 200 of the top 12U, 14U, 16U, and 18U elite teams in the country compete for a title, three National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) teams with some of the world’s best players, and educational events that bring in former elite fastpitch players who are continuing their excellence in the sport industry.
Championship events are special for athletes. You get to play for something bigger. You get to compete with your teammates to be the last team standing. You face adversity, you face failure, you face defeat, but you also get to experience those special moments of overcoming adversity, bouncing back from your failures, and those lasting moments of victory. Championships bring extra emotion for the athletes, the coaches, and the parents.
The World Fastpitch Championship this summer will evoke that championship emotion. Tops teams from across the country will battle it out on the field to experience those championship moments. But the entire week is designed to create a championship experience for the fastpitch community on and off the field. Our goal is for every athlete, coach and parent to walk away from Kansas City empowered, equipped and motivated like a champion. By utilizing the resources of USSSA, uniting all levels of fastpitch in one location, and hosting educational events simultaneously, we are investing in the on and off-the-field experience of a championship week.
I view this World Fastpitch Championship as an opportunity to bring our fastpitch community together in one location and use this platform to elevate every facet of our game. Sports are a vehicle for teaching and developing our athletes and what better opportunity to do this than around a CHAMPIONSHIP event.
I’m excited about the World Fastpitch Championship because I have experienced championships as an athlete at the youth, high school, and college level. I know the feeling of playing and now have the opportunity to help create a special experience for the athletes, coaches, and parents. An experience that also unites the entire fastpitch community in one location. From the professionals to the youth and the college and travel ball coaches in between, this is sure to be a great week.