News and Announcements
The WSSA would like to congratulate and thank Coach Murray Rundle for 20 years as a coach! Our association is so fortunate for Murray’s continued dedication and support!
Murray has coached for his sons and is currently coaching his daughter’s U14 team. Throughout this time, Murray has demonstrated all the qualities of a great coach. Players always remember Coach Murray as “fair and fun!”, as he “always gives everyone a chance to play and improve”. We are incredibly thankful for all the hours Murray has dedicated throughout the years, both as a coach and a volunteer. He continues to create an environment that encompasses the WSSA’s mission: matching skill competency with the level of competition to maximize the “fun factor”.
We were also very fortunate to have asked Murray to share some of his coaching experiences with us. As Murray continues to be such an amazing coach, we hope some of his stories can inspire others. Below are a few notes from the long-time coach…
Why did you start coaching?
I started coaching softball when my firstborn son was just starting to play and have coached each of my four kids and their teams over the past several years. My youngest, Grace is currently U14 and looking forward to this season. I had the privilege of playing softball throughout my childhood and teenage years in southwestern Ontario and I wanted my children to also have a positive team sport experience. As a parent who wanted to be involved, I figured I might as well dive right in and learn to coach. So I guess it was a combination of a love for the sport, a desire to be involved and an interest in sharing in the development of young players.
What is your favourite part of coaching/favourite coaching memory?
One of the most rewarding parts of coaching is watching the players execute a play as it’s been practiced, like an out at first, or a simple base hit, or a caught fly ball. Seeing a player hit the ball for the first time in a game setting has been a special joy for me. I’ve also enjoyed watching the players develop over the longer term; seeing them improve their skills over a number of seasons is very rewarding. I can remember some underdog victories at the end of season tournament where everything just seemed to come together. Those tournament weekends were exciting but equally as much fun were the team pool parties and barbeques!
What is something you have learned through your coaching experience?
I have learned to keep my instructions simple and to focus on the basic building blocks of the game like how to throw, how to catch, making contact with the ball, base running, and the basic strategy of the game etc. I’ve learned the power of encouragement and a positive attitude. What a difference that can make! I’ve learned to focus on the fun and not the winning. I love to compete but I’ve learned that the result of the game is not nearly as important as the participation and development of each player. And I’ve learned the value of working closely with the other coaches and parents to spread out the responsibilities and learn from one another.
What advice do you have for a new coach?
Take the time to read about how to coach the sport and become a student of the game. There’s tons of very good information available. You’re not alone and many have documented practice plans and coaching tips. Take advantage of those learnings and apply them to your own experience. The league training sessions are super helpful to get to know what is expected and an overview of the coaching responsibilities etc. I would encourage them to participate in those sessions for sure. And I would encourage them to surround themselves with other like minded parents who share a love for the sport and for coaching. I’ve found that much of what I’ve learned over the years has been from the coaches I’ve worked with or watching the coaches who have coached my kids at a competitive level.
A big congratulations and thank you to Coach Murray on his 20th season as a Coach! We can not express how much of an asset Murray has been to the WSSA family! We look forward to seeing him out on the diamond for many more years to come!
We would like to start by thanking everyone who submitted an entry to our first-ever writing contest! We had so many wonderful entries, it was very difficult to pick a winner! That being said, we would like to congratulate our winners! Below are the wonderful entries they submitted!
1st Place – Averie E.
I have been playing softball for six years now and it is my passion, but it hasn’t always been this way. When I started playing in third grade, I could barely throw and catch the ball. I was so frustrated and because of this, I never wanted to play.
Every single night, my dad and I would go out in the backyard and try to throw and catch ten perfect balls. For months we would practice together. I got better each time but being the stubborn nine year old that I was, I didn’t see my improvement, only my failure. Still, my father urged me to go out and practice with him. At the time, I strongly disliked him for it until the one fateful night when I reached my goal.
I still remember the joy that I felt and the excited look on my dad’s face as I caught the tenth ball. I immediately ran up to him and gave him a hug. Now I can throw and catch ten balls in my sleep, but if my dad didn’t believe in me like he did, I might not even be playing softball today. Those nights playing catch with him are what shaped the softball player I am today. Now I’m the one who asks him to go out and practice with me!
My favourite softball moments aren’t about the wins, it’s when I’m behind the scenes in my backyard, playing catch with my dad.
2nd Place – Emma T.
About 2 years ago my select softball team had a practice. It was a pretty regular practice until the end when we decided to work on sliding. Since it was a scorching hot day my coaches thought setting up a slip and slide would be a good idea. It would not only help out with our sliding, but it would also cool us off. There was only one catch, they didn’t have a slip and slide. For the “slip and slide” they basically just had a tarp nailed down to the ground and covered it in water. Of course, I got chosen to go first. The only problem was that the tarp had a tiny lip at the beginning. When I went for my slide my foot caught it and I felt forward and faced planted into the water on the tarp. For the rest of the practice, I was covered in mud and was soaking wet. Although it was a little uncomfortable it was really funny and did come to my advantage. Because I was already soaked and muddy when the coaches brought out water balloons at the end of practice I went all out. It’s not like I could get any wetter, plus it really cooled me down. Looking back it was such a fun experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
3rd Place – Alessia G.
In 2019, we were at our first tournament as a first year team. We got our first win as a team in Oakville. We were down and we came back to win against Cornwall. At the end of the game when they were announcing awards they called us the little town that could even though we won. We ended up meeting again at another tournament and smoked them! Being a first year team we didn’t expect much but once we won that game it gave us hope!
*winners will be contacted regarding their prize shortly.
The WSSA is planning a safe, return to play for the 2021 season. Please review our return to play guidelines/protocols in the document below!
Have a favourite softball memory? We’d like to hear it! Submit your entry through the link in our bio for a chance to win one of these awesome prizes!
1st: registration fee reimbursed
2nd: $50 sportchek gift card
3rd: $25 sportcheck gift card
Contest closes April 6th, 2021.
Winter, spring summer or fall … having a solid plan for staying active in-season or off-season is critically important for players who want to stay competitive or anyone who simply wants to be fit and get the most out of their house league season. Staying active on the off-season will help maintain and improve overall physical fitness, improve strength and conditioning and provides an ongoing positive mental outlook. This not only prepares the player for next season but also has positive impacts on their general day to day life.
The hardest part when starting a home based training program is staying motivated enough to stick with it. The workouts need to be simple enough and be able to be accomplished with little or no equipment – and be fun. Some people can maintain this sort of a workout schedule without much motivation … but if we add a competitive component to the workout it allows for a measure of progression and provides goals to look forward to as well.
You may ask – a “competitive component”? I don’t want to compete! Who am I competing with?
Answer is yourself of course!
We want to introduce you to HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). HIIT, as the name implies, is a type of interval training. It involves short intervals of anaerobic exercise followed by brief periods of a lower intensity recovery exercises. HIIT workouts tend to be 30 minutes or less due to their intensity level. HIIT can improve athleticism and athletic capacity.
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts are a great way to stay active and provide the following key benefits:
1. HIIT workouts allow for cardiovascular training without a long duration. This means you only need to spend as little as 10 minutes a day and still see great results. As you progress, you can use this as a warmup to a lengthier program of resistance training or player skills training or increase the HIIT training intervals.
2. HIIT workouts are typically designed with full range and motion exercises. This helps improve overall movement efficiency and joint flexibility.
3. HIIT workouts can utilize bands, weights, skills or simply be bodyweight based movements allowing anyone to participate regardless of age, skill or access to facilities and equipment.
4. HIIT workouts can be repetition based or time based allowing you to measure your progress day to day or week to week.
5. And finally – HIIT workouts are versatile and fun. There are dozens of body weight movements that can be incorporated, mixed in or swapped out. You can have a different workout every day or the same one – whatever you prefer! There are even HIIT workout generators on the internet to help you mix up your workouts.
Here are some of our recommendations of HIIT workouts you can do in your own home. These workouts were made with our upcoming softball season in mind. They are intended to help players with their overall fitness, upper/lower body and core strength, and flexibility. Over time we hope you will learn new movements and inevitably change the routines … but this will help get you started.
Important Note: As with any exercise program it is important to perform these exercises safely. We have included some example videos on each exercise showing proper and safe form. Please view those videos before starting and practice each exercise first to ensure you are getting the most out of the exercise and can perform them safely while avoiding injury.
Recommended Workout schedule:
• 3 days a week with at least 1 day between workouts. (Example: Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
• 5 days a week with a max of 2 workouts in a row (Example: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday)
• 5 days a week is a good ongoing schedule for most people but this can be adjusted as desired.
HIIT Workout 1 (time limit based)
• Set a timer for 10 minutes.
• Every minute on the minute perform the complete set of exercises.
• Rest for the remainder of the minute each time.
• This workout has 10 intervals and is a short High Intensity workout
10 Push Ups
10 Sit Ups
HIIT Workout 2 (timed workout ladder)
• Start a stop watch or timer at the beginning of workout
• Perform the exercises in a circuit until complete
• Record the total time and compare week to week
• This is a High Intensity / Low Intensity workout
10 Lunges (each leg)
9 Lunges (each leg)
8 Lunges (each leg)
7 Lunges (each leg)
6 Lunges (each leg)
5 Lunges (each leg)
4 Lunges (each leg)
3 Lunges (each leg)
2 Lunges (each leg)
1 Lunge (each leg)
We hope you enjoy these workouts and they help get you started or simply provide you some variety in your daily workouts.