Bowdoin College Assistant Softball Coach Jen Burton won a VIP NFCA Experience through Rapsodo at the Softball Excellence Softball Summits in August. This included admission to the NFCA Convention and an invitation to the Rapsodo Advisory Panel exclusive dinner.
The dinner was filled with candid conversations about Rapsodo, the evolution of softball and the incorporation of data in softball.
“It was nice for people within the organization to sit down with us and ask how we recruit, what are some obstacles we face and how can they put out a product that could potentially help with that,” Burton said.
A lengthy discussion revolved around data when it comes to reporting. ESPN softball analyst Michele Smith wondered how much data was too much data when it comes to her calling games.
University of Florida Head Coach Tim Walton suggested there can never be too much data. It is factual and provable. The coaches, as a group, agreed that the reference to data on television is one way to educate younger athletes.
This NFCA Convention was Burton’s first time.
“It was a great opportunity to hear from other coaches, talk about issues that we are all faced with and just generally connect with people who are passionate about the sport at all levels across the country,” Burton said.
The NFCA Convention is about bringing together the softball community to network, learn and share. The convention allows coaches to talk about the future of softball and how to advance the game.
“It is a nice place to learn some new things. You can pick up a drill here or a concept there. My favorite thing to do was just listen at the fireside chat on pitching. Some of the best minds in the game are sitting around a circle,” Burton said.
Bowdoin College recently purchased Rapsodo HITTING 2.0 and PITCHING 2.0 for the baseball and softball teams. Bowdoin College is in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). NESCAC softball does not start until February 15th, but Burton is excited to start using Rapsodo with the team as soon as they can.
“It gives us more information in a shorter amount of time. I used to compile some data on my own, but it takes much longer. This will allow me to have information at my fingertips so that I can plan a more pointed practice for each individual,” Burton said.
Burton also hopes that the Rapsodo data backs her up when talking with her players.
Overall, the goals of the NFCA and Rapsodo align. Both organizations are focused on improving athlete performance and growing the game of softball.