As the TFC try-outs start tonight, and I finally get a chance to sit down and address some email questions, I’d like to provide another glimpse into the inner workings of the Toronto Fastpitch Club.
- Why does the Toronto Fastpitch Club travel?
Besides the benefit of being an avid tourist, traveling outside of our province exposes our players to different regions and levels of softball. We travel to get a challenging and varied level of competition. We gain our strength by placing ourselves in situations that test us and bring out our character. No one has ever suffered by competing against Nationally ranked teams from California, Georgia, Texas, Florida, etc. A welcomed side effect of this regional exposure is that we are introduced to new college coaches and the opportunities that they provide. As is always the case, we try to find the best competition to prepare ourselves for Provincial and National competition at home.
This traveling also has an added bonus of providing our athletes with a safe, monitored and structured road environment. By making the athletes accountable on the road, this sense of responsibility prepares them for post secondary education and even their life beyond. The program and its coaches help players become better athletes and students. The TFC fosters maturity through academic accountability and planning, fitness, healthy lifestyle and team chemistry-building skills that are not only useful on the ball field, but truly allow players to grow into well-adjusted adults.
2. But who will do her laundry?
While on the road, player-captains take care of uniform choices, laundering and repairs. Grocery stores and Walmarts are plentiful in North America. The players almost always remember to bring laundry soap once they realize their parents aren’t there to make sure their socks don’t smell. Believe me, road trips really force a student-athlete to decide what is and isn’t acceptable in terms of personal hygiene.
3. How much does this cost?
The registration fee for the TFC is +/-$1750.00 depending on the tournaments that we commit to attend. The registration covers tournament fees, uniforms and field rentals. This doesn’t include hotel and flight costs where necessary. However, these costs are split evenly amongst players by putting 4 to a room. In the 2017 season, there will be one tournament that requires flights and hotel, which will be the Colorado Fireworks in Aurora, CO.
4. Why do you do 4 girls to a room?
As much as we respect the role of the parent in an athlete’s life, the type of competition we prepare for and compete at mimics the college softball experience. College teams travel 4 to a room. Besides cost savings, 4 players to a room allows for team bonding, personal growth and sets the tone for the games. The girls get to do study halls, talk softball strategy, get to know each other all while abiding by strict curfews and hotel rules set forth by the coaching staff. There are no people allowed in player’s rooms except for the players themselves. When rooming is done this way, the athletes are able to focus on the task at hand (their competition) rather than sightseeing and shopping with family. There is a time and place for those activities, and free time is designated as it becomes available. Nightly room checks are performed by coaching staff. Team therapy and team dinners take place in designated coaches rooms. Players are never allowed to leave their rooms without a coach or player present. Tournaments that require players to stay together are discussed prior with parents.
5. I’ve heard you’re all tough/mean, is this true? Addressing the rumour mill.
If there’s anything that I’ve learned from growing up in the world of softball in Ontario, what people say about you says more about themselves than it does about you. Oh boy, have we had to develop a thick skin. I’ve heard it all. The truth is that the players that I have worked with over the years, still come to see me, they still come to practice and they’re certainly not afraid to communicate with any of the coaches on this staff. If you’ve heard otherwise, I invite you to call myself or Alan Spohn to talk about it. The quickest way to the truth is to go to the source. This direct approach works for most, but not all, and that is the reality in this world.
In this program, playing time and positions are earned. No negotiations, no favours, no nepotism, no bull. If you want something in life, you work for it. That is our mandate.
Lauren Spohn 416-910-5642
Alan Spohn 416-684-4931
We have a very loyal and trusting student-athlete network, and I’m proud of each and every one of them and what they have achieved. Please see Program Graduates.
If the walls could talk, you would hear a lot of laughter, followed by a lot of hard work and instruction. If it isn’t fun and enjoyable, there isn’t a point in doing it. We form a family environment. Families don’t always get a long, but they always respect and love each other. These are the life skills that we hope to teach. Communication, respect, discipline and hard work. Above all, love the sport you’re planning on dedicating your life to. Set your goals, do your homework, be kind to your team mates and respect yourselves.
As a reminder, the first 18U Try-Out is tonight, September 6th, 2016 at 7pm. 224 North Queen St. Etobicoke, ON. (across from Homesense)
If you’d like to be a part of our program, and you think you have what it takes, please come to tonight’s try-out and see what we’re all about. If you can’t come tonight, but wish to attend another night, please let us know via email or call one of the two phone numbers listed above.