With the startup of another Ponoka minor ball season just around the corner, the Ponoka Minor Ball is using the remaining month to train the youth and put a season plan in place.
The organization recently held a fastball training clinic for the girls looking to play the game.
“The reason we did it is because our season is so short,” said coach Lucas Willier. With only two months to go beginning May 1, he says having that time to get everyone together requires a better planning before the season.
“If we know how many how many kids we have in our association, we know how many to plan for,” said Willier.
When it comes to teaching the players, Willier says the session focused on basic skills. “We just do basic fundamentals. It doesn’t matter how old you are . . . you can never have enough fundamentals,” he stressed.
The training also focuses on proper throwing and catching techniques as a safety measure.
This year, Ponoka fastball will have girls in U14, U12 and U10 age groups. “This is the first time we’ve had three different age groups,” said Willier.
He added it is also the first time in approximately four years that Ponoka will have a U14 team. “Every year it just seems like we get more kids.”
“Back in the ‘70s and ‘80s it was huge . . . it’s funny because our younger kids are starting to develop that momentum,” he added.
With so many sports options available, Willier feels fastball continues to grow because of its inexpensiveness. He says it is important to offer all youths a chance to be part of a team.
Willier feels the sport also provides a good foundation for life. “There are more scholarships in softball than there is in hockey. There’s a lot of opportunity for girls to travel all over the country to play ball,” he explained.
Ponoka minor ball is taking fastball registration right up until May 1.