Edebone Weber Gilley's Shield
Round 1 Rosedale Park
Auckland, New Zealand
December 12 - 15
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21 June 2012
National Strength and Conditioning Coach and former Aussie Steelers World Champion Catcher, Mike Harrow, has delivered hugely successful Catchers Camps and fitness testing across Australia.
With this series being delivered to seven states – Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, ACT and Tasmania – Mike was able to take a comprehensive look at the development of catchers around Australia.
Incorporated into the Catchers Camps, Mike utilised the opportunity to conduct Fitness Testing on Australian National Squads and a Strength & Conditioning Session for Aussie Steelers and Aussie Colts Squad Members. Mike was extremely satisfied with the efforts of Australian Squad Members in the fitness testing and noted that 'our Softball players are now Softball athletes'.
The Victorian Catchers Camp was first on the schedule and was well supported with 22 catchers participating in the Beginners Clinic and 18 in the Advanced Clinic. It was the first opportunity for Mike to put a group of catchers through his new skills tests. Mike was extremely impressed with the commitment and attitude of the Victorian based Australian athletes and has noticed a big improvement in training and fitness levels over the past two years.
South Australia relished the opportunity to have the likes of Mike running a camp in Adelaide with huge numbers in attendance - 44 in Beginners Clinic and 10 in Advanced Clinic. The Beginners Clinic was the largest group Mike has dealt with which speaks volumes for Softball within South Australia. With the Aussie Spirit running a Battery Camp over the same day, Mike took the opportunity to take the participants over to observe Belinda White (SA) and Jodie Stevenson (WA) techniques.
Mike was impressed with the intensity shown from Australian catchers in West Australia which fosters some of Australia’s most talented catchers. Many testing benchmarks were set in Perth which other Catchers from across Australia will now aim to replicate. With 14 catchers attending the Beginners Clinic and 8 in the Advanced, participants had the opportunity to not only work with Mike but also Aussie Steelers Catchers, Andrew Havercroft and Mark Harris as well as Aussie Spirit catcher, Jodie Stevenson.
Returning to his home town in Canberra, Mike and the Harrow name is highly regarding within ACT Softball. With three Australian catchers residing in Canberra, Mike was able to spend quality time with each athlete to assist in their skill development. On a cold Canberra day the Clinics were well represented with 9 catchers in attendance at both the Beginners and Advanced sessions.
Mike travelled to Redlands for the Testing and Catchers Camp for Queensland based athletes. Mike was able to tailor the session to allow maximum exposure for the four Australian Catchers.
After torrential rains, the NSW Catchers Camp was forced to be cancelled and could not be rescheduled due to the existing heavy schedule of events in NSW. Mike did however manage to travel to Sydney to conduct the fitness testing on the NSW based Australian Athletes.
Tasmania, although not having an Australian Squad Member representative ran a development camp which Mike and Softball Australia Hall of Famer, Jo Paez attended. Softball Tasmania did a fantastic job in promoting the Camp and was able to attract 60 participants, which included 16 catchers. The athletes were given exposure to catching, pitching and batting sessions - an opportunity enjoyed by all.
Softball Australia would like to thank Mike for his work and dedication to Softball within Australia, and will work with Mike and Member States to continue to develop the format and structure of these camps moving forward.
Photo courtesy Donkin Gook Photography
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