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Spring Development and College Exposure Program    
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Jack City is pleased to announce the 2014 Spring Development and College Exposure Program. The program is designed for a limited number of elite level players who want to take their game to the highest levels and market their skills to college coaches.    
Registration will open on Monday, July 22 for a limited time period. Following that,registration will be closed and the final list of participants will be announced. We would love to take every player who is interested in the Spring Program, but we strongly believe that it is important to keep the number of participants to a minimal number in order to bring the greatest benefit to each participant. In each of the last two years we have had more than 200 players each year apply for approximately three dozen slots.    
The Spring Program was developed as an alternative to high school softball, but WAS NOT designed with the objective or intent to "ruin" high school softball nor was it designed to target or harm any specific school(s). High school softball serves the needs for many players. Some, however, especially those who have a desire to play collegiate softball, feel that reaching the next level requires a more advanced and comprehensive training, development, and exposure program. The Jack City Spring Development and College Exposure Program has been designed specifically for those players. The Spring Program is designed with two primary emphasises - Advance Skill Development and College Exposure.    
Just as high school ball does not meet the needs of every athlete, the Spring Program is not designed to appeal to every player. We have developed the program to develop and promote elite level athletes who are looking for more than their particular school can provide for them. We have also designed the program to eliminate those things which tend to be problematic for many players.    
Advanced Skill Development Emphasis    
Players will be provided advanced training within a competitive environment designed to allow each participant to maximize her potential on the field. Practice and training sessions will be conducted in a variety of ways, including clinic style practices, individual and small group sessions, specific position skill sessions, situational sessions, film sessions, and controlled scrimmages. Every effort will be made to simulate the environment surrounding the top collegiate programs in the country. Significant effort will be made to develop field presence and knowledge of the game.    
We have carefully selected a specific, limited number of participants, including a position based break down, to insure that every player is provided with the highest levels of attention, coaching, and training in addition to receiving maximized playing time. There will be enough players to divide into several team units to allow full league play throughout the spring for broadcast games. Opportunities to travel to participate in tournaments will be made available. The frequency of travel will be left to the discretion of each player and parent and taking advantage of travel opportunities is recommended but not required. Additional games with collegiate NAIA and NJCAA teams are being negotiated at this time and are a realistic possibility at this point. We are also working on hosting one or more tournaments with travel teams coming to Middle Tennessee from other states.    
College Exposure Emphasis    
One of the primary purposes of the Spring Program is to provide as much college exposure as possible and to promote participants to college coaches. In a highly competitive environment for limited scholarship dollars, exposure and promotion involves far more than showing up to play at exposure tournaments. Extremely talented players fall through the cracks every year, going unrecruited or underrecruited.    
Participation in the Spring Program in no way guarantees or implies that any player will receive a college scholarship. No Jack City representative has or will guarantee a scholarship to anyone. However, we do have a strong belief that our knowledge, experience, cultivated relationships with coaches, and past success in effectively promoting college prospects coupled with the comprehensive recruitment program we have incorporated into the Spring Program will greatly improve the opportunities to be recruited and greatly enhance the likelihood of success.    
On Demand Game Video Broadcasts   Games, both local and tournament, will be recorded and broadcast, both streaming and on demand, and will be available online to college coaches 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We already have a significant number of coaches who are currently accessing game videos of several travel teams, and we have successfully increased the list of coaches each month throughout the summer season.
Player Skills Videos   We will video, edit, and produce an effective Skills Video for each participant. While there is no additional cost for our players, skills video packages typically range from $250 to $800. Skills videos will be sent to college coaches and available for view on each player's Player Profile Web Site
Online Player Profile Web Site   Each player will have her own personalized Player Profile Web Site. These sites are available for review by college coaches and may be edited updated by players and parents free of charge at any time. Printable and electronic profile sheets will be available for distribution at exposure events and in direct marketing efforts by the staff.
Comprehensive Web Site   A comprehensive recruiting web site modeling professional sports sites such as Major League Baseball providing player news, accomplishments, statistics, game broadcasts, feature stories, player spotlights, game highlights, weekly coach's webcast shows, and other items designed to promote participants to college coaches has been developed.
Coach's WebCast   Regular WebCasts featuring individual players will be broadcast throughout the season and available at any time on demand. The emphasis of the Coach's WebCast will be to highlight specific players and their accomplishments.
Video Highlight Reels   Extraordinary plays, impressive rallies, clutch performances will be edited into highlight reels designed to catch the attention of college coaches and published regularly on the web site.
Direct Promotion to College Coaches   Over the years, our success in promoting players has come through direct contact with college coaches - phone calls, email, newsletters, and in-person conversations. We will continue to do all of these things for each participant, including regular updates sent directly to college coaches through "mini-newsletters" to promote our players, to allow coaches to become familiar with them, and to constantly keep our players on the front burners.
Recruiting Seminar and Guidance   Parents and players will be able to attend recruiting seminars free of charge. Regular guidance and assistance will be provided to all players to enhance their abilities to market themselves properly and effectively to college coaches.
Frequently Asked Questions    
Q: Are you making any guarantees that players will receive college scholarships?    
A: Absolutely not. We conduct several recruiting seminars every year for parents and players. Within the first few minutes of every seminar, we stress that the only person who can guaranttee a college athletic scholarship is a college coach who provides a player with a National Letter of Intent or formal scholarship offer. We routinely warn players about travel coaches who make guarantees about scholarships in order to recruit players onto their teams. At no time has any Jack City representative made any guarantee about the receipt of a college scholarship for any player, and at no time in the future will any Jack City representative make such a guarantee.    
Q: Are you doing this to "ruin" high school softball    
A: Absolutely not. The program is limited to approximately three dozen players. That amounts to a very small fraction of the thousands of players who participate in high school softball across the state. Any one of a dozen recreational leagues throughout middle Tennessee have far more high school eligible players participating in their leagues during the spring season. High school softball is a wonderful experience for many student-athletes and school ball meets their needs and expectations. We fully support high school athletics, especially in those situations, but understand that there is a small percentage of players who need or desire something different than what is currently being offered to them. We are simply offering an alternative to a very small number of players who believe that they need something different than what is currently offered to them.    
Q: Did you target specific schools for any reason?    
A: Again, absolutely not. Some of our players attend schools which do not have softball teams. Several of our players chose to leave their teams prior to the conclusion of the 2011 spring season. Many of our players had already chosen not to play for their school teams during the 2011-2012 season for various reasons without knowing that the Spring Program would be made available.    
Q: I saw a post on an online forum that claimed this is nothing but a money making activity. Is that accurate?    
A: Yet again, as with most uniformed opinions/rumors, absolutely not. The program is not designed to be a money-maker and was never intended to be a money-maker. Player fees simply cover the normal costs involved in running the program (tournament fees, insurance, uniforms, sanction fees, server fees for video broadcasts, and balls).    

Q: Why is this program during the spring instead of summer or fall?

A: We seriously considered summer and fall programs. During those seasons, however, players have a plethora of options available to them. There are literally hundreds of travel teams throughout the area and state playing during the summer and fall. Players have the option of playing with teams from other states. Many of those teams make college exposure a high priority. Many of those teams do an outstanding job developing players. While there may be many travel teams which are not very good options, there are more than enough viable alternatives for players seeking something more. Many players are fortunate enough to be zoned to a school with outstanding coaches who do a great job of developing their players and work hard to provide them with recognition. Some, however, are by rule locked into a school program where those aspects are not present. Their options are extremely limited, and they have no control over their situation. They are either forced to participate in a program where they believe their needs as a student-athlete are not being met or take the entire spring off, neither of which are beneficial. The Spring Program provides these players with a viable alternative that doesn't require families to sell their homes and move into another school zone. .    
Q: Is there a target breakdown of ages/grades?    
A: Yes. The majority of players selected will be sophomores and juniors. We have set aside a few roster slots for seniors and freshmen, but those slots will be limited to a very small number. Seniors who haven't already signed scholarships are well behind in the recruiting process, and that ground is very difficult to make up. The recruiting work which should have been done during their freshman, sophomore, and junior years will have to be crammed into a short, hectic three month season which comes AFTER the NCAA November signing period. By the spring season there will only be a relatively small number of scholarships that remain open for their graduating class. If we take too many seniors, it will make it difficult to provide the intense effort needed to try to overcome those obstacles. We do allow seniors who have participated in the program in previous seasons to remain in the program for their senior season if they choose to do so, especially if they have not yet signed to play collegiate ball.. If they have already signed a college scholarship, we still allow them stay in the program if they feel that doing so will help them better prepare for college ball, but gladly support a return to a high school team if they would like to finish their career at their school after signing. We will also have a special Senior Night for our graduating seniors.    
Q: When does the program begin?    
A: The official season will run from February through early May, ending with Senior Night. Initial organizational meetings will take place in September and players will be provided with various strength and conditioning opportunities at that time. Some players will have the opportunity to participate in a college showcase event in late October. Indoor workouts will be available throughout December and January leading up to the start of the official season.    
Q: What is the cost?    
The player fee will be lower than the fee in the previous two years ($700) as the recurring costs for web server delivery of broadcast games and video has been reduced through a new contract this year. We have made every effort to make this affordable as possible and are continuing to pursue some sponsorships to further reduce the costs. We will also provide some fund raising opportunities and payment schedules to assist players if families are interested. We are also planning to roll out an easy, but effective, fund raising opportunity in September designed to offset or completely eliminate all player fees. The actual cost will be determined by taking the total expenses (tournament fee, saction fees, insurance, uniforms, web server fees, balls) and dividing that number by the total number of players.    
Q: You won't guarantee scholarships. Are there things you will guarantee?
A: We are willing to make a number of guarantees:
  • We will guarantee a consistent and concentrated emphasis upon developing advanced individual skills and a thorough knowledge of the game for EVERY player. We strongly believe that each player who participates and puts forth a reasonable amount of effort will progress significantly throughout the season and become a much better player. Every player will get the same number of repetitions and same amount of attention in practices, games, and pre-game warmup, regardless if they are the strongest or weakest player in the program.

  • We will guarantee that every available tool will be used to expose your daughter to college coaches and market her aggressively and effectively. Those tools are built into the Spring Program. We strongly believe that our knowledge, experience, cultivated relationships with coaches, and past success in effectively promoting college prospects coupled with the comprehensive recruitment program we have incorporated into the Spring Program will greatly improve the opportunities to be recruited and greatly enhance the likelihood of success.

  • We will guarantee that EVERY player will be treated with courtesy and respect at all times. Your daughter will never be subjected to obscenities, much less ones aimed at them. She will never experience being grabbed or yanked by her face mask or any other piece of equipment. She will not be subjected to clipboards or other objects being thrown or broken in fits of rage. She won't be yanked in the middle of an inning and forced into a perp walk to the dugout simply because she made an error.When she makes a mistake, she already knows it. She doesn't need to be told she made a mistake orhow or how badly it hurt the team. She already knows that. She needs to be taught how to avoid making that mistake again.

  • We will guarantee that we will not try to control anything beyond what happens on the field. We will not attempt to control yuur choice of travel teams. We will not tell you who you can and cannot use as a pitching, catching, or hitting instructor. We will not attempt to change what the instructor you have selected and are paying to develop your skills is teaching you. In fact, we make a point of knowing what various instructors are teaching so we can support that training without confusing players by introducing concepts that run counter to what they are being taught in their weekly lessons. Conducting drills at practice to force rotational hitters to take the knob to the ball, wristing, downward angle swings, and other linear style mechanics is not only counterproductive, it has a devastating impact upon hitters.

  • We will guarantee that our schedule for practices and games will be more appropriate for high school student-athletes, providing far more time for studying, doing homework, and participating in school, church, and other social activities. Being on the field four or more hours a day, six and seven days a week is counterproductive for most athletes. It brings on fatigue. It increases the chances of serious injuries. It has a negative impact upon school work and grades. It leaves no life outside of softball. We will get on the field, aggressively take care of business without any standing around or wasted time, and go home. Practices will be 90 minutes to two hours, and we will get more done than most do in several weeks of four hour practices combined. Off days during the week will allow them to rest, recover, and have a life.

  • We will guarantee that politics, daddy ball, and favoritism will not be present within the Spring Program. We have designed the program to provide every player with equal benefits and to eliminate time spent on the bench. If they aren't getting repetitions in practices and playing in games, they won't improve. We have even set up some checks and balances to eliminate subjective judgment. For example, we have developed a specific formula based upon performance and results to determine the batting order for each game.

  • We will guarantee that the coaching approach will be entirely focused upon bringing about success through training and building your daughter's confidence. We don't believe that "breaking" young athletes down, or humiliating and embarrassing them has any value in the development of their athletic abilities. Through years of experience we have learned that confidence brings success... which brings more confidence... which brings more success. Our philosophy is to teach them to do things properly and effectively and provide the support and confidence to allow them to believe that they are capable of accomplishing those things. When those things happen, a player's ability to successfully execute is significantly increased.
Our goals are simple:
  1. Train players so they are ready to be seen by college coaches
  2. Use every available tool to allow them to be seen by college coaches
  3. Sell their abilities to college coaches
  4. Train players so they are able to be successful once they get to college.
Register Online Here    
Jack City Softball