ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – The second day of the 2019 NFCA Convention featured the sold-out, record-setting Exhibit Show, the membership getting down to business, an entertaining and engaging mentoring session, highly-attended fireside chats and the first two speaker sessions on Thursday at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City.
Following early morning Boardwalk Bootcamp and Shore Stretch Yoga sessions and a hearty breakfast provided by Schutt Sports, the membership got down to business with their respective caucus meetings. After spending three hours discussing the latest hot topics in softball, attendees headed over to the largest Exhibit Show in NFCA Convention history.
With 136 vendors and brand-new Exhibit Hall education, it allowed members to mingle with vendors and learn about the latest in equipment, apparel and innovative products. The final hour was capped off with the Scrap Yard Sports Happy Hour and Exhibit Hall raffle. In conjunction with the Exhibit Hall, the digital silent auction is back and the bidding wars started at 11 a.m. and will conclude at 1:00 p.m. on Friday. Find your favorite companies andbid on your favorite items from the comfort of your phone by stopping by each booth and scanning the company’s QR code.
The newest endeavor was the education in the Exhibit Hall. Between 1:00 and 4:45 p.m., large crowds gathered around the batting cage in the back corner of the hall to learn from different companies about their latest technology.
Coaches checked out the first of two Drills, Drills, Drills sessions followed by a packed house for the UCLA coaching staff of head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez and assistants Lisa Fernandez and Kirk Walker in “An Exclusive Look Inside the Bruin Bubble: Coaching Staff Dynamics." India Chiles (Tennessee) and Caitlin Lowe (Arizona) followed with “Accelerate Your Offense.”
Emceed by Indiana head coach Shonda Stanton, the Mentoring Session opened with a touching address by Pfeiffer’s Vada Blue Sherrill, the first recipient of the Geri Ann Glasco Memorial Scholarship. Stanton brought her high-energy and entertaining personality, as mentors volunteered to give advice and life lessons to young head and assistant coaches.
Additionally, mentors were asked to “pay it forward” donating money toward great prizes and educational opportunities for the mentees, which included 2019 convention, NFCC and NFCA Clinic registrations as well as regional and national coaching staff visits. This year featured fund-raising activities such as a dance off between Michigan’s Carol Hutchins and Alabama’s Pat Murphy to NFCA Hall of Famer Sharon Drysdale “asking” coaches to donate after “losing” their credential.
The evening was capped off by the Diamond/PGF Social Pool Party at Harrah’s Pool After Dark.
Be sure to check out day two of the sold-out Exhibit Show, which opens its doors to members at 7:30 a.m. and runs through 2:00 p.m. Batting education continues, along with the Sports Attack raffle and the conclusion of the Digital Silent Auction at 1:00 p.m.
Friday features a full boat of speakers starting at 9:00 a.m., The lineup also includes the Softball Summit sponsored by USA Softball and the Grassroots Summit with a college coaches panel and educational (offense & defense) offerings. The night is capped off by the Convention’s marquee event, the 2019 Hall of Fame banquet.