After an anxious month in which registration lagged and Payson’s inaugural Sun Devil Softball Camp was teetering on cancellation, sign-ups jumped to over 50.
The rapid increase prompted Arizona State coaches and town officials to decide to hold the camp as originally scheduled.
The late registration push came as no surprise to town recreation leader Charlene Hunt who last spring pushed for the camp to be moved from Lakeside-Pinetop to Payson.
“For some reason, people often wait until the last minute to sign up, it happens all the time,” she said.
However, if there is one snag remaining, it is that a registration for a coaching clinic — to be held 6 to 9 p.m. June 24 — is slow.
“This is a great opportunity for players to learn from one of the country’s best coaches (Arizona State University’s Clint Myers) and coaches from all levels should take advantage of it,” she said.
During the clinic, coaches will be given tips on improving teamwork, confidence, attitude and communication in their players. Also they will be exposed to the newest in team and individual drills, game strategy and methods of goal setting.
The clinic fee is $50.
The softball camp, which is open to players 10 to 19 years of age, will be held June 23 to 25 at Rumsey Park. Sessions will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each of the three days of the camp. There will be a lunch break from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Campers must bring their own lunch, but coaches will be present to supervise during the lunch hour.
The camp fee is $300.
Myers, who was lobbied last spring by PHS coach Will Dunman and Hunt to move the camp to Payson, is excited about bringing ASU softball to the Rim Country.
“It seems to be a perfect fit for us, the support, the fantastic layout of the camp site (Rumsey Park) with all the fields — including lights,” he said. “We look forward to coming to Payson for our first-ever all skills summer camp in your community.”
The ASU coach, will bring enough instructors, which will include some ASU players, to keep the coach-to-player ratio about 6 to 1.
Also, the sessions will be very similar to Sun Devil team workouts.
“At the camp we will use the same drills we use in our daily practices with our college team to teach mental and physical skills development,” Myers said.
Which means, the campers could be exposed to some state-of-the-art teaching tools such as The Extra Infielder, Swift Stik, Grand Slam Pitching Machine, Weighted Agility Gloves and Zone-In.
Since it is an “all skills” camp, bunting, hitting, slapping, fielding, throwing, base running, sliding and pitching will be taught.
“Campers attending the Payson camp will be introduced to skill development and the knowledge of how to play the game,” Myers said.
“They will learn the ASU way of playing softball.”
Hunt touts the camp as a way for players to learn all they need to reach their goal of being the best softball player they can be.
She also says Myers is the coach who can accomplish that partly because he instills enthusiasm and confidence in his players.
Proof his methods work are in ASU’s revitalized program that only three years ago was largely unrecognized and wallowing in the depths of the Pac-10.
After being hired in 2006, Myers led the Sun Devils to the 2008 NCAA national championship and this season again took the team to the college world series of softball.
Registration forms are available from Hunt at the Parks, Recreation and Tourism office in Green Valley Park or online at: http://www.freewebs.com/sdscamps/
For more information, call Hunt at (928) 474-5242, ext 260.