As the boys of October begin their quest for the coveted titled of world champs, we Cubs fans are reminded yet again there is always next year. Some Cubs fans will admit silently they do wish the Sox the best since they are a Chicago team and Chicago is the sports town of the nation.
While we talk about the boys of summer (and October), one cannot forget the girls of summer and the growing interest of girls in sports, particularly softball. Ron Duve of Brookfield took an interest in helping promote girls athletics when his daughter, Teagan, in 1984 began playing softball.
She expressed a desire to pitch, so Dad became not only her catcher but her teacher. Because Ron Duve believes it is necessary to learn the correct way to do anything, he began to learn all he could about softball pitching.
He began to attend pitching clinics with his daughter to find out what they were doing. He observed techniques at a clinic held by then-pitching coach and former player for DePaul University, Leigh Podlesny, who is now the softball coach at Middle Tennessee State University.
Learning from those he considered among the best was how he would teach his daughter. With what he learned from clinics and videos, he realized he could help other girls through his own clinics and began setting up programs through the North Riverside Recreation Department in the spring and fall.
He now conducts his own clinics and gives one-on-one training under the name Hollywood Elite. He also is certified as a coach, having received his certification through the American Sports Education Program, which qualifies him to coach in high school, something he hopes to do at some time.
His coaching has been with the programs in the area and, though he lives in Brookfield, he coached Riverside 12- to 13-year-old girls softball. He noted since his daughter is now in college it is easier to coach, since she’s not on the team.
Duve shared many of his feelings while we talked, citing the rivalry between towns. But he noted that adults should leave their egos behind since many of the girls will be on teams together once they enter high school.
“I get a kick out of seeing the girls succeed as they have fun,”he said.
He will admit there are times when he has to bite his tongue and would sometimes tell his team, “If you see the blue vein popping out, tell me lighten up. It’s just a game.”
And there were a few times that was just what the girls did.
He takes pride in working with the teams and showing them teamwork pays off. There is “grousing” at times when players are asked to do “stupid drills,” but he noted that those basic drills are the ones that prevent players from making “stupid” mistakes.
He tells his players, “I don’t know everything, but listen to what I tell you, seek out other coaches, ask questions, don’t just listen to one person and don’t limit yourself.”
His take on how he sees each season is twofold. “If it’s a good season, we’re crying because it’s over and with a bad season, it’s thank God it’s over.”
He enjoyed the past season with what he called a good group of girls and enjoyed seeing the smiles on their faces as they succeeded as the girls of summer.
For Ron Duve the important thing is for the girls to focus on mechanics, learn fundamentals, learn correctly in the beginning, listen and discovering how to make corrections in your game. For more information about Ron Duve and Hollywood Elite contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.