New Head Coach appointed for GB Under-18 Women

Sat 22 Aug 2020

The British Softball Federation has appointed Kathleen Laster, an experienced US-based coach and an expert in softball analytics, to the position of Head Coach for the GB Under-18 Women’s Fastpitch Team.

The position became vacant when Robbie Robison resigned as Under-18 Head Coach earlier this year after two years in the role.

There were 17 applicants for the position, five were short-listed and interviewed, and Kathleen Laster was the unanimous choice of a panel made up of GB National Team coaches, including BSF National Teams Officer Alexis Markham-Hill.

Kathleen Laster, who is based in Texas, has coached at the high school, club and college level in the United States, and in 2018 founded Softball Analytics Consulting, a firm that produces scouting reports for softball teams across the world, including top NCAA Division 1 colleges, and runs coach education courses focusing on statistical and video analysis.

Kathleen holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Texas A&M University, a Master of Science Degree from Texas Woman's University and NFCA Master Coach certification.

After a year without either training or competition due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the GB Under-18 Women’s Team will now be focused on preparing for the European Under-18 Women’s Championship in July 2021 in Prague, which will be a qualifier for the WBSC Under-18 Women’s World Cup in 2022.


Reactions

Alexis Markham-Hill said: “As the GB Women’s Fastpitch programme and its global presence continues to grow, I was not surprised when the BSF received a large number of applications for the GB Under-18 Women's Head Coach position.  The BSF is delighted to welcome Kathleen Laster onto the GB Softball programme staff.  She comes with a wealth of experience, skills and knowledge that make her very well prepared to work with the GB Under-18 Women’s Softball Team.  With an ‘athlete first’ approach, Kathleen will be looking to maximise opportunities for individual athlete development while implementing a more robust use of technology through video and stats and using her experience in softball analytics to create individual and team performance training plans in the lead-up to competition.”

Kathleen Laster said: “I am honoured and excited to be able to lead the GB Under-18 Women’s Team.  The BSF has created a distinguished women’s fastpitch programme with success at all levels and being able to join their great group of coaches is a wonderful opportunity.  I know that coaching from abroad will present its own set of challenges, but I am excited to utilise technology to help this team grow and prepare for the European Championship next summer.”

Alexis Markham-Hill added: “Kathleen is ready to face any challenges that may come up with confidence and is committed to supporting the BSF’s mission to focus in particular on the development of UK-based athletes and coaches.  We are excited to watch Kathleen lead the GB Under-18 Women’s Team as they prepare for next summer’s European Championship.”

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