SSoftball School exhibit at 2020 CON6

Italy's Softball Schools aim to help grow the game while developing players into college prospects

Flavia Ciliberto, former softball star and founder of three nonprofit Softball Schools in Italy, knows that recruiting players at a very young age is paramount in popularizing the sport and keeping their dreams alive of one day competing overseas on the collegiate level. Having set up an exhibition booth at the 2020 CON6 Baseball and Softball Convention in Rimini, Flavia Ciliberto networked with some of the game's movers and shakers. NFCA Executive Director Carol Bruggeman and ESF President Gabriel Waage were among the softball elite in attendance,

Developed as a viable path for young girls to gain the necessary skill set so that they may utilize softball as a means of achieving a college education via scholarship, the original Softball School opened its doors in Sanremo four years ago but was conceived a decade earlier when Flavia learned that softball parents in the U.S. were paying up to $75 for a half-hour training session for their children. It was during this time that she accompanied her son, Alex Liddi, in America when he began his ascent in becoming the first Italian-born and developed player to make it to MLB (Seattle Mariners, 2011).

A star in her own right, Flavia Ciliberto is credited for giving Alex a jumpstart to his major-league career even before his birth as she reportedly continued playing softball for the first trimester of her pregnancy. When Alex was old enough to play, she coached his baseball teams. Since then, Flavia Ciliberto has continued coaching some of Italy's finest prospects. Her Softball Schools have attracted children as young as four years old and developed their players all the way through U18 so that they may catch the eyes of college recruiters abroad. The program has been so popular that coaches from other European cities have expressed their desire in having Softball Schools expand beyond Italy's borders. Visit the official Softball School website by clicking HERE. Forza #Italia!

by Roberto Angotti