As a regular customer of Triple Crown’s Zoom Into June fastpitch event, it makes sense Jason Gwyn likes a lot of items on the tournament menu.
Gwyn, head coach of the 18u Team Mizuno Impulse squad out of metropolitan Dallas, is always on the lookout for softball settings that maximize competition and put his players in front of college recruiters. If that requires hitting the road, so be it, and Zoom Into June (located in Hemet, CA from June 9-11) has proven to be a logical destination.
“The first part is the recruiting aspect. I still have a few kids who are needing to be put in front of coaches, mainly to solidify their standing,” said Gwyn, a high school coach in Carrollton who helped establish the Impulse in autumn 2010. “That’s the first weekend coaches can be out, and it’s been a great event the past few times we’ve been out there because of the large draw from the college perspective.”
Gwyn’s roster of 17 features 10 players who have already made college commitments to very notable programs like Maryland, Texas A&M, Oregon, South Carolina and Florida State. Several Impulse players and scores of others (the event features 500-plus teams from 12u through 18u) will be taking advantage of the laundry list of dedicated settings where skills are displayed and refined – All-Academic Games, Unsigned Senior Workout, College Camps, Organizational Workouts and the exclusive OnDeck Camp run by Derek, Joann and Heather Allister.
“The other part is being able to get out there and play good competition early in the season. It gives us an idea of where we’re standing as we go into the summer, and where we need to improve,” Gwyn said. “So when we come back out, we’ll have an idea what to expect.”
Gwyn said his seasoned group isn’t the type to be rattled by the thought of performing in front of scouts (more than 350 college coaches will be at Zoom in 2017), while also maintaining the team concept when suiting up as a group.
“This group I have is pretty unique. A good portion, seven or eight of them, have been together several years and been incredibly successful at every age group,” he said. “They were top three a couple different times at ASA National events; they did really well with Triple Crown (TC/USA Nationals) in Reno a couple years ago, and were seventh at PGF this last year – they’ve been pretty successful.
“The first time you take a group of kids out, the distraction of a big trip is there. But after that, it becomes habit. I worked on these kids to understand it’s a business trip … and if we get done what we should, there’s some play time at the end.”