Morgan Stuart Discusses Softball School, Virtual Instruction
Softball America caught up with The Packaged Deal co-founder Morgan Stuart about the launch of Softball School for athletes and coaches alike during these difficult times.
Softball School, which will take place over the course of six weeks, will offer live, virtual classes three times per day from Monday through Friday, in an effort to continue softball instruction and mental training during the coronavirus outbreak. Classes are slated to begin March 23 and registration is now open.
Stuart discussed the advent of the idea for Softball School, the benefits she foresees coming from it as well as the future of virtual sports instruction.
See the full conversation below.
Softball America: It seems like things were put together pretty quickly, but who originally came up with the idea for Softball School and how did the brainstorming process for it go?
Morgan Stuart: Jen (Schroeder) definitely had the first idea for it. I think some of the first announcements were coming out about there possibly being a quarantine, and among all the craziness, Jen texted Amanda (Scarborough) and me and said she had an idea. That's happened probably five different big times in our history as The Packaged Deal. Then she told us about her idea for Softball School, since everyone is home from school. Quickly, the three of us put together different ideas about how we thought it should go. The idea just got bigger and bigger from there.
With Softball School, we think it's bigger than just the people who follow us. We think that since there's nothing to watch and college teams aren't playing, there's a need to bring everybody back together.
SA: During such an unprecedented time like this, how do you foresee Softball School benefitting both softball players and coaches?
MS: This is such a weird time, and I think, in terms of the different things we can focus on other than what's happening in the world, it's definitely going to benefit kids. This pause could be a great gift for a lot of these kids and a really needed break from playing softball. The information is going to be endless and the opportunity to learn will be so vast.
SA: Aside from the physical benefits that could come from Softball School, what kind of mental and emotional benefits do you think this could provide softball players and coaches during this uncertain time?
MS: Things that are issues for girls growing up, we'll touch on those things. We've got confidence building and we've got a course on body image. At lessons and clinics, sometimes there isn't time or a space to slow down and really talk about those things.
Mentally and emotionally, it will be amazing to get our minds back on something that we love. We're all connected to the sport and it's such a passionate sport. That's what Softball School will bring back to our world right now.
SA: What was the general response from the instructors who are participating in Softball School?
MS: They reached out to us after we put out feelers on our social media about it. They wanted to be a part of it just because of what it would mean for girls everywhere. Overwhelmingly, our instructors have been amazing and want to be of any help they can be. They're super passionate about helping the youth within the sport.
SA: Do you foresee virtual instruction becoming somewhat of the wave of the future in sports, even after life goes back to a state of normalcy?
MS: I think it definitely has the potential to, although I think there's a definite benefit to in-person lessons. But virtual lessons and school might help shift some of the things we offer as well with The Packaged Deal. I think that this is maybe a stepping stone to something that people can expect from us in the future, and in terms of industry-wide, I think you're going to see more and more digital learning because people are going to see the benefits from it.