LONGMONT — When Ryan Beavers pitched for Colorado State in the late 1980s and early 1990s, he threw hard but he was wild and couldn’t find the strike zone.
Beavers wishes he’d been more prepared for the collegiate level than he was. Preparing young softball players is the primary motivation for Beavers — the head coach at Silver Creek in the fall — to coach in the summer.
“When I went in as a collegiate athlete, as a young pitcher, I had a lot of coaches I liked but I didn’t have the knowledge I needed to pitch at that level,” Beavers said. “I didn’t have a lot of technical instruction. I had a pitching coach at the time, his name was Jeff Rodgers, and I realized there was so much that I had to learn.
“My biggest motivation is that I never wanted to see a kid have the same thing happen to me happen to them and learn to pitch too late in their career. I had a somewhat rewarding career pitching collegiately but I think it was have been more so had I had instruction at a young, young, young age.”
After coaching in the summer for the Colorado Lynx and then last year with the Colorado Comets, Beavers switched gears within the Boulder Competitive Girls Softball Comets/Stars organization and signed on as an assistant for the Colorado Stars-Sakamoto this summer.
Part of Beavers’ decision to switch teams was so that he could continue coaching Silver Creek players Devin Aubry and Ashley Beavers, his daughter. But, he said, part of the appeal of summer softball is coaching players from all around the state.
“Really, for me in the summer, it’s mutually exclusive,” Beavers said. “We have kids from as far south as Rock Canyon and ThunderRidge, including some kids from up north here. We have kids from all across the Front Range. That’s just coaching in the summer. It’s a different animal than coaching in the fall with local kids.”
Ryan Beavers’ focus on offseason work has rubbed off on his daughter.
“It definitely makes you a better player,” Ashley Beavers said. “Especially coming into high school, it keeps you tuned up and ready to go. It definitely makes a difference.”
This weekend, Colorado Stars-Sakamoto is competing in the Colorado Premier Girls Fastpitch National Qualifier at Garden Acres Park.
Colorado Stars-Sakamoto has already played 75 game this summer and will have played over 115 when it’s all said and done. The Stars also have qualified for the American Softball Association national tournament.
Ryan Beavers has knowledge of baseball and softball that he wants to make sure gets passed on. Ashley Beavers, for one, is more than happy to receive it, and the summer softball allows her to learn from different coaches while still playing for dad.
“Playing with Scott (Sakamoto) as the head coach and (Ryan Beavers) helping out is definitely different,” Ashley Beavers said. “It’s a big change but it’s kind of nice because I’ve been playing for him my whole life so it’s nice to see something different.”
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