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Since 1980 L’il Saints Softball Organization has always stood for developing the softball skills necessary for young women to compete at the highest and distinguished level of Fastpitch Softball. L'il Saints team players, who continue to work hard developing their skills and putting in hours of dedication on the field & in the classroom, often feel exceptionally fulfilled at the end of the season. In our program, we attempt to make each player conscious of how meaningful her specific role is to the total team effort. Fundamental performance is the key to a “winning season.” Each player is taught how to deal with both success and failure and then how to reach both short-and long-range goal achievements with maximum successes. In the L'il Saints Softball Organization, we teach an accelerated level of softball so our young student athletes will be prepared to play at the collegiate level. We are always looking for new information on coaching techniques and we add qualified coaches to our staff each year. With the escalating cost of a college education, our monies spent now will pay off in the future for our L'il Saints team players. Tournament play is essential in our organization. We work hard at scheduling a series of highly competitive tournaments throughout the year. Our primary goal is "devotion to our teams and players". Whether a L'il Saints team player is with us one season or many, it is our hope that she will experience a good feeling and have a continuing love for the sport of Fastpitch Softball.
Life, Legacy, Softball
It is with great sadness that I have to write this post. The softball world lost a great man today. Dick Dickson passed away around 2:00 AM from a massive heart attack. Dick had been battling health issues all summer and spent 2 months in the hospital. He was finally out and doing better but the toll that it took on him was just too much.
Dick has been the leader of the Lil Saints organization since the mid 1980's. He was able to coach 100's of girls who went on to achieve their dreams as college softball players. Not only was Dick a leader in Arizona softball, he also made his presence known nationally. He was 1 of the original teams that started the Boulder Showcase each summer in CO. Going to Boulder every summer was something that he looked forward to all year. It was liking taking a trip to Disneyland for him. Dick was also instrumental in the development of the 18 Gold program in ASA. While he never won a National Championship, his teams did finish 2nd a few times.
He touched the lives of many players throughout his 30 plus years in the sport. Personally, he has been my mentor since I first joined the organization in 2002. In that 12 years, he taught me many things about the sport, but more importantly, he taught me to care about our girls as people first not just as softball players. That is something that I will take with me as I continue in the sport. I can say first hand that the girls who moved through the organization over the last 12 years loved playing for Dick. Every time that I see an old player, they love to tell stories about things that Dick said or did. He taught them a lot while letting them have fun during the process. My daughter cherished Dick. Even at almost 25, she always ask me how he is doing. She cared deeply about him and was VERY proud to call herself a Lil Saint. She is flying in to Phoenix later tonight for a visit. 1 of the things that she was looking forward to was stopping by his house to say hello and to see how he was. Unfortunately, she will not get that chance. It breaks my heart and I know it will break hers.
Unfortunately, life sometimes brings us sadness. These sad times do give us the opportunity to reflect on the relationships we make throughout life. As I reflect on my time with Dick, I have nothing but great memories. I was proud to call Dick a friend and will miss him greatly. He taught me how to be a coach and mentor. He gave me a love for this game that will follow me throughout my life. This sport allows us coaches to help to guide young girls and to hopefully be a positive influence in their lives. I am a better person because of Dick and I hope to be able to touch someone as much as he touched me.
Please keep Dick's family, his wonderful wife Carol, his 2 children Casey and Lance and his grandchildren, in your thoughts and prayers.
AZ Lil Saints Softball
While typing this, I just received a text from 1 of our current players Dad's. He sent me a text that his daughter sent him when she heard the news of Dick's passing. She loved Dick greatly and said "He's in a great place now with God. He's not hurting anymore and that's all that matters". That says it all. Maybe God needed someone to work on hitting with his Angels. If so, he found a great one!