Presented to an individual who displayed leadership and commitment to his or her community by making a positive and significant impact.
From rise balls and change-ups to curveballs and crow hops, the softball fast pitch is a blazing, awesome throw to watch. In order to learn the proper technique, the players must have the patience to fine-tune these skills, and a knowledgeable coach who believes in them.
Vince Muehe has been—and will be—that coach for many aspiring young pitchers. He started coaching over 20 years ago when his two daughters, Kim and Kate, first got involved in youth sports. Now that his daughters are grown, he has moved to a specialized role as a pitching coach, devoting hundreds of hours to the sport without receiving any financial gain. (Some pitching coaches charge $50/hour.)
He coaches out of his Prior Lake barn purely for the love of the game.
“For every pitcher ‘created,’ five more girls get to enjoy playing the sport,” he points out. “And by doing this for free, I'm able to attract some great young athletes to the position.”
His hope is simple—to “make fastpitch softball better in Minnesota.”
He does this through running FastSports.com, a free online resource for “everything fastpitch” in the state, and by donating his time, his knowledge, and his barn to teaching girls the mechanics of pitching.
Anyone who has worked with Vince will tell you, though, that his coaching goes beyond learning the proper mechanics of the position. Under his guidance, impressionable young girls learn valuable lessons about self-esteem, discipline, playing fair, and having fun. He stresses the importance of finding a balance between sports, school, friends and family.
“He knows that girls need to feel good about who they are and what they stand for before they will ever be successful on the softball field or in life,” says Colleen Nelson, whose daughter was coached by Vince. “He pushes them to accomplish more than they ever thought possible.”