Approach - Old

Arlington Heights Thunder Fastpitch is a high-level travel softball program comprised of athletes from Arlington Heights and the surrounding communities. We focus heavily on player development, which ensures that all of our athletes are constantly improving, leading to success now and at the next level.

One thing that makes us unique is that our players are encouraged to participate in other sports and activities instead of being forced to choose softball above all else. This allows our players to maintain consistent exposure to softball training and games, but also excel in other sports and activities such as swimming, basketball, soccer and more. This balanced approach has proven to be better for youth athletes as it ensures that players are less likely to overwork muscles or suffer burnout.

We focus on:
  • Having fun -- if playing softball isn't fun, we're doing something wrong 
  • Improving fundamental softball knowledge, strategy, and skills 
  • Developing position-specific abilities 
  • Learning new techniques to practice effectively on their own 
  • Preparing our players to play high school softball (and beyond)
  • Building team chemistry and encouraging social engagement with a variety of team building events
  • Teaching our athletes to compete so that we are successful on the field

Our 2020 - 21 program includes:
  • Training mid-August --> July (with a break November --> mid January)
  • Friendlies plus one or two tournaments in the fall
  • 1x - 2x per week indoor training (mid January - April)
  • Outside instruction for hitting and pitching
  • Friendlies against other local tournament and travel teams
  • 4 - 6 tournaments

Based on our past season, this approach will lead to a schedule of approximately 40 - 50 games, which is a step up from most "house league" schedules, but a bit less than a year-round travel softball schedule.

Being a Part of the Thunder Family

As a coaching staff, we believe in the development of each individual as a young adult, a student, and an athlete. There are many life lessons that are learned through participation in competitive athletics and our goal is to help each team member reach their full potential in all aspects. Learning to work hard and remain positive through adversity and failure will prove invaluable as our athletes grow and mature.

Along with our philosophy of helping young athletes reach their full potential, we strongly believe in the following core values that define the Thunder Fastpitch Program:
  • Trust - Thunder earn the trust of their teammates
  • Honesty - Thunder are honest about their actions (no matter who’s watching) and always strive to do the right thing
  • Unity - Thunder win or lose together
  • Need - Thunder do what’s necessary to prepare for every situation, on and off the field
  • Devotion - Thunder are committed to their team, education, family and community
  • Effort - Thunder bring full energy everyday
  • Respect - Above all else, Thunder respect the game
These principles guide our approach to ensure that our players succeed on (and off) the field.

If you are interested in learning more, please feel free to email us at