While softball season is months away, area players are beginning to practice and learning something new in the process.
Softball players from throughout the area are dedicating their Saturday to advancing their skills.
"They see that it takes these girls to where they want to be so they're more willing to make that effort," said West Muskingum Middle School Coach Conrad Wilkins.
Coach Conrad teamed up with Ohio Christian University Coach Emory Clark to host a three hour clinic at Falls Elementary School. Girls from sixth grade through high school were learning from OCU softball players about the fundamentals of the game, primarily focusing on throwing, catching and batting.
"We just wanted to get the full experience of playing with college," said 7th grade softball player Melinda Bell.
8th grader Lyndzie Levray agreed, "oh it's great, I've never done this before, it's something I was really looking forward to."
During the clinic, Coach Clark spoke to the girls about the process for being recruited to a college or university. He encouraged them to maintain their GPA's since academics are highly considered when schools make their selections.
"There's tremendous athletes in our area and they need to be exposed to that and get the opportunity to go on and play in school," said Coach Wilkins.
The youth players aren't the only ones gaining experience from this clinic.
"I've got several girls who want to be coaches, so it gives them a chance to learn how to teach skills to the age groups that they'll be teaching to," said Coach Emory Clark.
Since the clinic was sponsored, middle school girls were able to attend for free.