SOFTBALL AND BASEBALL LESSONS BY TAKE PRIDE TRAINING
Hitting, Fielding, Cathching, Pitching, and Throwing instruction is open to all Storm players as well as any community player that is looking to further develop their softball and baseball skills.
SOFTBALL AND BASEBALL INSTRUCTORS:
Deb Sleeman, Softball Batting Instructor & Throwing Instructor
Coach Sleeman was a two time All-American catcher at Hope College and a member of the USA/ASA National Softball team before a career ending knee injury forced her into retirement at the age of 23. After concluding her softball career, Coach Sleeman went on to be the Assistant Softball Coach at Hope College for 8 years, a High School Varsity Softball Coach for 5 years and she also started Lakeshore Storm Softball and Baseball in 2007. Coach Sleeman has spent a significant amount of time studying and mastering the fastpitch softball swing and has worked with Don Slaught (Former MLB player/coach); Mike Candrea (Former USA Olympic softball head coach), Karen Baird (Former Eastern Michigan Head Softball Coach) and many other people in the sport of Softball to become a highly respectable hitting instructor.
Matt Sleeman, Baseball & Softball Batting Instructor & Softball Pitching Instructor
Coach Matt was a stand out High School Baseball player. Coach Matt has always been a student of the game for both baseball and softball and in 2002 he was hired by Hope College to be one of the Assistant Softball Coaches as their Pitching Coach. Coach Matt coached several MIAA All-Conference pitchers, All-Region pitchers, one All-MIAA Player of the Year Pitcher, adn one All-American player. After leaving Hope College, he went on to be the pitching coach for a Class A High School for 5 years before deciding to put all of his energy into instructing, coaching Little League, and coaching travel baseball and softball teams.
Jason Benson, Baseball Pitching, Batting & Defensive lessons
Jason was an all state HS baseball player and 4 year varsity player at West Ottawa HS. He then attended Grand Valley State University for baseball and graduated with a BA in History and Movement Science. He has played 12 years of Professional baseball Internationally and as an independent player since 2002. Jason was a 1st round, 3rd overall draft choice in the IBL (Israel Baseball League) in 2007 as a pitcher. He has been coaching and instructing baseball for 15 years in MI, Australia, Quebec, and he is also the owner and operator of Kinetic Baseball Training since 2010.
Courtney Sleeman, Softball Batting Instructor, Softball Catching Instructor
Courtney is a 2019 graduate from Western Michigan University and was a catcher for the Broncos. In High School, Courtney was a standout catcher at both West Ottawa and Zeeland West H.S. She is a four time All-Area Softball player; three time All-Conference, two time All-District, and an All-Region and All-State player her senior year. Courtney was also the offensive MVP for Zeeland after breaking a 20+ year homerun record with 7 homeruns in the spring of 2013 and crushing the record in 2015 with 15 home runs. Courtney played travel softball since the age of 10 and played a total of 12 years for Lakeshore Storm either catching, playing 2nd, 1st, or at 3rd base. She has been a trainer for Lakeshore Storm since 2014 and works primarily with softball catchers and batters.
Hitomi Brown, Softball Instructor
Hitomi Brown has over 20 years of competitive and international softball experience. She was hand selected to play for the Japan Junior Olympic team, and was voted the best high school catcher in Japan in 2005. She was chosen to play professionally for the Japan Softball Association, but she decided to go to college at world renowned Nippon Sports Science University in Tokyo, Japan. There she was the team’s starting catcher and the team went to the National Championship every year where they placed 2nd. After college, she started coaching and training softball athletes. Hitomi’s first year as a head coach of Urasoe Commercial High School, her team was the Okinawa Regional Champions. The team went on to the Japan National Championship with over 100 teams played. Hitomi's team finished 16th best in the entire country, and she was the youngest head coach in the tournament. She moved to Michigan with her husband Nick and started sharing her softball expertise with American softball students. She still has close ties with many Japanese softball professionals and Olympians. Hitomi intends to train catchers, fielders as well as giving hitting instruction.
Taylor Siersma, Softball Hitting and Catching Coach
Taylor started playing travel softball with the Storm Organization when she was 8 years old. She was a four-year varsity starter at Zeeland West High School. Her senior year, she was the overall MVP for Zeeland West HS. After high school, she attended Alpena Community College and graduated with her Associates in Accounting. Taylor transferred her junior year to St. Andrews University, where she graduated with her Bachelor of Business Administration with a focus in finance. At both schools, she was the starting catcher and second baseman. She recently just became a trainer for Lakeshore Storm and works primarily with batters and catchers."
Carly Sleeman, Softball Catching, Infield Defense and Hitting Coach
Carly is a senior at Zeeland West H.S. and is a standout student athlete. She is a two-time, Division 1 First team All-State player for the DUX. Her primary positions are C/2B/SS. In two HS seasons, Carly has hit 17 home runs, 16 triples, 46 doubles and 124 RBI's. Carly also plays travel softball for Michigan Storm and travels throughout the midwest to compete at the highest level possible. She is committed to attend Central Michigan University and to play softball for the Chippewa's. As a softball trainer, she has been training student athletes since 2020 and loves helping athletes strive to reach their goals.
Gabe Berman - Baseball Pitching, Hitting, and Defensive Lessons
Gabe Berman is from metro Detroit and was a highly scouted pitcher and hitter in high school. He chose to attend Western Michigan University as a two-way player but found his home on the mound as the team's Closing Pitcher. As a major contributor to the Bronco Baseball team, he broke the school record for career and single-season saves. After his Freshman campaign, he played in the Northwoods Summer League and was named a top prospect. The following summer, he was invited to pitch in the well respected Cape Cod Summer Baseball League. He graduated Cum Laude from Western Michigan University in 2017 with a degree in Business Management. Berman was forced to hang up the spikes after college due to non-baseball injuries but could not leave the game that easily. After a 2 year gap, he was able to come back and play Independent Pro Baseball for a year. Since 2015, Gabe has been working with ball players of all ages and skill levels on both sides of the ball. He has an extensive knowledge of baseball from fundamentals and mechanics to approach and mindset or mentality. He remembers the value he got from his first lesson at age twelve and credits much of what he’s been able to accomplish in baseball to one of his biggest mentors of the game, Chris Newell. Coach Gabe is currently an Assistant Baseball Coach at Zeeland West HS, he has a love for the Westside of Michigan and is excited to bring his professional expertise to the community!
Meri Klenk, Pitching Instructor
Meri started playing travel softball at the age of 9, primarily pitching and playing outfield. She was a four year varsity softball pitcher at Hamilton High School, where she was all-conference her Senior year. After high school, she went on to play one year at Saginaw Valley State University where she was a utility player. After college, Meri was hired at the MS softball coach and Fennville HS and she now is the HS coach. Meri hopes to pass along the love of pitching and softball to her athletes and share her passion for the sport.