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.
Alex Hunt, Baseball & Softball Hitting Instructor
Alex Graduated from West Ottawa in 2010 after playing on the varsity team for 3 years. He then attended Hope College and graduated in 2014. As a Shortstop Alex was a 3 year starter and was named a captain for Hope College. After graduation, Alex played baseball in Quebec for the Sherbrooke Expos in the LBSEQ league. Currently, he is the hitting coach at Hope College since 2014. Alex has been giving professional hitting and fielding instruction since 2011 for both softball and baseball players of all ages.
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.
Michelle Letherby - Softball Pitching Coach
Coach Michelle started competing in club softball when she was 12 years old, pitching for 3 of the top club teams in Northern New Jersey. She was a four year varsity starter for Waldwick H.S., which then led her to attend Hope College where she pitched from 2008 to 2011. Her coaching career started after her career at Hope was finished. Michelle has been giving pitching lessons since graduating college and coached three seasons at Holland Christian H.S. at both the JV and Varsity levels.
Art’om Rank - Baseball Instructor
Played with Boston Red Sox organization/ multiple independent professional leagues/ helped with the DPL/ many connections with former and current college coaches/ trained at Driveline baseball in Seattle, Washington for velocity and command efficiency. Played as a second baseman/ utility player at Saugatuck high school and was recruited to continue my college career at that position. I made the transition to a pitcher at the college level and remained a top starting pitcher in college for all 4 years (WVU/ Glenville state College). After that I took the free agent route and played a year of independent baseball before I was invited to Spring training workouts with the Boston Red Sox Organization. Currently I’m a free agent and will be leaving for spring training at the end of February.
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."