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Challenge U. Softball® Staff

Coach Lisa: Owner/Founder : Owner/Founder

Coach Lisa: Owner/Founder

Owner/Founder

Coach Lisa is the owner and founder of Challenge U. Softball® and The National C.U.D.I.T.® (Challenge U. Drill Interval Training) Concentric Hitting Coach Certification Program.  Coach started her journey back in 2006 after graduating from Ramapo College where she was clean-up all four years and starting catcher.  A four-time NJAC All-Conference performer, Lisa was the team's star catcher hailing from Dumont High School.  Coach Lisa hit over .340 all four years of her collegiate career and was named to the NCAA East Region Team, NCAA 1st Team All Conference multiple years, Coaches Award recipient, and NCAA Honorable Mention recipient.  In the NCAA World Series, Coach Lisa was the first player to hit a home-run over the fence proving that her leadership is part of her character. 

Upon graduation, Coach decided to follow her passion for teaching the game to others.  She went on to coach softball at Division One FDU and Division Three Drew University.  Although she loved coaching her teams, she had a true calling for private one on one instruction.  Her ability to positively influence each athlete in every hitting, fielding, and catching lesson drove her to quit her corporate job and start her first outdoor softball instruction business, Mobile Softball Training (MST) in 2007.

MST was an outdoor based softball training company in which Coach would travel throughout the tri-state area to train softball athletes on their home turf defensively and offensively.  Coach built up a reputation for mentally and physically transforming each athlete that she worked with.  After four years of hard work and dedication, Coach Lisa's clientele had built to a strong and steady base.  In 2011, she took the chance to open her own facility: Challenge U. Softball®.  Today Challenge U. Softball® trains an average of 8-10k softball athletes per year in private lessons and large camps.

Coach Lisa is dedicated to continually learn and give back.  In 2015 she embarked on a mission to study the science of the swing while teaching others nationwide how to create a profession from their passion of instruction.  After a two year journey, Coach launched the National C.U.D.I.T.® Concentric Hitting Coach Certification and Business Development Program that now has coaches certified in eight states.  Her mission is to teach private lesson coaches how to train the mental part of the game with the highest level of mechanic drill training while making their passion into a profession.  Also, Coach Lisa is a national speaker on self-confidence and living life on purpose.  She has been a keynote speaker at various events including Coaching Conventions, Athletic Programs, and was the featured University of Delaware Speaker of the Month.  Check out her website here.

Why pursue this you ask?  Coach is a strong believer that everyone should love what they do for a living and wanted to show them how.

For a limited time, Coach Lisa is back to giving private one on one lessons at her home base: Challenge U. Softball®.  Book your lesson with Coach Lisa today and be ready to WORK.

Coach Jill :

Coach Jill

Coach Jill is a versatile, all-around, softball athlete with an unparalleled passion for softball.  She received 12 varsity letters in softball, soccer, and basketball at Saddle River Day School, but excelled in softball on her elite club softball teams.  She is a leader with drive and determination with the belief that confidence and mental strength are vital for success.
Coach Jill was named captain of her team at SRDS both her junior and senior years.  She earned the MVP award all four years and in her senior year was named second-team All-Conference and second team All-State.  Coach was known on her softball club teams as being fierce, loud, and always having her head in the game. In her final season with The Bobcats, she posted a batting average of .571, an on base percentage of .618 and a fielding percentage of .884 at shortstop.
At Lafayette College, Coach continued to play ball, and was named captain as a second-semester freshman, holding the position until graduating in 2015.  She is currently going to graduate school for her Master’s Degree in Teaching Art. Needless to say, she loves working with young athletes and passing along her knowledge, skills, and love for the game. Be sure to bring positivity, confidence, and heart when training with Coach Jill!

Coach Jill beat out dozens of applicants to become an instructor at Challenge U. Softball® due to her vocal motivation, leadership, determination, knowledge, continual desire to master her craft, passion to help younger athletes mentally and mechanically, kindheartedness, and love for the game.  She is an outgoing, strong, positive, caring leader that continues to train directly under Coach Lisa becoming a Certified C.U.D.I.T.® Concentric Hitting Coach! Book your lesson and request Coach Jill here!

Coach Mel :

Coach Mel

Coach Melissa Phelan is the epitome of hard work, dedication, mental strength, focus, and passion for the game. Coach Mel has been a standout athlete from her high school days throughout her collegiate NCAA Division 1 years.  Coach has broken multiple records while hailing at Saddle Brook High School including the home run record while being a four year letter winner.  She was named first-team All-League from 2009-12, named first-team All-County from 2011-12, named first-team All-Area North Jersey and first-team All-State (Group 1) in 2012. She led her team to a 25-8 record as a senior, while hitting 13 home runs and posting a .572 batting average

In her senior year of high school, Coach tied in leading the state of NJ in home runs.  Her focus and dedication during every practice, training session, and game allowed her to become one of the most popular softball athletes to come out of the state of NJ.  Coach Mel trained endlessly teenage to adult years with the owner/founder of Challenge U. Softball®, Coach Lisa.

Coach went on to play NCAA softball at Division 1, Stony Brook.  During her years at Stony Brook, Coach made a name for herself.  Her freshman year, Stony Brook won their conference and played in NCAA Regional at the University of Missouri (6th in the nation at that time). After that, the following two years SBUSB was the regular season champions, yet lost in the conference final. During her senior year, Coach showed her determination to the game when suffering from a broken hand.  She came back dedicated to finish her season with a bang and that she did.

“As a coach at Challenge U. I want girls to develop an aspect of their game of taking the small achievements as big wins. We play in a sport of failure, so if girls can take the little victories from the game, such as getting an 8 pitch at bat, it will allow them to continue to better their game as well as enjoy the sport for longevity.”

Coach Mel specializes in small ball, slapping, hitting, fielding, and catching.  She has completed her C.U.D.I.T.® certification and V.B.S. system training and is one of the most well-respected former players in the Tri-State!

Coach Jamie :

Coach Jamie

Coach Jamie has been on the pitcher’s mound and in the dugout since 1995. At the age of 10, Coach Jamie dedicated herself to private pitching sessions weekly throughout her entire career. Her passion for the game and dedication to always improve led her to become a 3 year varsity letter winner and captain at Dumont High School. During her Junior year, Coach Jamie was recruited by Kings College, Coast Guard Academy, and many more. With many options on the table, Coach Jamie decided to go to the University of Rhode Island and pursue her degree in Paralegel Studies. With education being Coach’s ultimate priority, she committed herself to her studies and mastering the skills and mechanics of pitching. Coach Jamie started giving private pitching lessons in 2006 for athletes ages 9 into their collegiate years attending the elite coaching conventions yearly along the way.

Due to her dedication and passion in working with pitchers, the owner/founder of Challenge U, Coach Lisa, hired her as her first pitching Coach in 2007 when Coach Lisa started Mobile Softball Training, her initial outdoor based company. Coach Jamie has been a top director of many Challenge U. Softball camps outdoors throughout the north east since 2007.

Coach has been featured in The Bergen Record, North Jersey Sports, and the Coaches Insider alongside top NCAA Coaches as a pitching drill tutorial coach. With Coach’s years of giving private pitching lessons, experience, and passion in each lesson, Coach Jamie is a premier pitching coach at Challenge U. Softball. Coach has completed her C.U.D.I.T.® certification, V.B.S. system training, and one of the most requested trainer's at C.U. Be ready to bring your work ethic and passion when working with Coach!

Coach Liz :

Coach Liz

Coach Liz is the example of a passionate, confident, strong vocal leader on the field and at Challenge U. Softball®. Her knowledge and enthusiasm for the game is contagious in every lesson and training camp that Coach holds. Her passion for softball and for helping younger athletes advance to the next level is undeniable. Coach Liz embodies hard work, determination, and team work. She specializes in hitting, fielding, catching, and training camp directing. Coach has completed her C.U.D.I.T.® certification, V.B.S. system training, and is one of the most well-respected former players in the area.

Some of Coach Liz's awards include: Passaic Valley High School [2009-2012] 4 YEAR VARSITY STARTER, SENIOR YEAR CAPTAIN; 1ST TEAM ALL COUNTY; 1ST TEAM ALL LEAGUE. Coach Liz was also a 4 year varsity starter in both basketball and soccer. Coach is no stranger to heart and will-power.

After High school, Coach Liz went on to play at William Paterson University while maintaining a high GPA and making the Dean's List Honor roll. Her love for teaching younger athletes led her back to the Hornets as an assistant varsity coach at Passaic Valley High School, while also helping out her local travel team Tri-Boro Sting. Coach Liz dominated the field as an infielder, catcher, and strong consistent and confident hitter. Coach has been featured as a softball drill coach on "The Coaches Insider" reaching 70K athletes worldwide. Be sure to bring your FOCUS, PASSION and DETERMINATION when training with Coach Liz.

Coach Lexi :

Coach Lexi

Coach Lexi is the definition of will-power and determination.  Coach was a dominant player from Saddle Brook, NJ being a 4 year starting pitcher, infielder, consistent hitter, as well as senior captain.  She is First Team All-League, First Team All-North Jersey, Super 36 team Member, and Donna Ricker Scholarship award winner. Coach Lexi was a triple threat on the mound, in the field, and up at the plate.

Coach Lexi’s elite career stats include: pitching 75-19, .98 ERA, 708 K, 34 shutouts, .444 BA, 108 RBI, 11 HR, 27 2B, 24SB.  After graduating a North Group 1 Champion and awarded as one of the Top 10 pitchers in North Jersey, Coach Lexi proceeded to pursue her softball career as an NCAA athlete at Fairleigh Dickinson University.  Unfortunately, after a traumatic shoulder injury, Coach Lexi was not able to continue to chase her dreams as a four-year NCAA player.

Not letting this injury keep her from being a positive asset to the team, she decided to become the team manager and assisted in pitching, fielding and hitting instruction.  With a degree in psychology,  Coach uses her personal experiences in the game to help athlete's at C.U. learn the meaning of being: “Mentally Tough". She has completed her C.U.D.I.T.® certification, the V.B.S. system training and is one of the most well-known C.U. trainers.  Be ready to go hard every training session with Coach Lexi!

Coach Jackie :

Coach Jackie

Coach Jackie is a former standout pitcher and now standout pitching coach at Challenge U. Softball.  She is an example of strength, determination, and leadership.  Her ability to drive her pitchers to stay focused, motivated, and confident on the mound is visible through all athletes that she works with.

Coach Jackie is not only an amazing pitching coach.  She also has a great history in the fast-pitch game!  Coach grew up Hallstead, PA. and attended Blue Ridge HS where she was an elite three sport athlete in softball, soccer, and basketball.  She was a Varsity athlete for all three sports since freshman year.  Her passion and skills in the game led her to play NCAA Softball at Penn State Hazleton where she stood out on the mound and at 1st base.

Coach Jackie's ability to connect with her athletes at Challenge U. is what has led her to become one of the most requested pitching coaches in the area.  She trains the mental game with the C.U.D.I.T. VBS System and the physical game with elite C.U.D.I.T. Drill Interval Training to instill the highest form of muscle memory mechanic training.  Coach Jackie still enjoys the game so do not be surprised if she jumps in to demo the mechanic desired with you!

"As a coach and mentor, I strive to instill GRIT in all of my pitchers.  I am a firm believer that excuses are null and void.  I am here to help achieve any goal, on and off the field but it comes with dedication, accountability, and hard work.  Be ready to bring your A game and positive attitude when you come in to train with me!"- Coach Jackie

Coach Ally V. :

Coach Ally V.

Coach Ally V. is the prime example of a former NCAA top softball player and now an elite certified C.U.D.I.T.® Concentric Hitting Coach at Challenge U. Softball®.  Due to her motivation, knowledge, passion, and work ethic she has become one of the most requested catching and hitting coaches at C.U. 

Coach Ally was a right-handed catcher that helped IHA rank No. 2 in the state with a 31-2 record.  She was named to the Max Preps 2013 All-American team, was second team NFCA All-North East Region as a junior for IHA, and was a three-time first team All-County athlete in 2011,2012,2013.  In 2013 Coach Ally was an All-State standout Catcher.  In true standout fashion, Coach's 100th career hit was a home run.  In 2012, she helped Immaculate Heart to a perfect 32-0 record and their second state championship in the past four years during her junior campaign.  Total record career at IHA was 115-15 which is the most started games. 

Coach Ally continued her career at Fordham University.  Fordham University softball is 5 time defending Atlantic 10 champion with NCAA regional appearances.  She caught all 63 games her senior season.  With mental toughness being Coach's driving force, in her senior year tournament she tore her thumb and played through it for 7 games.  Coach Ally strives to instill mental toughness in her athletes at C.U.

One of the most knowledgeable players in the game, Coach Ally is excellent at conveying the most elite information to her students as young as 7 and as old at 19.   Every player that trains with Coach improves mentally and physically.  Coach Ally became C.U.D.I.T.® and V.B.S. System Certified in 2016.  Be sure to bring your HUSTLE, FOCUS, and DEDICATION when training with C.U.D.I.T.® Coach Ally V.

Coach Laurie :

Coach Laurie

Coach Laurie is a true definition of the all-around athlete with a passion for the game. Coach excelled in softball throughout her fast pitch career. Being a top leader at Emerson, Coach is described by all as: hard-working, dedicated, and focused. Coach Laurie excelled as a premier short stop/utility and consistent hitter.

Being an all-around top notch athlete, Coach is the winner of twelve varsity letters in soccer, basketball and softball. She excelled at shortstop, center-field, and catching but more importantly she was a smart player and aggressive leader. Being one of the more aggressive players on the field, Coach held a record high of all-time base steals in her program. Just some awards include: BCLS Olympic 1st Team Softball Selection; 2006 Bergen Country Coaches Association 3rd Team Softball selection.

Not only is Coach Laurie an amazing athlete, she is tremendous at working with athletes. Full time, Coach is a dedicated Physical Education Teacher, hoping to encourage all of her students to find a physical activity that they are passionate about. Coach Laurie was the JV softball coach at St. Mary's for two years.  In being a part of the Challenge U. Softball staff, Coach has created top-notch athletes throughout her career. She has been featured as a softball drill video tutorial coach alongside LSU and OSU on the nationwide Coaches Insider newsletter!  Coach has completed her C.U.D.I.T.® certification, V.B.S. system training and is one of the top C.U. training camp directors.  Be ready to bring your A-GAME when working with Coach Laurie!

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