Becker College Class of 2023
I came to the Diamond Gems organization in the fall of my junior year wanting more from my tournament experience. Just like my teammates, I had a dream of continuing to play softball beyond my high school years. I quickly learned that this organization was everything I had sought.
This is a place where you are truly coached. Coach Rines, Coach Makris, and Coach Comtois run workouts that are organized, detailed, and challenging. The coaches give clear feedback on what I need to work on, and that has been a vital part of my growth. Coach Makris is very tuned in to the players -- he could always pull me aside for an adjustment when needed, which really helped me improve my skills.
Coach Rines was instrumental in helping me achieve my dream of playing college softball. He guided me through the process and made sure I was on track to be successful. Coach Rines always preaches the importance of education and he is invested in helping find a good fit for you during your college search. With the help of Coach Rines and the rest of the coaching staff, I was able to commit to my top school!
I will forever be grateful for finding the "more" I always wanted at the Gems. More friendships, more skills, more exposure, more training . . . and I can't wait to play more softball.
Christopher Newport University Class of 2023
"Going into the Diamond Gems organization, I had a goal which was to have the opportunity to play softball in college. My experience included an incredible coaching staff and a group of talented and passionate teammates, all with similar goals and aspirations. The training I received was beyond what I was expecting, and I was able to go into the school and summer seasons ready. I was able to meet every goal I had aimed for by the end of the summer season, thanks to the help from the coaching staff and Jim Rines who takes our goals seriously.
Playing softball was only half of the journey to meeting the goal to play in college. Coach Rines ensured that I was reaching out to coaches and contacting who I needed to contact in order to meet the set goal. He would introduce himself and the players of my team to the appropriate colleges and make sure we each got our deserved exposure to our prospective colleges. I'm grateful for the experience I had with the Diamond Gems organization and the showcase team I was on. The friendships I made, the connections to coaches, and the offers from some of my top schools made the fall to summer season well worth it."
Middlebury College Class of 2023
"After spending six years in one ASA organization, I made the decision to join Coach Rines and Coach Makris at the Diamond Gems. I had an interest in pursuing a college softball career, and I knew that the Diamond Gems would provide a different level of commitment and exposure. Joining Coach Rines with the Diamond Gems provided me the opportunity to attend multiple college showcases both in the fall and summer. These showcases allowed me to play in front of coaches that I had previously contacted as well as create new opportunities with schools I had not even thought to approach. These premier showcases are geared to allow coaches to evaluate athletes and are invaluable in conjunction with attending college camps and contacting coaches directly. Coach Rines supported my efforts by constantly reaching out to these coaches and facilitating their evaluation of me. Equally important during the past year was the high-level technical coaching by Coach Rines and Coach Makris to further develop my game. My experience with the Diamond Gems was amazing and critical to me being able to solidify a verbal commitment to Middlebury College this summer. I look forward to finishing high school and having an exciting college softball career."
Southern New Hampshire University Class of 2022
I played for two seasons with the Gems and all I can say is I wish it had been longer. I first played for Jim Rines before my senior year in high school. My previous team disbanded right before my most important recruiting year and I was distraught. Little did I know it would turn out to be a great opportunity.
The Gems welcomed me with open arms and I have never looked back. My one regret was that I didn’t make the move to the organization sooner, as we played in some of the biggest college showcase tournaments all over the east coast and I was getting exposure I did not even know was available!
I also noticed that Coach Rines knew a lot of people in softball circles, coaches from pretty much everywhere. We played in the best showcases against the best teams on the fields most attended by college coaches. People respected Coach Rines and his ability to elevate players to the collegiate level.
I loved my coaches and my teammates became like my sisters. It was a great experience to play with girls who had the same goals as myself. It was also a great experience to play for coaches who want the best for each individual girl.
In my opinion, the New England Diamond Gems helped secure my athletic scholarship to Southern New Hampshire University. I may have done it on my own, but at the same time I could not have done it without Coach Rines and the New England Diamond Gems.
Western New England University Class of 2022
My name is Jamie Cookingham and I am currently a freshman at Western New England University. I first began my training with Coach Rines when I was 14 years old. At the time, I was a very average hitter who had been to various clinics and coaches looking to improve my skills, but it was not until my lessons with Coach Rines that I actually saw results. Coach Rines is an extremely knowledgeable coach who clearly loves the game of softball. By watching his athletes take just a few swings, he can pinpoint each individual’s weaknesses and implement the right drills to correct bad habits. He does an excellent job explaining the goals of each drill and communicating how to make adjustments throughout the process.
Coach Rines forms a close bond with his players by encouraging and expecting hard work, all while making the experience fun with his great sense of humor. He also goes above and beyond to assist and promote his athletes. I was given the opportunity to travel to Virginia with Coach Rines to play in a summer showcase. It was such a fun and helpful experience to face challenging competition, while having Coach Rines available to guide me along the way. I could always count on Coach Rines to relay information and give me tips on how to get recognized by college coaches.
He truly cares about each of his athletes and always has their best interests in mind. I can confidently say that I would not be the player I am today --on a college softball team -- without Coach Rines. He transformed me from an average young player into a smart, confident one. I have the utmost respect for Coach Rines becauseof his continuous support along with his dedication to the sport and his athletes.
Post University Class of 2022
The Gems organization has given me the opportunity to play at higher levels, as well as to make long-lasting friendships with athletes and coaches alike. Coach Jimmy, Coach Mak, and the rest of the coaching staff at the Diamond Gems make it a mission to ensure that every athlete is exposed to the highest level of play. This organization has such a great passion for the athletes, guiding the way to their college softball careers. The network and exposure Coach Jimmy has with college coaches are phenomenal and are necessary for athletes who wish to pursue a college softball career. Throughout my college search, Coach Jimmy helped me identify schools that were a good fit for me. He made sure that I kept in regular contact with coaches from the colleges in which I was interested, and he supported the decision I made to play softball at Post University.
Through the Gems, I have grown as a player and perfected my talents through the training the organization has to offer. I put in as much work as the coaches have during training and practices, and that really helped me become the player I am today. I have been with this organization for over 5 years. Without the exposure and coaching staff the Diamond Gems has to offer, I would not be as devoted to this sport like I am. I look forward to continue playing with the Gems family on the 18+ team in Summer 2019.
Southern Connecticut State University Class of 2022
"Playing for Jim Rines, Coach Mak, and the Diamond Gems organization for the past four years has been nothing short of amazing. The time and effort that Coach Jimmy and his coaching staff put into the players for their development as both players and teammates has been tremendous. This dedication by Coach Jimmy and Coach Mak allowed me to play and compete at a high level.
Coach Jimmy’s extensive network of softball organizations and coaches afforded me the opportunity to compete in showcase tournaments all along the East Coast. With his guidance, I was able to meet college coaches and showcase myself to schools from all over the country. Coach Jimmy and Coach Mak helped me achieve my goal of playing college softball at Southern Connecticut State University, where I am pursuing my degree in health science to become an occupational therapist.
I have formed great friendships with players, coaches and families through the Diamond Gems organization. I look forward to continuing these friendships and improving my skills with the 18+ team during Summer 2019."