"Getting Better Together" at the EBSCA Training Camp 2023
22/10/2023 2 Minute Read

"Getting Better Together" at the EBSCA Training Camp 2023

From October 18th to 22nd, the Dutch town of Diessen transformed into a hub of baseball and softball excellence as the EBSCA Training Camp unfolded.

Drawing over 100 players and coaches from various corners of Europe, the EBSCA Training Camp 2023 proved to be an international melting pot of talent, with participants from Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. While the Israeli contingent had registered interest, the circumstances prevented their participation.

30 coaches, 5 specializing in baseball and 25 in softball, and 74 players - 8 in baseball and 66 in softball — whose average age stood at 14.5 years, participated in the EBSCA Training Camp 2023.

The camp witnessed a mix of 27 returnees and a wave of newcomers eager to immerse themselves in this unique experience.

Guiding the camp were 15 dedicated staff members, including the lineup of instructors such as Craig Montvidas (USA), Gretchen Aucoin (USA), Jaimee Wolbach (USA), Davide Soldi (ITA), Kaj Timmermans (NED), Andrea D'Auria (ITA), Jeroen Sweers (Belgium), Judith Van Den Berg (Canada), Berend Mannessen (Netherlands), Marjolein Merkx (Netherlands), and Erin Lundquist (Norway).

Under the motto of "Getting Better Together," the camp embraced a holistic approach. Over five days and four nights, participants engaged in a mix of classroom sessions, intense training in the sports hall, and actual game scenarios. The focus was not only on individual performance but also on mutual learning, creating an environment where athletes, coaches, and instructors could learn from each other.

The over seventy players were grouped into ten teams based on age and skill, each guided by three shadow coaches responsible for managing everything from signs to lineups and logistics to game management. The EBSCA instructors provided overarching guidance.

The considerable number of softball players enabled the EBSCA staff to organize two friendly games with the U-18 Dutch women's softball national team.

The skills sessions were spearheaded by experts in specific areas, with Gretchen Aucoin leading hitting clinics, Jaimee Wolbach focusing on catchers, Judith Van Den Berg and Marjolein Merkx overseeing softball pitchers, and Kaj Timmermans at the helm of baseball pitchers.

Davide Soldi took charge of infield sessions, Craig Montvidas led coaching sessions, and Andrea D'Auria from the WBSC Coach Commission conducted workshops on baseball5.

Petra Čizmić Pokrajac, WBSC Europe Chair of the Development Commission, expressed immense satisfaction with the EBSCA Training Camp, noting that the event, with its highest-ever number of participants and the inclusion of both baseball and softball, presented a new and rewarding challenge. She emphasized her joy in seeing all disciplines comprehensively covered and praised the exceptional work of the instructors, highlighting their dedication to advancing the skills and camaraderie of the diverse group of players and coaches.

The photogallery of the EBSCA Training Camp can be found on the WBSC Europe Flickr Profile.

Cover photo by Lorena Puškarić