The European Softball Coaches Association attended the NFCA Convention in Sant Antonio, Texas

The European Softball Coaches Association attended the NFCA Convention in Sant Antonio, Texas
The European Softball Coaches Association (ESCA) took part in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Convention in Sant Antonio, Texas. Petra Čizmić Pokrajac and Craig Montvidas represented Europe among the other 1500 softball coaches in attendance.

ESCA Members Petra Čizmić Pokrajac and Craig Montvidas had the opportunity to attend the 39th edition of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association convention. The Convention started on Monday, December 5, 2022, and lasted seven days until Sunday, December 11, 2022. 

ESCA Director Craig Montvidas commented: "I believe this was either my 9th or 10th convention. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been able to attend in person so many excellent coaching conferences. Every time I attend, I come away a much more knowledgeable coach. It continues to amaze me just how much I can continue to learn about our sport."

Montvidas added: "The highlights for me included a number of motivational speeches from Mike Candrea (former Head Coach, University of Arizona, Team USA, Yvette Healy - University of Wisconsin, and Team Italy). I was also part of a 15-hour course devoted to the battery partnership (pitcher's and catcher's) which was extremely interesting and educational."

This year's week-long Fastpitch conference took place in San Antonio, Texas, with roughly 1500 Softball coaches in attendance. 

As explained via the NFCA website, the Convention boasts expert speakers, drills sessions, networking opportunities, social events, business meetings, a can't miss Exhibit Show, and much more. Each year, the Convention features numerous ways to get better as a coach, whether a rookie or a seasoned veteran.

"We had an International Caucus with 40 coaches in attendance, some of whom had previously coached in Europe. We discussed some of the challenges facing European Softball nations, especially the countries where the sport is just developing. This was followed by a brainstorming session with ideas being exchanged as to how improvement can be made within Europe for those countries seeking coaching assistance," said Petra Čizmić Pokrajac. "A major point of focus discussed is having NFCA coaches share their Softball knowledge throughout Europe, in an effort to grow the number of Fastpitch participants. This, plus player exchange programs to improve the quality of competition was also part of the agenda."

In 2019, the European Softball Coaches Association and the National Fastpitch Coaches Association created a partnership to assist and provide Fastpitch coaches in Europe the opportunity to enhance and expand their coaching knowledge. 

Thanks to the partnership, ESCA members can also have access to the NFCA quarterly webinar access and the NFCA Drills Database.

At present, ESCA has 80 registered coaches who have taken the opportunity to join as ESCA members. More information on how to become an ESCA member can be found here.