DIESSEN, Netherlands – The European Softball Federation (ESF) has conducted the first of many softball coaching course through the European Softball Coaches Association (ESCA) in the Netherlands 18-22 October.

Participants from eight different European nations – Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland – attended the five-day coaching course.

The camp was organized by the ESCA, which was established by the ESF in 2016. “I am proud and happy that the whole Softball Europe is working together on growing the sport. We wish to organize these international camps every year, so everyone who wants to improve themselves gets the chance,” said Gabriel Waage, ESF President.

The coaches and players learned different and new things from five instructors – Tracy Bunge (USA), Craig Montvidas (USA/lives in NED), Berend Mannessen (NED), Enrico Obletter (ITA) and Vojtech Albrecht (CZE).

The camp consisted of training sessions and workshops. During the camp, the participants attended more than 15 workshops covering various topics including, how to choose your glove or a bat, scouting your opponent, offensive/defensive strategies, how to communicate with umpires, and virtual reality training.

Initial feedback from the camp has been overwhelmingly positive.

We were able to run the training sessions almost on an individual level with the number of players and coaches we’ve had. Every camper was given a special attention. I believe, it was a great beneficial experience for the campers. For the staff it was also a useful warm-up before the second camp,” said ESCA Camp director, Craig Montvidas.

Both training sessions and workshops were beneficial, but my favorite part? The time in between, when I got to talk to the other coaches and instructors, we had discussions, we shared our experience and stories. That was where I’d taken the most from,” said Felix Schwan, a coach from Germany.

I have been at some camps and clinics, but this camp is just different from all of them. It is so much fun and amazing to see coaches and players sharing the same passion: softball. Not only during the clinics, but they just can’t stop talking about it at night, when having lunch or dinner,” said Marjolein Merkx, who volunteered to join the ESCA Camp staff.

Though the first camp was a success, the real challenge is right behind the corner as the second ESCA Camp begins today (25-29 October) with nearly 40 players and 30 coaches gathering to “get better together”.

To learn more about the ESCA or the camps, follow ESCA Facebook or the website.