On the 2nd weekend in November each year the European Baseball Coaches Association (EBCA) gets together for seminars and training. This year, the 14th annual meetings took place in Antwerp, Belgium. The coaches-only convention is an exchange program for coaches with networking opportunities. Around 70 coaches, representing 15 countries took place in this year’s event.
Georg Apfelbaum, head coach of the Cologne Cardinals and EBCA President told EBSM, “It’s all about growing the game and learning from each other.”
This year’s speakers included Andre Lechance, head coach of the Canadian women's baseball national team, who are ranked #2 in the world by the WBSC. He spoke about the mental aspects of the game. Steve Jansen, Manager of the Netherlands national baseball team, provided pitching seminars. Former big leaguer Steve Springer spoke to the group about quality at-bats while former NCAA coach John Vodenlich provided developmental training seminars. Bill Holmberg, the Italian national team pitching coach, and Martin Brunner, MLB coordinator for European Development, teamed up to present a throwing program for pitchers and Stefan Müller, who runs the Regensburg Academy in Germany after having served for many years as their strength and conditioning coach, spoke about core training.
The meetings rotate locations between the SW, SE and NW of Europe on an annual basis to help ensure ease of travel for coaches across the continent. In the spirit of growing the game they love, each year a guest country outside of Europe, from a nation still growing, is invited to attend the meetings as well.