Czech, UK Teams Advance to WBC
In recently completed action, the Great Britain and Czech Baseball teams advanced in the World Baseball Classic Qualifier at Armin-Wolf Arena in Regensburg, Germany. Great Britain punched their ticket to the "big" games with a dramatic 10-9 walk off win against Spain in extra innings.
The Czech team advanced behind the strong pitching of Martin Schneider and an amazing outfield assist to also defeat Spain 3-1.
Both teams advanced to the WBC next March.
Assessing the Czech win, our former President, Jim Jones, sent a note to the Czech Federation which not only congratulated them for their achievement, but also reflected on a trend amongst many federations today who seem more interested in stacking teams with passport players for tournament play rather than growing the game locally.
Following is the letter, penned by former ISG President and current Board member Jim Jones, congratulating the Czech Federation on their advancement to the WBC and also praising them for following what we at ISG feel is the correct path to growing our great game.
First of all, let me tell you how honored and humbled I am to have my name listed alongside of each one of you in the Czech Baseball Hall of Fame.
The time I spent in Czechoslovakia / Czech Republic was the highlight of my personal and professional / cultural experience. To be welcomed into the homes and on the baseball fields in your country was truly awesome!
Secondly, I want to recognize and acknowledge your all-important contributions to the success that Czech Baseball has achieved. Your individual work and devotion to the establishment and growth of baseball in your clubs and the national programs established the foundation that allowed this Czech Victory in the WBC qualifier.
I believe the most important aspect of this accomplishment is that the Czech Baseball Family achieved this level of success with Czech coaches and players - not "Passport Players" as most countries have utilized.
Yes, many outside coaches and players have had the wonderful opportunity to work and play in your country - as I have. However, Czech Baseball developed into a European and International contender by developing outstanding Czech coaches and players.
The Czech Baseball Association administration also deserves credit for directing Czech baseball's path to international success based on Czech coaches and player development.
That would not have been possible without your hard work to build and expand that necessary foundation - with, I must say, much less equipment, facilities, money and outside support. And, add to those difficulties, your dedication came about during the oppressive restrictions set by the heavy hand of the Soviet Union/Russia.
Yes, you can hold your heads high and take joy that your early contributions to Czech Baseball played a very important part in today's successes.
Thank you again for allowing me to have small part of Czech Lifestyle and Baseball.
My very best wishes to you and Czech Baseball, Jim
German Coach Creates Great Game to Introduce Baseball to Kids!
A good friend of ISG, Alper Bozkurt, has created a game which he uses to teach basic baseball skills to newcomers to the game. Bozkurt administers the Baseball Akademie Paderborn, a unique school where students not only study academic subjects in various schools in the area around the Academy but also spend several nights per week honing their physical and baseball-specific skills.
Bozkurt has long been a fixture in game development in his home state of North Rhine Westphalia traveling the area and working with kids of all ages. But his creation of Alper Ball has been much more successful than he could ever have dreamed. The game simplifies what are sometimes difficult rules to understand for beginners and creates situations that foster success - and most importantly -- FUN.
A graphic illustration of the game's rules can be found here on our "Coaching Tips" page. For further information regarding the game, Alper would be very willing to talk more about it. His contact information is also provided on that page.
ALL COACHES NEED TO JOIN THE ABCA TODAY!
Developing an Olympian Mindset
(This article appeared on the Positive Coaching Alliance website and its philosophy is shared by the ISG Baseball Board of Directors whose members heartily endorse joining that great organization!)
Dr. Colleen Hacker (@DrColleenHacker), a member of PCA's National Advisory Board, has served on the coaching staff for six Olympic Games in three different team sports (soccer, field hockey, and most recently ice hockey). Hacker, who has a Ph.D. and is a Professor of Sport & Exercise Psychology, has served as the U.S. Women's National Team’s (USA Ice Hockey) Mental Skills Coach since 2011.
According to Dr. Hacker, “The same principles and techniques that we cultivate to achieve excellence in the Olympic Games can be mastered and adopted by athletes and teams at any level and in any sport.”
Five of those important principles are outlined in the link here.
Baseball Canada's Vision for Long Term Athletic Development Shared in Coaching Tips Section
Baseball Canada is miles ahead of the curve when it comes to developing athletes for life-long success. Thanks to our friend Andre Lachance, they have allowed us to share the scope of that vision with you. Check out our coaching tips section for a graphic illustration of their LTAD plans.
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