EUROPEAN SOFTBALL COACHES ASSOCIATION OVERALL GOALS:
Create a network for European softball coaches on all levels
- Sharing ideas between coaches of different levels
- Use existing European coaches within the Network to develop new European coaches through clinics
- Co-operation with ASA and NFCA
Establish a model for clinics in Europe
- Use existing plans and structures to have a format for new clinics in developing countries
- Use e-courses in order to engage new coaches in different countries
Establish bi-annual ESCA Convention (ESF Softball specific Coaches convention) in Europe
- Coordinate with existing coaches conventions
- Possible start in 2017/2018
- Both lectures and practical situations
- Use NFCA and ASA relationships to find suitable guest speakers as a complement to existing, active, European coaches
ESF Coach Certificate system
- ESF Coach Certificate system to have different accreditation levels of coaches
- Base system on existing structures like the NFCA Master Coach Program
YOUTH AND VOLUNTEER COACHES:
Most youth sports coaches are unprepared for their position. Studies show that only 5-10% of youth sport coaches have received any relevant training. We know most coaches sign up because their own child is on the team and no one else has volunteered. The next thing they know it’s the first day of practice and they have a whistle and clipboard – but no formal training. Why does this matter? Why be concerned about providing coaching education or certification to coaches?
Because well-trained coaches can benefit children, youth sports programs and communities in countless ways. If volunteer coaches are comfortable and confident in their ability to work with children, keep them safe and coach the sport, they will feel like – and be – an extremely valuable part of a youth sports program’s success.
Coaches who have survived their initial season(s) of volunteer coaching need to learn the skills of organizing a practice, dealing with parents, working with teenagers etc. So knowing that additional training and advice is available through ESCA will be invaluable as they continue to grow and expand their knowledge as coaches.
Intermediate coaches should start to develop their coaching philosophy and mission, providing them with the confidence to conduct fun and productive practice sessions and be effective on game day, while also enabling their young athletes to grow and develop in the sport. Having a solid foundation that coaches can build upon is imperative for their success.
Coaches who have received proper sport-specific training are able to teach fundamentals and drills properly and provide an objective view that can help teams and individuals enhance their performance. The advanced coach can help those involved in top-level sport deal with the enormous pressures faced in a highly competitive environment.
Through expert tutoring, constructive criticism, motivation and on-hand support, coaches can help individuals and teams focus their minds, hone their bodies and learn their disciplines inside-out to ensure they have the best possible chance of success. ESCA and its coaches can benefit immensely from more experienced coaches, some of whom are paid professionals. These coaching veterans can serve many roles, but perhaps none more important than supporting and managing the work of other coaches, including volunteer coaches and pre-coaches. Every coach continues to learn by sharing their knowledge and exchanging ideas with one another.