Coaches around the country took part in high level coaches clinics given by visiting Senior National Team coach Richard Kania in late October. Sessions were held in Kibbutz Gezer, Bet Shemesh and Ra’anana with a total of 26 coaches participating. Richard focused on enriching the coaches with new drills, different approaches to coaching and innovative ways to make use of a variety of props and equipment to make baseball practices fun for all ages. Richard, was first assigned as a European Envoy coach to Israel Baseball by the Confederation of European Baseball in 2008. Since then has been active in helping the IAB develop baseball in Israel, and besides coaching our SNT and coaching our coaches, he also coaches players of all ages every summer at our camps.
“The coaches at the sessions were very enthusiastic and came with a positive attitude - they wanted to learn something new,” says Richard. “It’s always a pleasure for me to come to Israel. I feel like I’ve never left.” Richard also runs similar coaching clinics in Poland, as well as in Czech Republic where each year over 150 coaches attend his sessions.
The local coaches who attended were very enthusiastic about the sessions.
“Richard is one of the most dynamic coaches I’ve ever met,” enthuses Haim Katz, veteran Tel Aviv Minors coach and former IAB president. “He is always thinking ahead and is one of the few people who can take the latest baseball mechanics research and convert it into simple, fun drills that can be adapted for players of all ages.”
“It was amazing,” says Yitzy Roseman, coach of the Ra’anana Juniors and commissioner of the Juniors League. “I personally got a lot of new drills that are great for all age groups from Minors to Seniors that can spice up our practices. All of the coaches who were at the session followed every word and were very interested.”
The IAB brought Richard to Israel as part of an ongoing effort to increase the professional level of our coaches and our players. This is one of the benefits that Team Israel gained at the World Baseball Classic in March this year. “Our achievements in the WBC earned the IAB prize money that we are now investing in development efforts,” says Peter Kurz, IAB President. “Offering our coaches high level coaching clinics is one of many ways we will continue to develop and increase the level of our players in the coming years. Our goal has always been to raise the level of play in Israel so that we are on par with the leading baseball playing countries around the world. These efforts will continue unabated.”