The largest group of participants ever to graduate from an Israel Association of Baseball coaches course have received their certification. Nineteen candidates, aged 16 and up, successfully completed the course which was run in collaboration with the Israel College of Sports, headed by Dr. Eli Sadres. The Israel Sports Authority is the certifying body.
The 19 newly minted certified coaches are: Leeor Kronik, Harel Kronik, Yaara Kronik, Uri Shani, Amitai Eli and Itai Goldner from Tel Aviv; Shaked Baruch and Ido Peled from Tel Mond; Judah Rosenthal from Bat Hefer; Oren Bobrov, David Kayman and Ivri Margolin from Misgav; Eagle Solomon from Ginegar; Zev Moore from Jerusalem; Danielle Salber, Gabriel Salber and David Edery from Modiin; Avinoam Sachs from Hashmonaim and Aryeh Klein from Bet Shemesh.
The participants had to complete an intensive few months of scientific studies (psychology, physiology, anatomy, coaching theory and sports injuries), on-field work, baseball coaching training, as well as a 28-hour first aid certification course. The course was run by senior coach Ophir Katz, who was responsible for training the students in baseball theory and on-field instruction.
The course began in September 2020 and much of it took place during the COVID-19 lockdown. As a result, all the theoretical sessions were conducted via Zoom. The upside of this format was that several lectures were given by members of Team Israel's Olympic squad, which added tremendous value. The Olympians who shared their expertise with the students were Ian Kinsler, Ryan Lavarnway, Josh Zeid, Blake Gailen, Simon Rosenbaum, Shlomo Lipetz, Mitch Glasser, Zach Penprase and Assaf Lowengart. In addition, Team Israel coach Eric Holtz lectured, as well as IAB Head Umpire Leon Klarfeld and former IAB President Haim Katz.
"We have run a few coaches courses in the past, but never with this many participants," noted Ophir Katz. "These coaches now have a deep knowledge of what it takes to be a professional coach and are well-positioned to significantly elevate the level of all their players. They also have the accreditation that allows them to coach in schools and community centers."
"The course was challenging, and we all had to put in a lot of hours," said Harel Kronik, 18, who participated in the course along with his sister, Ya’ara, 16, and his father Leeor. "But now I have far more tools and knowledge to be a better coach on a much higher level than before."
Jordy Alter, IAB President, added: "As part of the IAB’s goal to increase the professional level of our coaching, and consequently our baseball standards, we made a major effort to increase participation in this course. The course was a great success, and we hope to see many more participants in the courses that we will run every year from now on."
The next course is scheduled to begin in the fall and will be open to players over the age of 16 who have at least three years of competitive baseball experience. For registration or more information please contact Margo Sugarman ().