Reflecting on Coach Summit 2021

Wed 7 Apr 2021

The annual BaseballSoftballUK Coach Summit has come to be one of the highlights of BSUK’s Coach Education programme. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the format was modified as the entire Summit moved online. Starting with a launch on Saturday 30 January 2021 via Zoom, it was followed by a series of nine weeknight sessions in February and March.

This year’s Coach Summit was very popular, with free admission for BSUK Chartered Club members and all BSUK licensed coaches. In total, nearly 300 different attendees participated in this year’s Summit, an all-time record.  Attendees came from across the baseball and softball spectrum, including youth and adult coaches. While the vast majority of attendees were based in the UK, we were delighted to welcome attendees from Europe, North America and Oceania as well.

The announcement of the 2021 British Baseball & Softball Coaching Awards in the week leading up to the 30 January Summit took some by surprise, as many assumed the awards would be cancelled following the pandemic-shortened 2020 playing season. However, as BSUK Development Manager Liz Knight explained, “More than ever, it was important that we celebrate and recognise our coaches and volunteers who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes under extraordinary circumstances.”

This year’s British Baseball & Softball Coaching Award winners can be found here.

This year’s winners, all nominated by the community, represent some of the UK’s most dedicated coaches, as Knight added, “The range and quality of nominees was outstanding; it really showed how creative our community is. These coaches and their work are greatly appreciated, and I can’t wait to see the impact now we are allowed back on the diamond.”

Following the announcement of the 2021 British Baseball & Softball Coaching Awards, the Summit kicked off with a three-hour launch, followed by a number of sessions featuring keynote speeches, workshops and seminars. The focus of the sessions were primarily on baseball and fastpitch softball, but included content of interest for slowpitch coaches as well. This year’s speakers joined the Summit from around the globe, with England, the United States, Canada and Australia all well represented by various speakers.

Over the two-month period, a range of topics were covered, including diversity and inclusion, nutrition, offensive and defensive skills, wellbeing for coaches and stress management to help with in game performance. Attendees were also treated to exclusive updates on both the GB Baseball and GB Softball programmes.

Attendees provided great feedback on the Summit, with one saying, "What a great Summit series – every session I learnt something new! I have a notebook full of new ideas and concepts!”

Another attendee focused on the format, stating that, “The level of information was pitched just right for me, it’s helped me to feel more confident for when we are able to return to play.”

Reflecting on this year’s Summit, Liz Knight stated,” I’m so grateful to all the speakers who took part in this year’s Coach Summit 2021. While the pandemic made it impossible to run the Summit as normal, the online nature of this year’s sessions meant we were able run a programme featuring different perspectives from across the globe. Personally, I very much enjoyed hearing and learning from experts from within our British baseball and softball community.”

All 10 Coach Summit 2021 sessions are available to watch via the BaseballSoftballUK Coach Portal. To access the Coach Portal, please get in touch with Mark Caress .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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