INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – The American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) and USA Baseball announced a new educational partnership on Saturday in an effort to create a higher standard of coaching education and enhance the ability of coaches at all levels of the game to better serve their athletes, teams and communities.
The announcement was made at the ABCA Convention by ABCA Executive Director Craig Keilitz before an audience of more than 5,000 baseball coaches in the ABCA clinics. Houston Astros Manager and World Series Champion A.J. Hinch led off Saturday's session by encouraging coaches to become more active leaders in their communities, a movement which is being spearheaded by the USA Baseball and ABCA partnership.
"Coaches are the bedrock of player development and the player experience and that's why this partnership is so important to me and critical to our game," Hinch said.
USA Baseball and the ABCA will work together to provide a comprehensive program that combines online and in-person learning opportunities for baseball coaches. The program will be exhibited to coaches at the annual ABCA National Convention, the largest baseball coaching convention in the world, as well as other regional coaching clinic events, and will be hosted online on the USA Baseball Education Center. The Education Center contains online courses for players, coaches, parents and umpires, as well as the USA Baseball Mobile Coach app, which has additional resources including practice plans and a drill library. All content on the USA Baseball Education Center is provided free of charge.
The announcement of the educational partnership also comes with a call to action for coaches to engage in and support the new Baseball ACE Community Clinic program. This joint initiative between USA Baseball and the ABCA aims to encourage active mentorship among the baseball coaching community by providing coaches at all levels the opportunity to learn and grow by interacting with one another, allowing veteran coaches to pass their knowledge and guidance down to fellow coaches with less experience. Further announcements about the partnership will be made later in 2018.
"We couldn't be more excited about the possibilities of the partnership between the ABCA and USA Baseball," said ABCA Executive Director Craig Keilitz. "Between the two organizations, there are so many different assets – whether they are clinics, the education center, other videos, podcasts, Inside Pitch Magazine – and we are planning to leverage those into the most comprehensive baseball coaching education program to date."
"This partnership brings together the two organizations best positioned to support the commitment of baseball coaches at all levels of the amateur game," said Rick Riccobono, USA Baseball's Chief Development Officer. "We are thrilled to be working with the dedicated team at the ABCA, and look forward to expanding our coaching education platform in the coming months and years. Better coaches means a better future for America's pastime"
In November of 2017, USA Baseball and the ABCA rolled out four online coaching courses featuring clinic videos from recent ABCA National Conventions that are now available in English and Spanish on the USA Baseball Online Education Center at no cost to users. They may be accessed at www.USABaseball.education
. These courses include:
• Managing Players, featuring Andy Green, Manager of the San Diego Padres, and Chris Burke, former MLB player and current TV analyst
• Coaching Philosophy and Approach, featuring Jack Thomson, Head Baseball Coach at Sierra HS (Manteca, Calif.), and Dave Jauss, Coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates
• Infield Development, featuring Marty Lees, Head Baseball Coach at Washington State University, and Eddie Smith, Head Baseball Coach at Lower Columbia College
• Outfield Development, featuring Jake Boss, Head Baseball Coach at Michigan State University, and Matt Bragga, Head Baseball Coach at Tennessee Tech
Additional educational resources offered jointly by USA Baseball and the ABCA will be added to the USA Baseball Online Education Center in the coming months.
To access the online courses presented by USA Baseball and the ABCA, visit the USA Baseball Online Education Center at USABaseball.Education
. Information on Community Clinics and other on-site coaching experiences is available at ABCA.org.