78th annual ABCA Convention wraps up in Chicago!

Nearly 6,500 coaches participated either in-person or virtually

January 9, 2022

Mitch Thompson speaking on-stage at 2022 ABCA ConventionThe 2022 ABCA Convention, held in Chicago from January 6-9, concluded on Sunday morning following four jam-packed days of coaching clinics, the ABCA Trade Show, Q&As, Hot Stove discussions, networking events and more! Nearly 6,500 coaches participated in the event either in-person or virtually.

The Convention got underway on Thursday, January 6 with the opening of the ABCA Trade Show and Expo Theater. The ABCA Trade Show featured over 300 companies displaying the latest baseball products and innovations while the Expo Theater had almost 20 clinics throughout a three-day span, Thursday through Saturday, featuring product releases and demonstrations, panel discussions and talks hosted by ABCA Partners and Exhibitors. ABCA Official Partners such as Top Velocity, Wilson, Pocket Radar, Blast Motion, C25 Training Products, ProPlayAI, GameChanger, V1 Sports, Rapsodo, Driveline Baseball, Next College Student Athlete and MySwing Baseball all presented during the event.

Friday morning began with a celebration highlighting several ABCA member coaches including the 2021 ABCA/ATEC National Coaches of the Year and Assistant Coaches of the Year. Additionally, the newest ABCA Lifetime Members were recognized along with the 2021 & 2022 ABCA/Dave Keilitz Ethics in Coaching Award recipients.

The coaching clinics kicked off following the award celebration with the General Session presented by ATEC on Friday, January 7. Chris Lemonis, head coach of the 2021 National Champion Mississippi State University Bulldogs, led off talking about "Building a Championship Program".

All of the General Session presenters were arranged by ABCA Second Vice President Jim Schlossnagle of Texas A&M University with the assistance of ABCA Third Vice President Matt Noone of Babson College. In addition to Lemonis, the speaker lineup also featured 2021 ABCA/ATEC NJCAA Div. I Coach of the Year Mitch Thompson, former Major League Baseball managers Bruce Bochy and Bobby Valentine, among others. All attendees that checked-in on-site received a copy of Bruce Bochy's book, "Bochy Ball! The Chemistry of Winning and Losing in Baseball, Business, and Life", which Bochy signed following his clinic presentation and Q&A session. In total, there were 23 General Session clinics from Friday through Sunday morning.

The Youth Coaches Session presented by GameChanger ran concurrently to the General Session on Friday and Saturday. The Youth Coaches Session featured 13 clinics tailored specifically for coaches of youth-level teams up to age 14. Presenters in the Youth Coaches Session included Driveline Baseball's Director of Youth Baseball, Deven Morgan, former Yankees mental coach Lauren Johnson, high school coaches Uby Martinez (Liberty, Iowa), Kyle Nelson (Burlington Central, Illinois) and Gabe Ortiz (Kofa, Arizona), along with several others.

Following each General Session and Youth Coaches Session presentation, each clinic speaker hosted a Question & Answer breakout session with attendees.

For the first time ever, all of the General Session presentations, Q&As and Youth Coaches Session clinics were live streamed for members that could not attend in-person. All participants, both in-person and virtual, are receiving all of clinic videos on-demand in their ABCA account later this month. All other ABCA members will receive the set of on-demand videos on May 23, 2022 as part of their membership benefits.

Evening activities included the Hall of Fame Banquet on Friday where the ABCA Hall of Fame Classes of 2021 & 2022 were inducted and the Lefty Gomez Award was presented to ABCA Lifetime Member Jerry Weinstein. The Hitting and Infield Play Hot Stove Discussions also took place on Friday with the Strength & Conditioning, Leadership, Catching, Base Running, Pitching and Outfield Hot Stoves following on Saturday evening.
Planning for the 2023 ABCA Convention, which will be held January 5-8, 2023 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, is already underway! Registration for the 2023 ABCA Convention opens on September 1, however, 2021-22 ABCA members will have the opportunity to take advantage of Early Convention Registration for the 2023 ABCA Convention in Nashville! This priority access allows 2021-22 members to get registered and hold a hotel room in the ABCA discounted room block before registration opens to new and former members. If you haven't signed up for your 2021-22 membership yet, do so now at www.ABCA.org/apply!