This Year in Baseball is a regular feature on Baseball.ca that will preview the year ahead in baseball from the 10 Provincial organizations. Today we take an in-depth look at Baseball Alberta.
OTTAWA- At last year’s Baseball Canada Cup, the Province of Alberta made a statement that they are ready to compete with the best of the best. The western boys sailed through the Pool B play en route to winning the Bronze Medal. Much of this success can be attributed to the strength of programs and coaching in the Province.
“It’s really a trickledown effect,” says Greg Wolfe, Technical and Development Coordinator with Baseball Alberta. “The quality of the league’s, leads to the quality of the coaches which leads to the quality of the players.”
Preparations are underway for this year’s Canada Cup team which will head to Moncton in August looking to improve on their performance from last year.
“The coaching staff has already been selected and we’ll be running camps for the next six weeks which culminate into an invitational camp at the end of June,” explains Wolfe. “We’re going in (to the event) with a positive attitude looking to improve on last year’s result.”
On the grassroots side of the ball, the Rally Cap and Winterball programs continue to be popular on fields and in schools around Alberta.
“We’ve had a big increase in actual Rally Caps being purchased this year, so that tells me that we’re getting more registrations because of the program itself,” notes Wolfe. “With the way Baseball Canada is supporting the program with the hats, manuals and kits it’s only going to make the game that much stronger at the Rally Cap level.”
To further enhance the success of the Rally Cap program, Baseball Alberta will be piloting the Rally Cap NCCP workshop for coaches. This initiative will target coaches that are new to Rally Cap and provide them with additional training in order to make them successful as a coach which leads to a positive experience for Rally Cap participants.
“This is the kind of support that coaches and associations are really looking for,” offered Wolfe. “We hope that this initiative will really provide a big push for all associations to start incorporating Rally Cap into their systems.”
Where Winterball is concerned, Program and Operations Coordinator Dan Curtis says Baseball Alberta is doing everything they can to get the word out about the program.
“We’ve heard nothing but good things about Winterball. Also, we’ve taken it one step further by sending coaches into the schools to actually assist the teachers with implementing the program.”
“Once people hear about the program, realize it’s free and use it, they provide positive feedback.”
Umpiring is also an area of strength for Baseball Alberta in terms of certifying umpires and having them progress to the upper tiers of the umpiring system. Keeping the same template as coaching, the Province is doing everything they can to give necessary support. Wolfe points to quality instructors and facilitators at the top that provide the tools required to succeed.
“We have a great group of facilitators for both our coaches and umpires. The work that they do for Baseball Alberta is fantastic!”
To learn more about Baseball Alberta, visit their website: www.baseballalberta.com