At the invitation of the Bursa Baseball and Softball Clubs Association, Global Sports Partners spent the end of last month leading a baseball and softball camp and coaches’ clinic in Bursa, Turkey. Project staff included three American softball experts, two American baseball experts, five GSP Turkey representatives, and two GSP International Office staff. The coaches’ clinic took place in the conference center of the Best Hotel in Bursa, while Hamitler Toki High School hosted the players’ camp.
The project started with a day-long coaches’ clinic on 20 March. Coaches, umpires, and league officials met in the conference room of the Best Hotel in Bursa for a comprehensive presentation of the unique guidelines, rules, and basic strategy for baseball and softball. Our experts led the presentation, which was conducted in a classroom setting with demonstrations throughout. The clinic’s content covered a plethora of information from the fundamentals of hitting, pitching, and fielding to in-depth breakdowns of special scenarios in each respective sport.
Attendees were deeply engaged, writing extensive notes and asking questions regarding specific events that had taken place throughout the course of local games. An emphasis throughout the clinic was the importance of developing character in youth through sport. At the end of the clinic, coaches, umpires, and league officials learned specific ways to instruct and encourage youth players while promoting and transferring essential character values that will help on and off the field.
All attending coaches were then invited to the weekend players’ camp, which took place on the 21st and 22nd. This provided the local coaches with the opportunity to utilize their education in a practical setting and gain even more knowledge and experience. The players’ camp was prepared for youth boys and girls aged 9-18, with all campers participating in both baseball and softball.
Camp was divided by age, with youth aged 9-16 in one group and all other campers and coaches in another. The camp schedule was split into two main sessions, with the morning session running from 9:00AM to 12:00PM and the afternoon session running from 1:00PM to 6:00PM. The groups alternated sports between the two sessions each day and alternated daily schedules so that each group received an equal amount of instruction and training in both baseball and softball. These sessions were fast-paced and full of exciting games, drills, and team-oriented competitions. At the end of camp, each group participated in a scrimmage match in each sport. The scrimmages were certainly a thrilling highlight of the camp, and provided coaches, officials, and players with a better understanding of the rules and flow of the games.
We were thrilled to instruct over 50 campers over the course of the weekend, including 28 youth players aged 9-16. This number was particularly important to us as we work to build a strong foundation for future talent in Turkey. A group of local partners also joined the camps to observe and learn more about facilitating camps. These included a Sports Director of a major district in Bursa, a Sports Director of a Rugby, Baseball, and Softball club, and the President of an American Football club in a nearby city. Having these local sport leaders in attendance was another positive aspect of this project, as these connections generated future projects among other sports in Bursa, Bandirma, and Istanbul.
Both the clinic and the camp were highly successful, and the entire project generated much excitement and anticipation from the Association about the future of Turkish baseball and softball. There is already a follow-up player development camp for both sports scheduled for the end of July of this year. GSP is eager to continue its work in Turkey and witness the growth of baseball and softball players, coaches, officials, and facilities throughout the country. Exciting things are on the way for GSP in 2018 and beyond, and we can’t wait to get to work again!