You never know what you will find when you go to a developing softball country. But one thing you can count on is enthusiasm. From 24 June to 07 July, even the unusual Croatian summer heat could not impose on this during ten days of training and the Softball Federation’s camp. Boys and girls from 8 to 18 participated with a variety of skills and challenges. I had some great help from Damir, Kristian, and Antonela managing 3 groups of kids according to experience and skill. Like all countries, the answer to the future is their youth, and Croatia seems to be growing its base in spite of logistical challenges. As a result there were a lot of small ball-gloves employed during the camp where we covered all the basics including bunting, hitting, slash hitting, fly-balls, diving for balls, ground balls, throwing, advanced infield throwing techniques, situational base-running, and for a few older kids, the “slapping game” was taught. I can only hope it was as much fun for the kids as it was for me!
A real joy were a couple of sessions with the Junior National Team which has a few fine players with a lot of potential. I tried to give them more of a college perspective to training, and hopefully some of the hitting training and fielding skills will stick. I can honestly say, I miss them, my helpers, and hosts, Nick and Petra already!