Registration now open for second ESCA Camp

Fri 14 Sep 2018

Registration is now open for the second annual European Softball Coaches Association International Training Camp for fastpitch players and coaches, to be held at Diessen in the Netherlands from 23-28 October.

The camp is open to girls and women in three age groups – Under-23, Under-20 and Under-17, with a minimum age of 14 – and to Under-19 boys with a minimum age of 14, as well as to coaches from all member countries of the European Softball Federation.

The camp will begin for coaches on 23 October, with players attending from the 24th.  Top instructors from around the world will lead the sessions, which will include workshops, discussion forums, indoor training and indoor game play. 

The instructors will be assisted by the European coaches attending the camp and by three high-level international players -- Sierra Hyland from Mexico, Marjolein Merkx from the Netherlands and Nerissa Myers from the GB Women’s Team – who will work one-on-one and in small-group sessions with attending players.

Last year, seven British players and one coach attended the inaugural ECSA camp, and GB Women's Team Head Coach Rachael Watkeys served as an instructor, and all came back with glowing reports.

Details and registration

The fee for the camp is 325 euros for coaches attending for the first time, 275 euros for coaches who attended the inaugural camp last year, 385 euros for players attending for the first time and 335 euros for players who attended last year.
Accommodation, meals, snacks, instruction, sports hall costs, and transportation to the sports hall and back are included in the fee.  Participants need to take care of their own transportation to the camp and back, and their own insurance.  Pick-up from the train or bus station in Tilburg or from Eindhoven airport is possible.
The deadline for registration is Sunday 30 September, and players or coaches who want to attend must complete this registration form:

More information on the 2018 ESCA Camp is available on the ESF website and on Facebook.(

You can see a video from last year’s inaugural ESCA Camp here

Q & A

Here are the answers to some frequently-asked questions about the ESCA Camp.

Q:  Why is the camp being held in October?

A:  This was one of the most difficult challenges we faced in setting up the camp.  Ideally, the summer months would be best suited for such an event, but everyone is locked into their nation's competitions and league games during this period.  We considered late December, as most everyone is free from school or work, but December is also a very expensive month and the majority of the sports halls are closed as well.  We gave some thought to February (winter vacations) and April (spring break) but these too presented a list of negatives.  Hopefully, in the future, players and coaches will mark October on the calendar for the ESCA Training Camp.

Q:  Who are some of the guest instructors, and why have they been chosen?

A:  We have a staff of experienced instructors with great teaching skills, with camp director Craig Montvidas (USA) leading the way.  The instructors confirmed so far include Karen Marr (Australia), Mike Renney (Canada) and Vojtech Albrecht (Czech Republic).  These are people who have been involved with teaching, coaching, and instructing for many, many years.  We plan on announcing two more top-level instructors (college coaches from the United States) once we have their confirmation.  During the week of the Camp, a number of additional guest instructors will conduct workshop sessions ranging from the mental and psychological aspects of fastpitch softball to injury prevention to "what it is like to be an Olympic athlete?".  There will be something special for everyone!

Q:  Why will this camp be different than other softball camps?

A:  One of the biggest differences is that this camp is for both players and coaches, and the coaches will be involved in many of the training and workshop sessions.  We have more than 15 European Federations represented at our camp, creating an international atmosphere.  Something new for 2018 will be "training with the pros".  Players will have the opportunity to receive both individual as well as small-group instruction from Sierra Hyland and Nerissa Myers.  Sierra and Nerissa are former USA collegiate stars and national pro fastpitch players with a wealth of playing experience.  Both are involved with their national teams (Sierra with Team Mexico and Nerissa with Team Great Britain) in an effort to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games.

Q:  Why is the Camp taking place in the Netherlands?

A:  Because of the logistics involved. The staff, helpers, and a number of others behind the scenes live in the Netherlands, so it makes sense to have the Camp there.

Q:  Can players request a roommate?

A:  Yes, they can.  We will do our best to accommodate everyone's wishes.

Q:  Will there be any non-softball activities during the camp?

A:  To be honest, not very many.  With the limited camp time of five days and four nights for players, we are attempting to provide and share as much softball knowledge as we can.  We will have some social activities, but those coming to the camp are going to be working hard during their stay!

Q:  If my parents want to attend the camp to watch, is this possible?

A:  Yes, that’s not a problem.  Many of the players attending are still quite young and sending your daughter to another country brings some anxiety for parents.  In fact, the more the parents can be involved, the better.

Q:  What if I become injured during the camp?

A:  Unfortunately, injuries are part of the game.  We will do our best to make an injured player's stay at our camp as pleasant as possible.  We will deal with each situation as it arises.  As instructors, we will do our best to guarantee the safety of each athlete participating during the week.

Q:  What is the role of the shadow coaches?

A:  The shadow coaches will be involved in training sessions under the guidance of the instructors.  Many of the shadow coaches have an abundance of softball experience, so everybody will have the opportunity to learn from others.

Q:  What is the primary goal of the camp?

A:  Our camp theme is “getting better together".  We all love the sport of fastpitch softball, and sharing knowledge and ideas as well as learning more about one another's culture can only help bring us closer together both on and off the field.

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