Third keynote speaker added to Coach Summit programme

Wed 16 Jan 2019

A third keynote speaker, provided through Major League Baseball, has been added to the programme for BaseballSoftballUK’s 2019 Coach Summit, to be held on Saturday 26 January in Milton Keynes.

Bill Holmberg, MLB’s International Pitching Coordinator for Europe and Africa and a former pitching coach for national team programmes in Italy and Taiwan, will present a keynote session on the MLB Throwing Programme as it relates to pitching mechanics and injury prevention.

Bill will join the two other scheduled keynote speakers – St John’s University Baseball Head Coach Ed Blankmeyer and former NCAA Division 1 college player and Head Coach Ali Higgs – to make this year’s Coach Summit the biggest and best that BSUK has staged so far.

The general theme of this year's Summit will be “Preparing for the Future of Baseball and Softball in the UK”.

The Summit will be held at the Kents Hill Park Training & Conference Centre, Swallow House, Timbold Drive, Kents Hill, Milton Keynes MK7 6BZ.


Bill Holmberg has been active for almost 40 years, in the United States but mainly internationally, as a team manager and pitching instructor and has been MLB’s Pitching Coordinator for Europe and Africa since 2004.

He was an area scout for the Chicago Cubs in Europe and Africa for almost 10 years and has worked at all levels of the Italian national team programme as a pitching coach at European Championships, World Cups, Premier 12 tournaments and World Baseball Classic Qualifiers.

Bill is regarded as one of the outstanding pitching clinicians in Europe and is a regular instructor at MLB Academies and clinics where the MLB Throwing Programme is implemented. 


Besides announcing the addition of Bill Holmberg to the Coach Summit programme, BaseballSoftballUK has drawn up a preliminary schedule for the day.

Registration for those attending the Summit will begin at 9.00 am, and the Summit will open with a welcome address in the Main Room at 9.45 by BSUK National Development Manager Chris Rawlings.

The first keynote speaker, Ed Blankmeyer, will deliver his session from 10.00-11.00 am, and this will be followed by 30 minutes of separate breakout discussions for baseball and softball coaches.

The second keynote address, by Ali Higgs, will run from 11.30 am to 12.30 pm, and will be followed by more breakout sessions and then lunch from 1.00-2.00 pm.

The greater part of the afternoon will be given over to Softball Workshop sessions presented by Ali Higgs for softball coaches and by Ed Blankmeyer and Jim Jones from the International Sports Group for baseball coaches, but everyone will reconvene in the Main Room at 4.45 pm for Bill Holmberg’s keynote address.

University Conference

Meanwhile, the 2019 University Conference will be taking place alongside the Coach Summit at the same venue, providing a valuable chance for lead students from our university baseball and softball clubs to come together to network, share ideas, learn about best practice, gain updates, and take part in a practical training course.

Timings for the University Conference are:

10.30 am:  Registration
11.00 am-1.00 pm:  Classroom-based updates, case studies and discussion forum
1.00-1.45 pm:  Lunch
2.00-5.00 pm:  Drills for coaches (practical work)
5.00-5.15 pm:  Close

Awards and HPA Sessions

Following the conclusion of the Summit and University Conference sessions and a break for food and drink, BaseballSoftballUK’s annual Coach and Volunteer Awards will be presented. 

A full list of the nominees can be seen here

On Sunday 27 January, Ali Higgs and Ed Blankmeyer, assisted by GB Softball and GB Baseball coaches, will deliver aday of hands-on training and classroom sessions for softball and baseball athletes from the High Performance Academy at the John Radcliffe School in Wolverton, Milton Keynes.


The deadline for purchasing tickets to attend the Coach Summit is midnight on Saturday 19 January, and tickets can be purchased on this link

Coach Summit tickets cost £80, but there is a discount for students and licensed BSUK coaches and for group bookings by four or more coaches from one club or league if they book their Summit tickets at the same time.

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