Coach Summit 2022 Speakers
André Lachance is an internationally acclaimed baseball coach, keynote speaker and university professor. Over the years, Lachance has given over 300 keynote speeches in 20 countries on various topics related to athlete development, leadership, team coaching and group efficacy. Lachance built the first Women's National Baseball programme in Canada and has led the team as their head coach for 15 years, bringing them to the #2 spot in the WBSC ranking. In 2019, Lachance became the first head coach of the French Women’s National Team, guiding them to a European Championship Title and a World Cup qualification.
Lachance also teaches advanced coaching courses at the University of Ottawa. In 2007, Lachance was granted the University of Ottawa Teacher of the Year award for his outstanding teaching skills. Lachance is also the recipient of the nationally respected Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal given by the Canadian Government for contributing significantly to Canadian sport system. He is famous for his novel concepts and is known to live by an "out of the box" approach. Lachance is a dynamic speaker who travels the globe sharing his knowledge to countless business corporations and sports organisations such as the NHL, UNESCO, MLB, Novartis and several Olympic Committees around the world. Lachance is based in Gatineau, Québec, Canada.
Lachance spoke in person at the Coach Summit 2020 and virtually at the Summit 2021, and will return to this year's summit after hosting the successful TIMEOUT 2020 summit in December 2020.
Andre's new book, "Team Chemistry: 30 Elements for Coaches to Foster Cohesion, Strengthen Communication Skills, and Create a Healthy Sport" will be a key focus on his session, and is available to preorder on Amazon Canada here.
Andrew “Drew” Spencer grew up in Glendale, California and played collegiate baseball at Dartmouth College. He was a 4-time All-Ivy League selection and, at the time of his graduation, was the career record holder in 11 offensive categories. Drew also played for the Orleans Firebirds in the Cape Cod Baseball League in 1994 and 1995. Drew’s coaching career began in earnest in 2008 in London at LondonSports, the UK’s largest youth baseball club. Over six seasons at LondonSports, Drew coached at all levels and helped to establish the club’s first Travel Team programme. He also ran the club’s Minors League for 4 years, organising rosters, schedules and all aspects of administration for an 8-team league with over 120 players.
Prior to the 2016 season, Drew joined the London Mets Baseball & Softball Club and began working in earnest with adult programmes, while also earning himself a place on the shortlist for British Youth Baseball Coach of the Year in 2017. At the youth level, teams managed by Spencer have won 5 British National Championships.
Spencer took over as Manager of the GB Senior National Team in September 2020, following the resignation of longtime manager Liam Carroll. Previously, Spencer managed the GB U-23 Team, leading them to their best-ever finish in European competition in 2019. This year, Spencer managed the GB Men's Senior National Team to a sixth place finish in the 2021 European Baseball Championships in Turin, their best finish in 14 years.
Rachael Watkeys was a player for the GB Women’s Team from 2009 through 2011, and was appointed Head Coach of the GB Under-19 Women in the summer of 2013. She was then elevated to the Great Britain Women's Fastpitch National Team head coach position in October 2015.
Under her leadership, the GB Women's National Softball Team achieved their highest ever European (3rd) and International (13th) ranking in programme history. In addition, the GB Women barely missed on qualifying for the 2020 (now 2021) Olympic games in their very first European qualifier for the games.
As a result of her success in 2019, Rachael was awarded the co-Softball Adult Coach of the Year award at the British Baseball and Softball Coaching Awards at Coach Summit 2020.
Anderson brings more than 45 years’ experience in Olympic and professional sport to BaseballSoftballUK, as an athlete, coach, scientist and Performance Director. A native of Watford, Anderson has worked across multiple Olympic sports, including football, where he won the 1996 FIFA Fair Play award, and bobsleigh, where he assisted the British Bobsleigh team to a bronze medal in 2014.
Anderson has presented at conferences worldwide on performance planning and is a guest lecturer at leading UK Universities on training philosophy. In addition, Anderson authored his first book, “Winner’s Mindset” in 2021, and has appeared on a number of TV shows as a coach and consultant, including “Beat the Star” on ITV.
Gary McCoy is a high-performance coach with a 25 year Strength and Conditioning history. He has worked in Major League Baseball for the Miami Marlins and Houston Astros, is the head of performance for the Australian National Team, and is the architect of the only injury-free season in professional baseball history.
John is the Owner of Prime Time Baseball Academy and Director of Player Development. He played professionally for the Macon Pinetoppers in the Peach State League in Macon, Georgia for 3 seasons. He played his collegiate ball at Wayne State University. In his senior year he was team co-captain and received Honorable Mention All-GLIAC accolades, and led the Warriors to a conference and league championship. He was named to the GLIAC All-Academic team 4 years in a row. He is the All-Time Leader in fielding percentage at Wayne State University. John is currently the Varsity Head Baseball Coach at Yorktown High School in Arlington, Virginia where he has won Coach of the Year 4 years in a row! John has helped over 50 athletes achieve their dream of playing college baseball in the past 5-years.
Following a 14-year playing career that saw him log time in the Major Leagues with Chicago Cubs and with two clubs in Japan, Scales stepped directly in an executive role in baseball operations for the Los Angeles Angels. From 2012-2015 he was the Director of Player Development where he developed and implemented organizational philosophy, managed relationships between Angels Baseball and seven minor league affiliates throughout North America and the Caribbean, directed staffing within the player development department and led minor league player acquisitions. During his tenure Bobby was also key in identifying, acquiring and re-developing a new facility in the Dominican Republic for the Angels Latin American Academy.
On the field, Bobby oversaw the development of 15 homegrown players that made their debut in an Angels uniform and four others that did so after trades to other organizations. In 2016 Scales was promoted to Special Assistant to the General Manager where he evaluated professional and amateur players both internationally and domestically. In addition to talent identification, he served as an advisor to the GM and executive leadership on player acquisitions. In 2017, Scales founded the Scales Sports Group, LLC. The Scales Sports Group is a sports consultancy specializing in the consultation of individuals, organizations and facilities on all matters related but not limited to operations, business development, culture and leadership development. From 2018-2020, Bobby served as the Minor League Field Coordinator. In that capacity he was responsible for the efficient execution of organizational standards and the professional development of minor league coaches and players as they matriculate through the Pirate minor league system.
In 2021, Scales switched roles and became the Coordinator of Strategic Initiatives for Player Development. In this role he was responsible for creating progressive path forward for the Pirates as a thought leader in baseball development. Furthering coaching and player development praxis by cultivating relationships with other sporting organizations and conventional business entities. He created content driving leadership and professional development opportunities for Pirate Player Development staff members. Currently Bobby has placed a renewed focus on the work with The Scales Sports Group with a renewed focus on the professional development of coaching staffs in all sport cultures. Bobby has conducted sessions and spoken numerous times on leadership development, talent acquisition, onboarding and culture development worldwide.
Alyson Spinas-Valainis (They/Them)
An American professional athlete, Alyson Spinas-Valainis grew up surrounded by sport. An Iowa 1st Team All-State as both a fastpitch pitcher and basketball center, they took a Division I full-ride scholarship to Bradley University in Illinois to play basketball. After a successful 4 years on the hardwood, Alyson joined the Bradley University softball team for a final, 5th year. There they earned Missouri Valley Conference honours (Pitcher of the Week, Feb 2015), 2015 Bradley University Softball MVP Team award, and pitching 200 innings during the season.
Shortly thereafter, Alyson took their playing career overseas to numerous countries: New Zealand; the Czech Republic; Australia; Germany; and currently The Netherlands, earning a National Championship for Olympia Haarlem (2018) and runner up (2019) in the Dutch Golden League. Currently, Alyson is going into their third season with Olympia Haarlem, and will be continuing to play for the team in Haarlem while living abroad in the UK. Additionally, both Joudrs Praha and Olympia Haarlem have medaled in The European Premier Cup in Italy (Joudrs 2016, 2017; Olympia 2019); earning 2nd, 3rd, and finally 3rd respectively.
As a coach, Alyson has worked heavily on development in New Zealand, Australia, and Czech Republic. They take tremendous pride in what they know as both a player and as a coach, working with development of the youth and ensuring that the players of tomorrow understand the importance of professionalism, work ethic, and passion.
Josh Taylor is a Pitching Coach for the Great Britain Senior Women's National Team and Pitcher for the Sheffield Bruins NBL side. With a key interest in mechanical anaylsis, evaluation and development, Josh aims to clear up common myths and help people understand what makes a delivery elite.
Will Lintern is GB Baseball's Pitching and Catching Coordinator as well as the Director of Pitching and Catching at Smarter Performance Baseball. Prior to his current role, Lintern was Head Coach of the GB U-18 team for nine years, and has spend spans parts of three decades involved in the programme, playing at the U15, U18 and Senior levels, including at the 2009 Baseball World Cup.
Lintern previously worked for BaseballSoftballUK as both Midlands Development Manager and then National Development Manager, and has previously presented at BSUK's Coach Summits, including a well-received talk in 2020!
Lintern attended Menlo College in Atherton, California where he played four years as a catcher and was named a team captain for his Senior season. Lintern has a long playing history in the UK, first coming up through the youth system in Tonbridge. He then moved to play in the then-named Rawlings National League for the Brighton Buccaneers, where he won the first two of the seven NBL National Championships to his name. The other National Championships came in 2008 with the London Mets then in 2011, 2012 and 2013 with the Southern Nationals and again in 2018 with the Mets. Lintern has also played for the Gauteng Indians in Germany’s Bundesliga.