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Keynote Speaker: Brian Cain

 brian=Brian Cain has dedicated his life to studying, modelling, and teaching the peak performance strategies of the most successful people in the world. Having served as the Mental Conditioning Coach for World, Olympic, National and State Champions, Cain has discovered what works and what doesn’t in the competitive arena so that you can speed up your learning curve and maximise your performance.

Cain gets you maximum results in a minimum amount of time by providing you with a custom mental conditioning program so you can train your mental toughness just like you train your body physically. Cain makes mastering your mental game simple by giving you the most effective strategies and systems you can implement immediately to dramatically improve the quality of your performance.

Brian Cain is one of the world’s most sought-after mental conditioning and peak performance coaches, and is one of the top speakers, consultants and coaches when it comes to maximizing your performance. He is also the #1 best-selling author of multiple sports psychology books and award-winning digital training programmes.

A former high school standout in baseball, football and basketball, Cain was an NCAA Division 1 baseball player at The University of Vermont before going on to earn a Masters Degree in Applied Sport Psychology and also coaching baseball at Cal State Fullerton, the 2004 NCAA College Baseball National Champions.

As a motivational speaker and trainer, Cain has addressed audiences from 5 to 5,000 – and with his high energy, engaging process of teaching and training, he is always a big hit with his audiences. Cain’s unique approach to mental conditioning and peak performance help you unlock your potential and give you the competitive advantage over your opponents.

As a coach of champions, Cain’s client list is impressive. Over 400 of his clients have gone on to get drafted into Major League Baseball, including over 25 in the first round. He has helped train top picks in the NFL, NHL and NBA drafts. In addition, he has worked closely in the corner of five Ultimate Fighting Championship World Champions, including UFC Superstar Georges St. Pierre, numerous Major League Baseball All-Stars, The Washington Nationals Organisation and Team USA Baseball.

Liam Carroll

Head Coach - Great Britain Baseball Senior National Team

Liam Carroll, Head Coach Great Bitain BaseballLiam Carroll is in his first year as head coach at Great Britain Baseball.

Beginning as a player in 1996, Liam has a long history with the national teams programme. Having played at the Cadet/U15, Junior/U18 and Senior levels, he began coaching GB teams in 2004. Since then, Liam has served as an assistant coach at all age groups and as head coach for the U18s and Lions teams.

In addition to his career with GB Baseball, Liam served as the Director of Baseball Operations at the University of Nevada Las Vegas for five seasons. He has worked in several roles and areas for BaseballSoftballUK, including the planning and delivery of coach education, club development and player development programmes.



Zach Graefser

Pitching Coordinator - Great Britain Baseball,
MLB Europe Envoy Coach,

Zach Graefser, great Britain BaseballZach is originally from St Louis, Missouri.  He is the currently the pitching coordinator for the Great Britain National programme.  Before coming to the United Kingdom he had been the Associate Head Coach of the baseball programme at St Louis Community College at Meramec.  

In his eight years coaching at Meramec, Zach’s pitching staffs played a part in eight consecutive winning seasons for the Archers, and in several seasons they were rated among the top in the country in multiple categories, including ERA and opponent batting average.  A number of the players he has coached have moved on to play professional baseball via draft or free agent sign.  STLCC compiled a 95% post JUCO scholarship rate for their players during that time.  He also taught at St Louis Baseball and Fastpitch Academy, developing both baseball and softball players alike.  Teaching at the academy he had the privilege of working with players of all levels, including professional.  His students have received 30+ scholarships to multiple collegiate levels in both sports. 

Zach also serves as an MLB Envoy coach throughout Europe.  His primary territory includes Sweden, Belgium and Austria.  He also coaches the International All-Star team at the MLB spring tournament.   He has also spoken at various clinics and workshops throughout the Midwest United States.

Craig Montvidas

Manager - Pennsylvania Rebellion (USA National Pro Fastpitch League),
Former Head Coach for Netherlands and Great Britain Women's Fastpitch National Teams

Montvidas, the current head coach of the Netherlands Women National Softball Team and National Pro Fastpitch's Pennsylvania Rebellion, brings an extensive softball coaching and playing resume.The American born and raised ballplayer graduated from the University of Hartford in Connecticut. After his senior year in Connecticut, he left for the Netherlands to play international baseball for eight years (1975-1984). In eight seasons, he played in 262 games, scored 198 runs, produced 96 RBI’s and hit 303 base hits, including seven home runs and 80 stolen bases.

In 1981, Montvidas debuted as a softball coach for a team in Bussum, Netherlands. He spent seven seasons as head coach for the international team known as HCAW. He guided the team to three Dutch national championships.

Following his final season in 1988, he moved onto a club team in Bussolengo, Italy. After one season, he accepted a managerial job for the Twins of the Dutch Big Leagues that he led for five seasons (1990-1995). Montvidas was named head coach of the Dutch National Team following the completion of the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996. Montvidas continued coaching the Netherlands for three years.  In 2000, he led the Greece national team for two seasons. He also headed the Great Britain national team for five years (2003-2007). 

Montvidas was appointed to lead the Dutch National Team again in December 2008. In his first full season in 2009, he guided the Orange to their first European Championship title in 19 years with a victory over Montvidas’s former team, Great Britain, by a score of 4-0. Following the 2009 season, Montvidas was promoted to become the supervisor of the entire Dutch Softball program. In his past six seasons as the Dutch National Team leader, the two-time Coach of the Year award winner (2011-2012), piloted the Dutch National Team to three European Championship Titles--2009, 2011 and 2013.
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Rachael Watkeys

Head Coach - Great Britain Women's Fastpitch National Team

Rachel Watkeys, Great Britain Softball Head CoachRachael 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 time to take the team to its first-ever World Championship in the summer of 2013, in Canada, where the GB Juniors surprised many people by finishing in ninth place, just outside the playoffs.

In 2014, the GB Juniors achieved a highest-ever placing of fourth at European Championships, including a dramatic victory over defending champions Holland.

In 2015, Rachael led the team back to Junior World Championships in Oklahoma, where the team played extremely well and was unlucky to be placed 13th in the final standings.  At the Junior World Championships, GB was one of only four teams not to suffer a mercy rule defeat during the tournament, despite playing teams such as Japan, Canada and China, and was one of only two teams that had four runs or fewer scored against them in any seven-inning game during the competition (the other team was the eventual champions USA).

Rachael was named Great Britain Women's Fastpitch National Team head coach in October 2015.

Maaike Zijlstra

Pitching Coach - Dutch Women's Fastpitch National Team

Maaike Zijlstra, Pitching Coach Dutch National Softball Team KNBSBMaaike's passion for the game of softball started at just eight years old and, since then, she has gone on to represent the Dutch National Team at every level.

Maaike was a part of the Dutch Junior National Team from 1991 to 1995 which included the highlight of playing at the Junior Softball World Championship in Normall, Illinois (USA) in 1995.

Two years later Maaike made her debut for the Dutch National Softball Team, coached by fellow speaker, Craig Montvidas, where she was able to develop her pitching and tactical skills alongside the likes of Kathy van Wijk and Leigh Podlesney. Maaike pitched in relief for the Dutch side that defeated USA 2-1 at the 2001 Canada Cup.

Domestically, Maaike played for Terrasvogels of the Golden League, the top division in the Netherlands, for twelve years, during which time she won three National Titles and three European Cups.

Maaike joined the coaching staff of the Dutch Junior National Team in 2005 as Pitching Coach, helping them to victory in the European Junior Softball Championships in 2012.

Steve Patterson

Head Coach Great Britain Slowpitch National Team

Steve Patterson BSUK Coach Summit 2016Stephen Patterson is a 5-time European Gold Medal winning player and now a 3-time Gold medal earning Coach. His club sides are equally successful, acquiring over 30 tournament championships, including multiple National Softball League titles, and a European Bronze medal in 2014. He has also won Three National Championships in Ireland, where he currently resides.

With over 30 years of experience in the game, Stephen has been involved in Softball since 1984, where in the United States competed on a number of local and regional teams, earning several City and County titles. He was key member of travelling teams that competed in ASA Northeast Regional Qualifying tournaments.

Stephen takes great pride in how the GB Slowpitch Programme has emerged over the last few years. The renewed energy in the Development Programme has seen the GB player pool grow by over 20% and the number of competitions double. Inclusive training has allowed several “new” players to advance their game enough to be selected for international competitions, with many of these players making significant contributions in these high profile tournaments.

Stephen is a strong advocate for the expansion of Slowpitch Softball across Europe. He has run several clinics at grass root levels, mentored young players from Portugal, and has been instrumental in supporting Slowpitch’s growth in Holland.

In 2014, Stephen Founded “Team Europe Slowpitch”, a pan-european Men’s team, with representatives from Slovenia, Germany, Ireland, and Great Britain. The Team travelled to Canada to compete in the ASA’s “Border Battle” tournament, pitting their skills against the mighty Team USA amongst others. 

Stephen was awarded British Softball Federation’s Adult Coach of the Year for 2013.


David Lee

Head Coach & Regional Development Officer - Bristol Softball Association

David Lee BSUK Coach Summit 2016David Lee began playing slowpitch softball in 1989 and joined a fledgling Great Britain Slowpitch squad in 1999.

David has won the National Championship seven times with four different National Softball League teams over a 15 year playing career which also saw David make over 80 appearances for the GB National Team, appearing in three World Cups and four European Championships.

David began coaching in the mid-'90s and has been a Level 3 CTS Coach Tutor since 2010.

David has presented over 20 specialist slowpitch clinics across the UK as well as for the German National Team and open clinics in Jersey.



Alan Dean

Strength & Conditioning Coach - Great Britain Baseball

David Lee BSUK Coach Summit 2016Alan Dean is a graduate of University of Edinburgh (1988), University of West London (2009) and University of Chichester (2016), educated to Masters Level. Alan is focussed on educating, mentoring and working "in the trenches" with both athletes and coaches to develop a balanced approach to performance development.

Certifications with both National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Sports Therapy quailifcations and UKSCA education enhances his 10 year career in international baseball and softball.

As Programme Strength & Conditioning Co-ordinator, team athletic trainer and recently appointed Sports Science Director for the GB Baseball National teams, Alan has experienced several international tournaments since 2007, including European Championships, World Cups, World Championships and World Baseball Classic Qualifier, further enhancing his theoretical knowledge.

Away from Baseball and Softball, Alan is currently overseeing strength and conditioning services to two World-ranked Equestrian Riders (Dressage), Team England and Team Wales Golfers, Professional Golfers (Ladies European Tour, Challenge, Europro, Jamega and TP Tour) World Championship Age-group Triathletes, National and Regional Champions 60/100m Track Athletes.



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