Tryouts for BSUK’s High Performance Academy set for Sunday 4 October at Farnham Park

Thu 17 Sep 2015

BaseballSoftballUK’s High Performance Academy (HPA) will kick off its third year with open tryouts for baseball and fastpitch softball players aged 13-19 on Sunday 4 October at Farnham Park.

High Performance Academy Logo

The HPA is the pinnacle of BSUK’s talent and player development programme, supported by Sport England and Major League Baseball and endorsed by both the British Baseball Federation and the British Softball Federation.  The HPA is the only winter training environment of its kind in the UK where athletes receive both the level of instruction and frequency of practice normally found in the United States.

To try out on Sunday 4 October, players must complete an online registration form.

Times for the tryout ares:

13 - 15 year olds, Registration 10:00, Start 10:30 Finish 13:30
16 - 19 year olds, Registration 12:00, Start 13:00 Finish 16:00

What to wear:
- Players should wear their club baseball uniform (NOT GB uniforms) or similar. 
- Cleats should be worn also as we will be outside

High level instruction

The HPA features many of the UK’s top coaches, including several national team coaches and support staff.

HPA Softball is led by Robbie Robison, assisted by Rachael Watkeys and Barbara Killer.  Robbie has previously been an Assistant Coach for the GB Women’s Fastpitch National Team.  Rachael has coached the Junior (Under-19) Women’s Fastpitch Team for the past three years, including at the recent Junior World Championships in Oklahoma.  Barbara Killer, who coached at the Academy and HPA in 2014-15, has an extensive background in playing and coaching fastpitch softball in Europe.

HPA Baseball is led by Will Lintern, assisted by Liam Carroll and Zach Graefser.  Will is the Director for BSUK’s HPA and Academy programmes and has coached the GB Junior National Baseball Team since 2011.  Liam is the Head Coach of the Great Britain National Team and has been Head Coach of Academy Baseball since 2013.  Zach Graefser is the pitching coordinator for GB Baseball and has also served as an envoy coach to Major League Baseball’s other European Academies.  Previously, Zach was the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at St Louis Community College at Meramec (a notable alumni is current Los Angeles Angels’ third baseman David Freese).

Both the Baseball and Fastpitch HPA receive strength and conditioning support and coaching from Alan Dean and Lloyd Williams.  Alan has been a part of the programme since 2007 and has worked with both GB Baseball and GB Softball.  Lloyd has been supporting the Academies and HPA programmes since 2013 and recently travelled with the GB Cadets in 2014 and 2015.

High performance environment

The goal of the HPA is prepare athletes for the next level -- whether that is playing at the US collegiate level, for Team GB or in another high performance environment on completion of secondary school / high school.  Practices will be held three times a week for baseball and twice a week for softball.  Regular attendance and commitment is expected and required if athletes are to reach their full potential.

However, the HPA staff recognises that there are inherent challenges with geography, finances and academic commitments.  Therefore, a balanced approach involving mid-week and weekend practices will be available for athletes who live too far to make every practice, and if weekend practices are still too far, then a distance learning programme will be offered.

Upon selection to the HPA, the staff will discuss with each athlete and their family an expected commitment level based on where they live and what grants might be available to offset associated costs.

Non-UK citizens welcome

While the HPA is the primary player development programme for GB Baseball and GB Softball, the staff recognises that there are many young talented athletes who are not UK citizens.  Those players will also be welcome to try out for a place in the HPA this winter.

Next steps

To register your interest and attendance at the tryouts at Farnham Park on Sunday 4 October please complete the online registration form.

For more information, or if you are unable to attend the tryouts on 4 October, contact Academy Director .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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