This week, we are excited to be heading to the ABCA, or American Baseball Coaches Association, annual convention. It is the largest conference dedicated to amateur baseball in the world. As coaches of a few different teams, we are hoping to pick up at least a few different pointers in the presentations. And of course, we are tangibly giddy about wandering the vendor exhibits looking for the latest and greatest in tech for baseball bats and gear.
Baseball Coaching Clinic Article Contents
Baseball Coaching Clinic Convention Useful Links
Why Go to a Baseball Coaching Clinic or Convention?
There are several reasons one would go to a Baseball Coaching Clinic. In the order in which they came to mind:
- You want to become a better baseball coach. That seems simple enough. Sharing the best practices and hearing about best practices from the best coaches may very well do that. The ABCA does that in droves and we discuss that more below.
- You want to network with other coaches. Many in the professional field of baseball coaching find this aspect to baseball coaching clinics as valuable as anything else. The ABCA, in particular, has the best turnout in the baseball space.
- You want to see the newest technology all under one roof. Major clinics and conventions usually attract the major vendors, and often enough, many of the smaller ones too. The ABCA has the highest rate of vendor turn out.
- You need a tax write off because you get sick to your stomach thinking you might make enough money to actually pay taxes on a relatively innocuous bat blog that you run. Tell us about it.
What It Costs
To attend the convention as a coach, you need to be both a member of the ABCA and have paid for a ticket into the conference. If this is your first year, then that runs a total of $145 at the door, $135 if you do it early. About $45 of that is for the membership and the remaining is for the ticket to the convention. These are rough numbers and we expect them to change as the years go on. See more details here.
Then of course, flying to the destination is not free either. Nor are accommodations. Like all major conventions, they have organized some great rates that are usually reasonable. There are no requirements you stay at a certain place, although closer is better.
From the Rocky Mountain states, we’ll pay about $700 per person for the whole affair. That does include membership in the ABCA, which brings other benefits you can read about on their site.
What We Plan On Doing at the ABCA
As youth coaches very interested in baseball bat technology, you can bet our focus will be on the booths and trade-show floor. A full list of vendors can be found at their site, and aside from the irrigation companies (which apparently have serious play for collegiate and high-school fields), we can find no one we are not interested in speaking to.
Folks like Diamond Kinetics and HitTrax, who are teaming up for some fun analytics, as well as the Wilson and Rawlings displays should be hours of fun. If we can manage the internet connection from within the center, expect some facebook live videos on our facebook feed. And those four vendors are just the start of it. There are at least 100 booths with gear we are ultra-excited to check out.
We spend significant time tracking down these folks in real life, so the fact they will all be in the same room is appealing, to say the least.
Coaching Clinics & Presentations
In addition to booth shopping, there are a number of presentations we don’t think we can miss. 4Arm-Strong’s self-therapy device for strengthening the muscles around the elbow will be worth a visit. So will the Developing an Elite Outfielder and An Infielder’s Daily Routine talks given by collegiate coaches.
We will not miss Diamond Kinetics’ presentation on the floor, nor Driveline Baseball’s underload and overload tools for practice. And a Base Stealing Role for your Entire Team by Coach Talarico, as well as some insight from the famed Texas Baseball Ranch? How would we ever miss that.
Throw in a talk by the National Championship team (Costal Carolina, Gary Gilmore) and a 40-minute expose from a D1 coach on the feeds and turns of a successful double play, and well, you have us wishing we could be everywhere at once.
As youth coaches, we do not put networking at the top of our list. Don’t get us wrong, we would gladly take the head coaching spot at any top tier Division I baseball school. No doubt about that. So, if the Athletic Director of any of those schools happen to be reading this, please don’t hesitate to approach our anonymous faces and extend the offer. But, despite that arguably reasonable plea, we are relatively happy with our lot in life to wander the booths thinking of things 10 year olds and their fathers might like.