The European Softball Federation and the German Baseball and Softball Federation (DBV) have launched a joint initiative to prepare the German National Team for the Men’s European Championship.

As a part of the ESF Men’s Fastpitch Development program, two coaches were sent to Ratingen, Germany: Erwin Visser (NED) for pitching and Michal Vojacek (CZE) for hitting. According to Ami Baran, Head of the ESF Development Committee, more support will follow: “We do want to make sure, that this recent effort lasts for a long time and leads to further growth of the game in Germany in the next couple of years.

A squad of twenty-seven players was selected to take part in the clinic, twelve of them being pitchers. “We need to improve pitching in Germany.” Reasoned Wolfgang Walther, Head Coach of the team. “With better pitchers and the practice our hitters get from facing them, national competitions will get better overtime.

During the clinic, players were split into three teams. While the two teams were playing each other the third team attended hitting, pitching and defense sessions in small individual groups. Both Erwin and Michal agreed, that “the work ethic and the desire of everyone to learn and improve was impressive! Working with such a dedicated group of players was a lot of fun.

In preparation for the European Championship in July, the German team will also take part in an annual Zeisterslot Tournament in Zeist, Netherlands in May. Both coaches volunteered to support the team there as well.

-Wolfgang Walter, Helena Novotná-