Have you ever talked to Craig? I have. The first time I talked to him, I actually interviewed him before the tournament where his team (Dutch National) completed their golden hattrick. I asked him: “Who is your biggest competition?” “Ourselves,” Craig said.

Since then, I’ve got a number of other chances to talk to him. Every single time I got inspired, I felt like I have learned something new and I felt like I want to learn and improve even more through listening to his smart words.

 “There are no problems, there are challenges.

Craig Monvidas

What do all coaches have in common? – 24 hours a day.

Craig Monvidas

Think about how do you want your opponents to see you.

Craig Monvidas

Craig always inspires people around him, but today, today Craig got me super excited!

Craig is the coordinator of the ESCA Camp and that is simply why I KNOW that the camp will be exceptional. There is nothing like what this camp will be like.  I knew that, but today I was taken to another level of knowing.

First, Craig drove me to the most amazing lodging facility. It’s not a hotel, it looks like a luxury barn a bit, it is a beautiful place where you have the whole complex of two buildings and grass fields only for yourself. There are rooms to stay in, living rooms, studies, relaxing zones, and a great chef, by the way. It won’t be just like staying in a hotel and attending a few lessons, the whole group will go through this special experience together, going through the learning process in this exceptional ambiance. It all really looks like a fairytale accommodation, tough to explain.

The training facility is a brand new two-gym sporting complex, where there is also a softball field outside, a pretty clubhouse, and showers. One more large gym for playing games should also be available.

We had lunch and that’s when it happened. After lunch, Craig began to share his ESCA Camp program plans with me…

Coaches will listen to the instructions together with players, then they will instruct the players and receive evaluations from the instructors. They will be learning while coaching, working together with the instructors on helping the kids but also themselves.

There won’t be just a regular training. We will include workshops covering various topics – how to choose the right glove or a bat, how to get a college scholarship, mental training, Olympic player experience, softball in virtual reality, most common rule confusions… Some workshops will be focused on coaches, some on players.

We have some fun activities for evenings planned as well – softball expressions in a real life, softball bingo, what’s wrong in the picture…

Some of the players, who will work the hardest, will be given individual award lessons. There will be evaluations for both players and coaches every day.

Each of the campers will receive their own notebook with the basic information and lesson content, their schedule, space for notes and evaluations.

It is exciting that coaches of the best European teams agreed to become the instructors at the ESCA Camp. These are really the top quality coaches, they have proven that with their national teams.

“I want them to feel special, to realize that they are part of something unusual and very exceptional,” said Craig to wrap it up.

And there was so much more, but I can't even remember. I don’t know how to explain, but just…trust me, the Camp is going to be so special! Craig cares so much about every single detail, plus his experience is just a guarantee of a successful event.

So this is how Craig got me excited. I felt amazed and I promised myself that I'd do everything possible to let people know about this opportunity.

If you care for more details about the ESCA Camp, go to coaches.europeansoftball.org .

Helena Novotna