On Wednesday, May 12th, BASES was privileged to play host to a stop by a group of prospective baseball and softball players from Iraq. The group, comprised predominantly of Iraqi teens, was visiting the USA on a week long mission to learn about and experience the sports of baseball and softball. BASES instructors, Alan Haddaway, Ron Baker, and Renee Ferguson donated their time and talents to provide a two-hour hitting and pitching clinic to the group. Four boys and four girls along with several coaches and other dignitaries from Iraq and the US Department of State formed the delegation.
"Planning specific instructional content for our visitors was a bit difficult because we did not know how difficult the language barrier would be. However, after the translators relayed our initial greetings and instructions, the language of the sport pretty much took over", said Bob Lubaszewski, BASES owner. "While watching Alan instruct the girls in hitting a softball and basic catching skills I realized that all it took was physical demonstration on the instrutors part while the students did their best to imitate what they saw. The girls seemed to have the most fun with the sport while the guys were a little more somber and serious. Everyone appeared to be excited about the opportunity to learn", he added.
The girls watched in amazement as Coach Renee demostrated the art of windmill pitching and taught the basic concepts of delivery and release. The guys worked with Coach Ron on hitting balance and bat motion. Toward the end of the session each player was video-taped and their swings were loaded in the BASES Right View Pro Video Analysis software. A short analysis of basic swing mechanics, within the bounds of the language translators, followed. Each player was provided with a Right View Pro picture strip of their efforts which matched their new found skills aside a major league or Team USA olympic athlete.
The stop at BASES was the last instructional stop on the player's short tour of the USA. During their visit they attended an Orioles' game, a Nationals' game, a Baysox game, an umpire clinic among their many stops. The trip was arranged by the US Department of State.
BASES Hosts Japanese Ballplayers
through US Dept of State Program
This past season BASES hosted a group of youth baseball and softball players from the country of Japan. These young men and women were attended a 2 hour training session provided by instructors, Matt Lubaszewski, Joe Pfistner, Norm Simpkins and Nina Yeatman with help from several volunteers including Kristina Dillard of Broadneck High School and Spencer Singh of Catonsville High School. Also particpating in the training was owner, Bob Lubaszewski.
Each player was provided with brief hitting and pitching training session followed by a video analysis of their hitting mechanics. With the aid of a group of state department interpreters, the coaches' instructions wer succesfully relayed. "When training players who speak a different language you realize what a large part of training is visual rather than verbal," stated several of the BASES instructors.
The visit ended with a round of thanks from the players. Each was provided with a BASES tee-shirt as a keepsake for their visit.
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