The second ABF principal program reaches out overseas to the children of developing countries, teaching them the game of baseball through innovative programs that range from coach education to kids’ clinics designed to heighten involvement in sport as a healthy lifestyle, in preparation for a productive adulthood.
The ABF international education program focuses on confidence building for youngsters through courses and clinics designed for the recipient country’s level of expertise. The ABF can combine an international version of its BASIC program with coach fundamental instruction as its visits diverse sites within a given country. Generally, the needs of youth—nurturing of the proper prospective regarding a healthy, God-centered lifestyle—vary little from country to country. There exists a great difference however in the resources at hand to pursue that lifestyle. The ABF through its instruction directly to children in baseball/softball fundamentals, reading enrichment or specialty instruction in baseball pitching provides a resource that is designed to fulfill the nurturing need. Moreover, ABF coaching courses designed to multiply resources by preparing local monitors to teach their children constitute abundant assistance toward youth and community development.
It has been the ABF’s privilege over the course of seventeen years to have provided leadership in these projects:
Singapore Children’s Baseball Jamboree
ABF coach instruction, program planning and jamboree implementation for 500 youths ages 8 to 14 to introduce baseball/softball.
Baseball Federation of Asia Training Camp
For six years, the ABF headed a training camp for coaches and players from Asia’s underdeveloped baseball countries such as—Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Viet Nam, Pakistan. As much a cultural event as a sporting event, the camp engendered understanding among people of diverse nationalities and traditions.
Spanish National Youth Training Program
Under the direction of the Real Federation of Spanish Baseball & Softball, the ABF lead the instruction of national training camps for youth players who desired to expand self knowledge and knowledge of the baseball/softball.
Costa Rican Exchange Program
The ABF has taken three youth baseball teams from the United States to play in the rural area of Costa Rica, allowing the local players to test themselves against advanced skills on their own baseball diamonds. Teams for all over the country vied to defeat the American boys who represent to their Costa Rican counterparts baseball’s pinnacle of achievement.
A complete list of the ABF international outreach can be obtained from ABF Headquarters.
Premises for Program Funding
As a 501 3 c not-for-profit organization, it is the ABF’s mission to extend its instructional programs as a resource for the underserved. Funding for the near term—12 to 24 months—will be used to implement these programs.
The ABF is completing several years of international research related to injury prevention of youth baseball pitchers, ages 8 to 14.
The results of the research and recommendations for young athletes will be posted on the ABF website (americanbaseball.org). Moreover a chart, created in pocketbook form, will be distributed to all countries that may have concerns related to the development of their youth pitchers.
Equipment to Underserved Countries
Over the years, the ABF has collected new and used equipment that it distributes to the recipients of its instructional programs. In general bats and gloves are given to the leagues and clubs in developing countries so that use may be multiplied through all member children. Most developing countries that desire to positively influence its youth through sport, have three needs—equipment, expertise and facility creation. The ABF directly alleviates the first two needs by visiting the country to instruct either children or adults. As part of the visit, the ABF donates equipment to its counterparts within the country.
Recently the ABF attempted, to date unsuccessfully, to attack the third need—facility construction—in Costa Rica. Perceiving the future potential of combining a soccer and baseball/softball complex for the children of the western province of the country, the ABF met with hotel owners and community groups showing them the ABF plan to develop a sports complex that not only would allow local children to pursue their sports pursuits, but also would lend itself to visits from international teams to play tournaments in the ecological paradise that is Costa Rica.