by European Baseball Coaches Association (EBCA)
Since its creation in 2004, EBCA has tried to create opportunitiees for its coaches.
Over the years EBCA coaches have been sent with teams like the Rockies, White Sox… but not a regular basis.
Last year, EBCA decided to give a new face to its program and to make it available to more coaches.
In 2010, EBCA was able to send one of theirs with the Royals, in Surprise, near Phoenix, AZ, thanks to the collaboration with Major League Baseball and its Coach Development Program.
EBCA was then able to officially launch its EBCA Exchange Program, sending 3 coaches in US baseball organizations of various levels in the Spring of 2011.
A few months later, Filip Van Der Meiren, a coach from the MLB supported Belgian Baseball Academy is now selected to represent EBCA at the Fall Instructional League from the Milwaukee Brewers.
Van Der Meiren was an infielder in Belgium Division 1, winning many championships there. He faced the top European players with his club and the Belgian national team.
He also played college baseball and made it to the NAIA World Series tournament with Bellevue University.
In 2009, he hung up his cleats to be able to fully focus on the development of one of the 2 national MLB-endorsed academies as well as on the Belgian junior National Team he has been leading for the past 4 years.
“This is a lifetime opportunity that was presented to me, here. Spending time in this professional environment will be an awesome experience”, says the 33 year old Belgian coach.
“It’s a great chance to learn things you can’t learn at clinics. It’s the hands-on instruction that any coach dreams about”.
As an EBCA/MLB exchange coach, Filip will be taking part to the on-field activities of the Instructional League from the Brewers in Maryvale, near Phoenix, AZ.
From the 25th of September to the 7th of October, he will be exposed to the top young talent in the Brewers organization and will sure get a feel of the level to aim for with the academy program.
He will also have the opportunity to pick brains from some of the top teachers in the game in order to be able to spread that knowledge around Europe.
The EBCA Exchange Program blog will be fully active again during that period to let everybody get a taste of the experience.