by ISG Baseball
ISG Baseball became the first organization to travel to Cuba with American coaches and present coaching courses to Cuban baseball coaches since before that country’s historic change of government in the 1960s. Under the auspices of the Cuban Baseball Federation, former USA Baseball National Team coach and ISG Vice President Pete Caliendo traveled to Cuba to present the a series of coaching courses at several locations around the island nation.
This momentous event drew great press coverage and created a buzz in the Cuban baseball community. Cuban state radio featured much discussion and comment regarding the significance of these classes and their effects on the coaching community.
Coach Caliendo traveled throughout Cuba for nine days with a staff headed by Jesus Barroso, a veteran of over 300 coaching classes in the past two decades. They were accompanied by seven-time Cuban batting champion Wilfredo Shancez who now serves as a coach on national teams. Their journeys began and ended in Havana with trips to Mayabeque, a 14 hour road trip by van to Granma, on to Villa Clara and finally back to the Cuban capitol city. Caliendo remarked several times on the beauty of the countryside in all the locations.
Each stop included a two-day theory and practical course for coaches from all provinces. In total, Cuba has 16 provinces which each sent coaches to the events. The group educated over 150 coaches in the nine days.
“Cuban Baseball has been at the top of international baseball for many years,” said Caliendo. “This was my 9th trip here, but the 1st time that I taught courses throughout the country. This experience showed me why Cuba has consistently been one of the best baseball countries in the world.”
“They have tremendous organization at the top,” Caliendo continued. “The Cuban Baseball Federation controls all the baseball in Cuba. They conduct a fantastic coaches development program which has seen as many as 322 organized coaches courses in 20 years, producing high level, well educated coaches. There are 16 baseball academies which house the best players ages in all major age groups. Plus there are over 60,000 players who are very athletic, have a passion for the game, are hungry to rise to the next level and – maybe most importantly, they have great pride in their country.”“We at ISG Baseball look forward to many years of working together with the Cuban Baseball Federation to continue helping coaches get better. They are hungry for the technology and science part of the game as well!”
Caliendo’s closing words really summed up what baseball has meant to so many around the world: “This trip allowed me to meet so many friendly Cuban people and see their beautiful country. Hopefully one day we can all be working together to better our countries.”
ISG Baseball (International Sports Group) is a non-profit organization founded in 1985 whose mission is working with national baseball federations to develop coaches at all levels, aiding individual clubs and federations in their rapid growth and development, and assisting them with their coaching
education programs by improving lines of communication with baseball and softball experts.To organize an ISG coaching development program visit the website Contact page at www.isgbaseball.com