By Yurii Tyvonchuck, FCA Ukraine
On February 14-16 in Rivne, Ukraine there was a kids’ baseball tournament sponsored by and in the name of Tampa Bay Rays player Ben Zobrist. The tournament was organized by Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Ukraine. The first place team was from Belarus “Sugar Storm”, second place “Western Fire” from Rivne, third place “OSDUSHOR” from Kirovograd, and the fourth place was the Rivne team “U-11”.
Ben Zobrist couldn’t come for the tournament due to the pre-season training, but he had video greetings for all the participants of the tournament. There were also some other motivational clips for the coaches. Ben challenged them to remember that baseball is a very difficult game and to make sure that kids are having fun at practice and at the games. Ben shared how God changed his life and how God is his
foundation, power and the strength of his life.
FCA Ukraine Director Andriy Kravtsov and leader of FCA Ukraine Baseball Sasha Alexandrov led the coaches clinic. They had the opportunity to hear about the three dimensional coaches training tool (3D Coaches). It was a great time of fellowship and exchange of personal experiences in coaching baseball. There was a great discussion around the videos that Ben Zobrist made for the coaches. In the end, it was awesome to give out gifts to the coaches from Ben Zobrist! They were so thankful.
After these kinds of tournaments you can see how coaches open up. We see even more of a need to show attention to coaches. You can see how a small gift of a baseball hat or giving a hug or word of encouragement just make coaches open up more and more. After this tournament, everyone is already asking when the next tournament will be! All participants and coaches thanked Ben Zobrist and the Tampa Bay Rays for the opportunity to be at this tournament.