The High Performance Academy (HPA) is the pinnacle of BaseballSoftballUK’s talent and player development programme, supported by Sport England and Major League Baseball and endorsed by both the British Baseball Federation and the British Softball Federation.
The HPA is the only winter training environment of its kind in the UK where athletes receive both the level of instruction and frequency of practice normally found in the top international baseball and softball nations. HPA Baseball and HPA Softball is open to athletes aged 13-19. To be considered, athletes must attend the open try-outs that are held each autumn. Successful candidates will be invited to join the HPA.
High performance environment
The HPA features instruction from many of the UK’s top coaches, including several national team coaches and support staff.
The goal of the HPA is to prepare athletes for the next level — whether that is playing at the US collegiate level, for Team GB or in another high performance environment on completion of secondary school / high school. Practices will be held three times a week for baseball and twice a week for softball. Regular attendance and commitment is expected and required if athletes are to reach their full potential.
However, the HPA staff recognises that there are inherent challenges with geography, finances and academic commitments. Therefore, a balanced approach involving mid-week and weekend practices will be available for athletes who live too far to make every practice, and if weekend practices are still too far, then a distance learning programme will be offered.
Upon selection to the HPA, the staff will discuss with each athlete and their family an expected commitment level based on where they live and what grants might be available to offset associated costs.
Non-UK citizens welcome
While the HPA is the primary player development programme for Great Britain Baseball and Great Britain Softball, the staff recognises that there are many young talented athletes who are not UK citizens. Those players will also be welcome to try out for a place in the HPA this winter.