From CBC News
First meeting with team intimidating but fulfilling
By Jordan Gill, CBC News
Retirement hasn’t meant a lot of downtime for Jeff Ellsworth.
Although he recently retired from Canada’s senior men’s softball team, he hasn’t left the game. He actually has a new job.
Ellsworth is the new hitting coach for Spain’s national women’s softball team.
Ellsworth was introduced to the team by a friend, who is also the team’s pitching coach.
“He sent me a message one day, just to see if I’d be interested in coming down and working with the girls for a week,” said Ellsworth.
“[After the week] as I was leaving they asked if I would want to be the hitting coach for the next few years…I accepted the position.”
Ellsworth said he already enjoys working with the team and sees a lot of potential in the players. But the first day was a little intimidating.
“It’s a new part of the world that I’ve never been in, going to meet a team [where] obviously there’s a language barrier,” said Ellsworth.
While Ellsworth will periodically travel to Spain to work in person, right now he is mainly studying tape, conducting coaching sessions over Skype and sending a hitting program to the team.
Ellsworth said the team hopes to finish in the top five at the Euro Cup, a softball tournament being held this year in Italy. Ellsworth thinks they have the potential to make the Olympics by 2024.
“They’re very realistic with their goal setting,” said Ellsworth.
Still loves the game
Ellsworth’s new Spanish occupation doesn’t mean he has abandoned Canada or the Island. He’s still the coach for the Canada Games women’s team from PEI and the national junior men’s team.
He may be retired from playing, but that doesn’t mean he can’t hit the field occasionally.
“I just got back from Cancun last week…[I] played in a 16-team tournament,” said Ellsworth.