As usual, Kevin Healy stayed busy with baseball this past summer, but not in the same way as in recent years.
The head coach of the Washington-Liberty High School team was an assistant on the staff of a college summer-league team and produced some self-help tips about catching on his Twitter page.
Normally, though, Healy has spent portions of the last few summers out of the country, coaching various teams or teaching the sport at international venues. The COVID-19 pandemic prevented him from making such trips in 2020, and Healy missed that involvement.
“It’s something I have enjoyed and look forward to each summer,” Healy told the Sun Gazette. “Every experience has been so different.”
Healy’s baseball experience is vast, so he has much to offer about the sport.
He played in high school at Bishop O’Connell, then collegiately at the College of William and Mary. Prior to taking the coaching job at Washington-Liberty, Healy was the head coach for 10 seasons at Langley High School in Fairfax County, and has coached at various youth-league levels for a number of summers.
Those international trips began for Healy in 2015 as part of the MVP International Athletics program.
In subsequent years (aside from 2017 when he had hip surgery) Healy traveled with other organizations to countries like Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands and South Africa to coach baseball.
In 2018 and 2019, Healy was the head coach of the 18-under Lumberjacks team that participated in the annual one-week Battle at the Castle in Oosterhout, the Netherlands. It’s one of the biggest youth-baseball tournaments in Europe.
Healy had to choose his players in a draft, despite knowing little or nothing about their abilities, especially that first season. Many of the players were Dutch, or from other European countries. Americans play in the tournament, as well.
“In 2018, I had a great assistant from over there who helped me a ton, but didn’t know anybody,” Healy said. “It was a little better the second year because I was familiar with some of the players then and with the overall tournament.”
Healy hopes to return to coach in that tournament next summer.
Healy also spent part of the summer of 2019 in Mdantsane, South Africa, teaching the game to some 45 youth players of various ages.
“We mainly played catch, some Wiffle ball and we played some games,” Healy said.
In 2018, Healy was in the country of Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia teaching baseball on a remote bare field that looked more like a moonscape.
“It was in the middle of nowhere,” Healy said. “You drank water from a river and took cold showers. The kids were all great, and were eager and wanted to learn about baseball.”
If the pandemic situation improves and allows, Healy would like to spend time during a future summer coaching baseball in Israel, among other places of interest.
“I have been lucky. I’ve been to some great places to coach baseball and want to continue doing that,” Healy said.