After completing her four-year playing career (2009-2013) at the University of Arkansas (Fayetteville, Ark.), Cohen was contacted by a coach in Argentina about the possibility of playing and coaching overseas.
She spent a good few years in multiple countries expanding the game of softball, including time in Buenos Aires, Argentina, (2013), with the Dornbirn Sharx in Austria (2014), Walkerville Cats in South Australia (2015-16), Legnano Softball Club in Italy (2016), Zurich Barracudas in Switzerland (2017), Kenfac Phillis in South Africa (2017-18) and Sestese Softball Club in Italy (2018).
Photo: Chelsea pitching for the Walkerville Cats of Adelaide, Australia
Photo: Tyler (catcher) was picked up by a German team to play at Finkstonball in Austria.
He played six months in Auckland, New Zealand, helping the Central City Mariners and assistant coaching the club’s U-15 team, then also spent time in Japan, Australia, Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, South Africa and the Czech Republic.
To start her international career, according to Cohen, it took her some time to come around to the idea of going to a country that she didn’t know, let alone, by herself, and with a language she, at the moment, knew very little of. She had some convincing from family though.
“My oldest brother is actually the one who responded to the opportunity in a way that changed my perspective from scared to ‘Wow! That’s awesome!’,” she said.
“It took time to remove all the fear of the unknown and then, I got really excited.”
When one doesn’t take a chance, there’s usually some wonder remaining, and Cohen said she knew she would always have her curiosity lingering of what she could have missed if she didn’t take the chance to travel internationally to play softball.
“Looking back, I would have missed a lot,” she said.
With such a big jump in her early 20’s, Cohen, like many others who took similar opportunities, had no expectations, just excitement and wonder.
“I didn’t have many expectations going in,” she said.
“I looked at it as three to four months to experience and explore while coaching.”
It didn’t take Cohen long before realizing that back home in the U.S., not much in her career would change, but overseas, she could see the world and continue her career.
So, her decision was made up to explore all she could while also playing as much as she could. Little did she know at that time, she would be elevating her life in the version of finding her partner.
“While I was playing in Europe, a few baseball players I had become friends with were all leaving for Australia and my plans at the time were to head back home and coach at the University of Nevada (Reno, Nev.),” she said.
Cohen found herself having the same dilemma she had at the start of her journey; to be at home, or to travel.
“I was jealous and wanted to chase the summer season with them. I told Clayton Carson to find me a team for the next season and that’s exactly what he did,” Cohen said.
That was the start of her playing career for the Walkerville Cats.
Carson not only was her friend, but he had coaching experience, as well. He was a coach of Tyler Krobetzky and recruited him to play in Australia that same summer Cohen was playing there.
“Once Tyler and I met, we did everything together,” she said.
“We denied dating, but found ourselves planning every adventure together; we just had the same outlook on our experience and wanted to do and see everything.”
At the time, Krobetzky was playing for the Golden Grove Dodgers.
Photo: Tyler playing for the Golden Grove Dodgers of Adelaide, Australia
In their free time, the two would find themselves hiking, eating delicious food and spending time on Australian beaches.
“Often, we would check out our favorite breakfast spot, head to the hills to hike and count koalas or kangaroos. Then, we would catch the sunset at the beach,” she said.
“We would take day trips with all the baseball guys out to the vineyards and go wine tasting or cliff jumping.
“We had a really fun and close crew in Adelaide that summer, and we’re still close friends today.”
Summer in Australia was not the only time Cohen, Krobetzkey and their friends would spend time together. They also traveled together for holidays.
According to Cohen, the group traveled together for Christmas break and the first year, they all went to the city of Gold Coast, then Sydney for New Year’s and hiking in the Blue Mountains to the Whitsunday Islands and snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef.
“At the end of the summer, we took a quick trip to the North Island of New Zealand and in our second year, we spent a week in the South Island of New Zealand traveling in a van,” she said.
“We had an end-of-the-season trip to Bali, as well.”
Photo: Tyler and Chelsea on an African safari.
The year in Australia was just the start for Cohen and Krobetzky. When they moved home, Krobetzky’s father retired and moved to Arizona. That was the start of the two living together.
Cohen said Krobetzky didn’t feel like Arizona was his home, so he joined her in Nevada with her family.
“He played one more season in New Zealand and I had stayed home to start working, so it just made sense at the time (to live like that),” she said.
“There were a few different times throughout our relationship where we did long-distance, but we typically always planned a trip to meet up and continue exploring new places together.”
Cohen said the two of them exploring on their own helped them grow closer together.
Their journey started in the land down under, but it still continues to surprise the two of them today, she said.
“We have some amazing opportunities we can’t say ‘no’ to,” she said.
“Most recently, we moved to Ruston, La. and bought our first home.”
The two of them are coaching at the collegiate level for their careers. Both are assistant softball coaches at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston
Overall, Cohen’s questions she faced before taking her leap overseas were voided the second her opportunities connected her to Krobetzky.
“Making the decision to play overseas helped me grow and mature in so many ways,” she said.
“Most importantly, it gave me perspective to not let fear or money dictate how I live my life.”
She said she can now freely make choices that she said she knows can bring her joy and experiences, even when they seem crazy, like having a great (athletic) career, moving to Louisiana, starting a family and a new career.
“I love the influence other cultures have on my day-to-day life, as well,” she said.
“We keep a little piece of every country we’ve been to with us.”
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