Player Development is About
Using Your Time and Resources Wisely
If you've read this far pat yourself on the back because we live in an age of instant communication and gratification. Most people scan for the facts and try to extract the most salient points to digest and then form an opinion and move on. If someone else recommends us and you try us without taking the time to educate yourself as to what we are doing and how we do it, then you could miss the value of what we provide. You are about to read about the results of the latest research regarding what it takes to be the best at virtually anything you pursue. Baseball players, just like most athletes, have a relatively small window of time to develop their skills to a high level. It goes by very quickly. If you waste your time on distractions you will never reach your full potential in time to make your high school varsity team, land a college scholarship or even a professional career. It takes time, hard work, perserverance and dedication to develop talent. Money can be borrowed but TIME can never be replaced. You can't focus only on the dollars. You have to focus on the years, the months, the weeks, the days, the hours and the minutes. It's all about mating opportunity with a time when the mind and body are receptive and willing to work.
When Do You Start?
It starts as early as Tee ball. You register, pay your fees and your child gets placed on a team. The team has a volunteer coach or two.... Okay The team has a head coach and two assistants and many more parents who all want their child to play. Each child is treated equally and fairly.....Okay I heard that.... Look, if you don't think your child is getting the same amount of playing time we can discuss this when I'm done writing. Now, the head coach has a little baseball experience and he has worked with his two children to teach them what he knows. The volunteer assistants also fancy themselves as being knowledgeable about baseball.... Between the two assistants they have three more children. The staff alone has 5 players. Let the games begin. By the end of the first week your child is confused. The head coach tells him one way to approach hitting and one assistant insists that he needs to do it another way. The third assistant tells your child he's fine just the way he was. Time out! What just happened?
Folks, at this point you need to have a baseball intervention. First, you are not going to change your coaches opinions so you have to make a decision. How much does your child love baseball? If the answer is "it's his favorite sport" then you need a professional coach (with teaching credentials) who can show your child what works best. Having played some baseball is not the same thing as someone who understands how to instruct. After your child learns the absolutes of the game and incorporates it into his play, he will become more disciplined and more confident. Remember, your child is selecting possibly the most difficult sport to play. It is certainly the sport with the most failure. You only have to get three hits for every 10 at bats to be a super star. Every year a new group of potential hall of fame players begin to navigate the waters and learn how to swim. The game is hard enough. The last thing you need is for someone else to create more obstacles to learning.
Players need to learn how to perform perfectly. Then they have to practice perfectly. It's the quantity and the quality of the practice that makes the difference. We teach our players to practice with a purpose. We don't let players take two bad swings in a row. We stop them at one. The body always reverts back to that which it has done the most. If it's a perfect swing or throw then that's what you will program the body to do when playing. Muscle memory is a confusing term because memory lies in the brain and it's dependent on the central nervous system. As players learn how to master the tools of baseball they learn and relearn what they need on a regular basis to remain at the top of their game. If you can survive the little league experience and still love the game, you have a shot at getting out of your immediate neighborhood to play against some great competition.
How Much, How Soon and How to Do It?
What does that mean? Well, how much means that sometimes just playing games is not as productive as you might believe. Many players choose to play on a team that simply competes in regional or national events. These teams play against others while offering little or no actual personal development. Baseball is a high maintenance sport. The question as to what a young and talented player needs to do to distinguish himself from everyone else is an age old question. It's one that is often misunderstood. Parents have to ask themselves: "Is my young and talented player really ready to be distinguished?" Is it that important that 13 or 14 year old players seek recognition at a national level? Might that be a bit too soon and truthfully, completely irrelevant? Might that be a bit too much? How will that affect him should he fail. All baseball players fail and they do it all the time. The latest research shows that your money would be better invested in serious baseball skill specific training after which you then consider the ambitious travel team experiences which have been put together to compete and impress at a level where scouts and recruiters evaluate and observe. It's better to learn how to hit or pitch like a champion before you embark on a crusade to prove you can do it...
All American travel teams focus on deliberate, perfect, practice while we are in season to help our players evolve and reach their potential. Winning is the result of everybody doing their job well. Our reputation is not based on how many games or tournaments we win. It's based on how well we develop talent. That's what our clients want from us. We use every minute they have available to make them better, rather than testing the waters to see if they might be better. Remember, time is a commodity! There will be a time for you to market your skills to the "school of your choice" as opposed to being recruited by a school just to play baseball. After baseball you will most likely need a career and college is where it begins.
For a partial listing of our numerous Academy Alumni, go to the "Alumni" page. You may know some of these fine student/athletes. These alumni have received many batting, pitching, MVP awards, very generous scholarships, grants, financial aid and professional contracts totaling millions of dollars through their college and professional careers. This number keeps growing exponentially every year. The success of our alumni is a testament to the value of our Academy.
College Recruiting is a Process You Can Master
Since 1998, the Academy has had an incredible success rate, placing hundreds of high school players into college programs which offer them scholarships and grants to play baseball, while getting a great education. We teach the player and his family about the college recruitment process. It's not just about baseball talent. It's about academics, finances, choosing the size and location of a school and how to examine a college program to determine if it is a good match for the player. Parents have to work as hard as their players. Baseball college recruiting is a process that can resemble a roller coaster ride. Once you understand how to master the recruiting process, you can take control and plot your own destiny. Our members do not need a recruiting guru. They don't need a person with "connections." They simply need to answer some important questions and create opportunities.