At Slammers, our goal is to develop players, to maximize their potential in baseball, and to see growth along the way for each age appropriate level. We do this through a defined program that will include instruction on various levels to ensure development and progression of their skills and game knowledge. Our program offers indoor instruction 2-3 times a week from a highly qualified staff of former players (high school, junior college, college, MLB Players, and active MLB Scouts) which focuses on hitting techniques, pitching instruction and repetition, and fielding. The experience of these instructors is second to none. We integrate a strength and conditioning program that addresses the physical needs of the players that are age appropriate.
The other half of the player’s development will be associated with the coaches and team practices that will occur 1-3 times a week. Coach lead practices will be more focused on situational play and strategies that the players will encounter in games. Finally, our teams have free access to batting cages and tunnels to practice on their own. Player development will be measured in various means. Obviously wins and losses is a gauge, but that will not be the only gauge. As baseball is truly a game of managing and mitigating your failures, a part of our approach is to help the athletes understand and deal with the other 0.700 that they do not hit the ball, and how to learn from losses. Players’ technical development will be measured using video software that helps analyze their batting swings and pitching mechanics, and allows us to demonstrate improvements with visual support to the player.
Game aptitude and situational knowledge will be observed over the season during the outdoor practices and games (regardless of the scoreboard outcome). Additionally, we will have a director of coaching that will attend a minimum of 3 practices and 1 game throughout the year to evaluate and provide feedback to the coaches to ensure the teams are reaching the Slammers’ expectations and assist them in their own growth and leadership.
Our expectations for our players and teams will also be outlined at the beginning of each year, and reinforced throughout the season. That can only be realized if our organization (from the owners, to the board, to the instructors, to the coaches, to the players, and most importantly with parents) provides a positive and supportive team environment. Encouragement and positive responses to success are great, but are considered a must when we fail. Players’ inability to control their emotions or tempers will not be tolerated and will be addressed by the coaches and organization that will range in age appropriate responses that may include sitting innings or games. Listening, learning, practicing and repetition will be essential to their success.
From the parents, we will keep our list of expectations short — but, they will likely be the most difficult part of the puzzle for your child’s success. Financial responsibility is the foundation, but sportsmanship is the key. We all want the best for our children, and when your kids are a part of our organization, they are a part of our family. Slammers will only be successful through positive encouragement of the players, coaches, and organization. We will not allow parent coaching during games, and will highly recommend that car ride coaching is left to a minimum. Allow your child to develop a passion for the game, learn from the coaches and instructors, and have your support and encouragement. While there are specific rules that govern the umpires, our own imposed rules regarding parent negativity or intervention towards any Slammers players, opponents, or game umpires will be on a shorter wick and will be dealt with sternly (ranging from reduced player time to restricted parent attendance). This will be managed by our coaches and board of directors.
We encourage communication — it is vital to all of our successes. Slammers has defined a communication chain to address and support any issues. We will obviously welcome positive feedback and suggestions. We will also provide avenues to address parent issues and concerns. Typical escalation will first be to the coach, then to the director of coaching, then to the board of directors. Escalations can only occur if the prior party is aware of the issue but has not adequately addressed the issue, and is given the courtesy notification that the next level will be asked to consider the issues.
The long term benefit of choosing our organization will offer the athlete terrific development that will be combined with state of the art facilities to be completed by 2013, where Slammers will have outdoor fields and an indoor facility at the Sterling Ranch Sports Village. We hope that your involvement in our youth program will lead to opportunities to play on Connie Mack National Teams, high school teams, and may even lead to college and beyond.
Slammers wants to provide an uplifting and inspirational experience for all players involved in our program. We teach the fundamentals of the game of baseball. We build each player’s confidence and self-esteem through practice and competition, while demanding sportsmanship. We will also hold high expectations for all players to demonstrate values that Slammers believes are important in sports and life; values such as loyalty, integrity, and hard work. Slammers will educate parents and coaches of the tremendous responsibility they have on these young players’ lives and the responsibility they have in their development as students and athletes. Youth players need to understand the importance of schoolwork and getting good grades. We stress to our high school players that colleges look at G.P.A. and A.C.T. scores as closely as their athletic skills. The players in the Slammers youth program will be given the same comprehensive training program that our High School Select and Advanced programs use. Each player in this program will get the highest level of instruction from our professional instructors. We also incorporate strength & conditioning into this program.
We hope you share in our vision and chose to be a part of our baseball family.