Learn how you can have a more positive impact on each of your players in The Confident Baseball Coach course.

  

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Education is one of the fundamental building blocks of the game. As such, USA Baseball’s educational resources emphasize a culture of development, safety and fun within the sport through free online training courses and programs focused for players, parents, coaches, and umpires. Content is available in both English and Spanish.

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USA Baseball is passionate about protecting the health and safety of all constituents within the game. Through the BASE, SafeSport, and Pitch Smart, and other health and safety initiatives, USA Baseball is working to make the game of baseball a positive and safe experience at all levels of play.

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PLAYER DEVELOPMENT

USA Baseball strives to be a steward of the amateur game through offering cutting edge sport performance analysis and player development. With a focus on physical literacy, fundamental movement skills and advanced performance metrics, the analysis of athletic abilities can help prepare players for their next level of play, wherever that may be.

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 RBI Single Ties the Game
(5/2/2022)
 
 
   


Monday Manager
By Tom Succow


In this edition of Monday Manager, four-time USA Baseball coaching alum Tom Succow reviews an RBI single that ties the game.


Tom Succow is currently the assistant coach at Yavapai College in Prescott, Arizona. In 2017, Succow retired as the Head Baseball Coach at Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix, Arizona, after 42 years at the helm. Succow accumulated over 700 wins during his tenure, as well as a state championship in 2006 and three state runner-up honors in 1982, 2007 and 2012. Succow is a four-time USA Baseball coaching alum, including an assistant coaching position with the 2003 16U National Team, which won the gold medal in the International Baseball Federation AA World Youth Championships in Taiwan. Succow was honored by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) as National Coach of the Year in 2007 and is a member of four Halls of Fames, being inducted into the Arizona Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2003, the Brophy Hall of Fame in 2007, the National High School Baseball Coaches Association (BCA) Hall of Fame in 2013, and the Arizona High School Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame in 2016.


 Dress
(4/28/2022)
 
 
   


Signs parents should look for to help an athlete decide when it's time to pivot


As parents and as coaches, we often understand that there's value in pursuing a goal, even when it seems unattainable. Every hero's journey encounters some moment of adversity, some chance that they won't reach their goal. And even losing out on a goal has value because it instills resilience.

But at some point, there's also value in pivoting and setting new goals. "In general, we only tell stories of perseverance,” notes TrueSport Expert, family physician, and resiliency guru Dr. Deborah Gilboa. “You hear about athletes who persevere through years of struggle, and finally succeed, but that can be a damaging perspective. To say that perseverance is always the answer, that perseverance towards achievement is always the best or right path, simply isn't true. Resilience means navigating change and coming through it as the kind of person you want to be. And if the only kind of person your child wants to be is a winner, that's a problem because then persevering towards achievement is the only option. And on that path, you have to recognize the risk of permanent damage."

Here, Gilboa shares the signs parents should look for to help an athlete decide when it's time to pivot.

1. Danger, not discomfort
Kids need to hone the skill of differentiating between danger and discomfort, says Gilboa. That means knowing if pursuit of a goal is uncomfortable, or if it could be harmful to their physical or mental health. "This is what Simone Biles showed at the Tokyo Games when she decided not to compete in certain events," Gilboa explains. "She wasn't dealing with tremendous discomfort. She was in danger. We ask and expect our young athletes to figure out how to manage discomfort, and yes, that will serve them incredibly well. The more discomfort they know how to manage successfully, the better. That will help them towards their goal. But if we do not teach them the skill of differentiating between tremendously uncomfortable and actually dangerous, then we do not allow them to protect their own safety."

2. Yellow warning flags
"Unfortunately, many kids will not have the maturity and the wisdom to figure out when they are in a dangerous situation, so it’s our job to keep an eye out for the yellow flags, not just the red flags," Gilboa says. "Red flags are more obvious: a child isn't eating, he's not speaking to you often, her grades are plummeting. But the yellow flags are subtle. One of the things that adults can do is to literally make a list of the behaviors that a child starts doing or stops doing when they're beginning to have a hard time. For one of my kids, he starts sleeping through his alarm. For my other kid, he starts losing stuff. What signs does your child show when he's just starting to struggle?"

3. A desire to quit
If your child is feeling upset that they won't hit a major goal and is ready to give up the sport entirely as a result, that's normal, but suggest that before they pivot away from sport entirely, they take a break first. "Remember that developmentally, young athletes tend to think in binary ways: I quit, or I don't. But there is almost always a whole list of other options," says Gilboa. "So, look for ways to hit pause instead of stop. Simone Biles did not hit stop. She hit a really dramatic pause. She didn't leave Tokyo. She didn't even leave the mat. She stayed there, she became coach and cheerleader for her teammates, and she competed in another individual event days later, as it turned out. She hit pause and continued to behave as the kind of person she wanted to be."

Takeaway
Understand that no goal is more important than your athlete's happiness as a human. "Together, you and your athlete have to figure out what their big picture goals are. Winning should only be a small part of them, because the damage of winning at all costs is fairly self-evident," Gilboa says. "The long-term goal should be about the person your child wants to become, with strong values and convictions. Imagine raising a child who, no matter what obstacles life throws them on the way towards their achievements, can continue to be the kind of person you and they want them to be."


TrueSport®, a movement powered by the experience and values of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, champions the positive values and life lessons learned through youth sport. TrueSport® inspires athletes, coaches, parents, and administrators to change the culture of youth sport through active engagement and thoughtful curriculum based on cornerstone lessons of sportsmanship, character-building, and clean and healthy performance, by creating leaders across communities through sport.


 How to Correctly Use the Tee
(4/27/2022)
 
 
   


Cuddyer's Corner
By Michael Cuddyer


Former Major Leaguer Michael Cuddyer discusses how utilize the tee properly and maximize batting practice. To have your questions answered by Michael Cuddyer, submit them using #USABMailbag on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.


Michael Cuddyer is a 15-year MLB veteran and two-time All-Star, spending his career playing for the Minnesota Twins, Colorado Rockies and the New York Mets. A member of the USA Baseball 18U National Team in 1996 and 1997, Cuddyer was then named the 1997 Virginia Player of the Year, Gatorade National Player of the Year, and was a member of USA Today’s All-Star team. He was selected ninth overall in the 1997 MLB Amateur Player Draft by the Minnesota Twins.


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