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Equipment Day 2013 –Bats, Gloves, and (Any other type of baseball/softball equipment), Oh My!

Check Presentation at the San Francisco Giants Junior Giants Glove Drive/Equipment Day Collection

Check Presentation at the 2013 San Francisco Giants Junior Giants Glove Drive/Equipment Day Collection

The memory of picking up your first baseball or softball glove or bat stays with most kids for the rest of their lives. It’s both very exciting and very nerve-wracking. Regardless of if you were the team MVP, the next Major Leaguer, or simply the most enthusiastic teammate, the ability to have the required equipment to play and be safe was the first step.

The Baseball Tomorrow Fund strives to grow the games of baseball and softball throughout the world and expose more kids the most wonderful sport (at least in our opinion). The Equipment Day program started in 2005 and is facilitated by the Baseball Tomorrow Fund in partnership with the Major League Baseball Clubs. Equipment Day collections are held at Major League ballparks around the country to collect new and used baseball and softball equipment to donate to children in the community. In addition, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund donates $5,000 to a local youth organization of the Clubs’ choice. To date, over 100,000 pieces of equipment and approximately $1,550,000 in total monetary donations have benefited organizations in need.

An excited fan at the Boston Red Sox's Equipment Day Drive in 2012

An excited fan at the Boston Red Sox’s Equipment Day Collection in 2012

Baseball season is officially underway and we’re thrilled to be in the ninth year of BTF/MLB Equipment Day, with nearly every club hosting an Equipment Day during the 2013 season. Player Ambassadors from each team are showing their support by promoting the collections through social media and taking part in a special check presentation at the park.  MLB Fan Cave Dwellers have also been promoting the initiative to their loyal followers, emphasizing the importance of helping their own communities.

Follow this link to find out when your Club is hosting Equipment Day. Dates will be added throughout the season, so don’t fret if your favorite team doesn’t have a date listed just yet.

When you donate an item to one of the Equipment Day collections at a Major League park, you are giving a child the chance to create memories, be active, learn life skills, and just have fun (…and likely skin a couple knees and procure a few grass stains on a nice white t-shirt, but I digress).

Visit the BTF FacebookTwitter and Website pages.

A great collection of photos from the Atlanta Braves' 2013 Equipment Day Collection.

A great collection of photos from the Atlanta Braves’ 2013 Equipment Day Collection.

Keeping It All In: Tips for Developing a Successful Indoor Practice Facility

A carefully planned and well-designed indoor practice facility can be a great enhancement to your youth baseball and softball organization. The benefits of such facilities are vast: they are weather-proof, can cut down on field maintenance costs, can be multipurpose, and can even maximize your practice time.

BTF collected some of the best advice from our community partners to share with you:

-Central: Central to the community is ideal
-Promotion: Remind people that you’re there!
-Access: Locate a facility near your field(s) for quick access

Layout and Equipment
-Safety: Always the top concern when determining layout and equipment needs
-Maintenance: Proper maintenance of pitching machines is important for safety and the longevity of your equipment – do not allow coaches or parents to adjust any machinery
-Maximize: Use drop down nets as opposed to securing netting to the floor. This will help you demonstrate fielding techniques and fundamentals more easily
-Divide: Consider dividing your facility into different sections by netting; you can simultaneously use different sections for batting and pitching/hitting, and can also pull all of the sections back for a wide-open space.

Safety Measures
-First Aid: Always have the proper First Aid equipment readily available. Post signs throughout the facility to note where it’s located
-Training: All employees should have proper First Aid and CPR training
-Supervision: Always have trained adult supervision
-Enforcement: Establish and enforce safety rules and regulations; post these on signs throughout the facility

Security and Maintenance
-System: Establish a security system and process; employees must be educated on how to open and close the facility.
-Windows: Consider shatter-resistant plexiglass windows, both for keeping unwanted guests out and for protecting against an accidental bat or baseball

Scheduling Facility Use & Establishing Capacity
-Age: Keep in mind that capacities may vary by age groups being served
-Overlapping: Avoid overlapping age groups/divisions in the facility – more techniques can be addressed when serving one specific age

Waivers & Liability Consideration
-Waiver: Everyone using the facility must sign a waiver prior to any participation
-Insurance: Ensure that all insurance policies use language specific to indoor baseball/softball

Non-Practice Use
-Variety: Team registration, try-outs, team photos, community meetings, coaches’ clinics, and administrative and organizational meetings are all great ways to use your facility outside of practice
-Renting: If it aligns with your agency protocol and insurance coverage, consider renting out your facility to add an additional revenue stream and increase community awareness

The South Africa Baseball Union indoor facility - partially funded with a BTF grant - divides  the space using drop down netting.

The South Africa Baseball Union indoor facility – partially funded with a BTF grant – divides the space using drop down netting.

More tips? Add them in the comments below or please tweet facts and links to @btftoday.

Visit the BTF Facebook, Twitter and Website pages.

Measurable Results

ImageIt is a commonly accepted view that youth programs and extra-circular activities positively influence the lives of those who participate.  The Baseball Tomorrow Fund strives to support and perpetuate this reality by providing the foundation for youth baseball and softball programs:  the playing fields, equipment, uniforms and other essentials.  For BTF, it’s all about giving kids the chance to play and providing help to those who make it happen.  Although BTF may not rely on statistics regarding the indirect impact of the grants given, the insightful words of recipients best demonstrates the impact of BTF: 

“… I was moved into tears realizing how difficult and rewarding this project has been, for myself and so many kids in our community. We could never have done so much in so little time without your support…I will never forget what this grant has done.” – Qubie Vazquez, Tripark Little League

“I want to thank you again for this great opportunity that the Baseball Tomorrow Fund has given our organization.  I would be understating the excitement level when I gave the Board of Directors the good news…several OH MY Gods, multiple Whoopee’s, and a few tears.“ – Rich Downs, Baseball Parents Inc.

“The field has given great service in this first year and continues to be the pride of the neighborhood, the delight of coaches and students and the envy of those for whom it is not a home field…“ – Brother Patrick Sean Moffett, Archbishop Curley Notre Dame Prep


Outputs vs. Outcomes

In the world of non-profit and philanthropy, much is discussed about the difference between “outputs” and “outcomes.”  As you think about the goals and measurable results of your organization, think about the definitions of these terms as they relate to non-profits:

For a non-profit, outputs are the activities done by the organization.  For example, a youth baseball league might provide three coaches training seminars for 50 coaches throughout the season.  A league may provide opportunities to 200 players per year.

Outcomes are the reasons why an organization engages in activities.  A non-profit youth agency may organize youth baseball teams to increase the physical activity of the kids it serves.  

Outputs should be easy to measure, but outcomes may be more difficult.  For example, if one of the desired outcomes of your league is to improve children’s grades in school, will your organization have the access and capacity to measure this outcome?  How will your organization show that participation in the league directly affected grades?  

Ideas to consider when asked for organizational goals by a potential donor or grant-making organization.  What are examples of an output and an outcome for your youth baseball and softball program?  We want to hear from you!





The holidays are upon us!

Holiday Wish List

The holidays are upon us! We are in the holiday spirit here at BTF, so we’ve decided to create a wish list (and check it twice) of common needs of non-profit organizations that support youth baseball and softball.

What will make your program more successful in 2013?

  1. Better field conditions – No skilled field maintenance contact or crew to beautify your field? Download the free Field Maintenance Guide on BTF’s website for a general reference guide for the maintenance of a baseball or softball field of facility. Also, check out the SportsTurfManagement website often to receive solid advice and resources for maintaining fields on all budgets.
  2. Access to more night games – Did you know BTF provides grants for field lighting? For more information, review the requirements for projects selected to receive grant funds for field lighting here.  
  3. More volunteers and parent involvement – Check out tips from the Girls Scouts of America on recruiting valuable volunteers.
  4. More equipment and uniforms – Need the funds for more equipment, uniforms and travel exepnses? Guidestar offers 10 Fundraising Tips that might help you raise the dough for next season’s gear.
  5. Access to coaches training – A knowledgeable coach is a valuable resource for every youth league. For access to coaching resources, sign up and review the Little League Coach Resource Center.

Do you have more resources to share? If so, please tweet facts and links to @BTFToday.

How to Plan a Successful Media Event

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You have a new program or facility, and you want everyone to know about it!   Plan a media event to make your announcement, show off your new facility, thank your major donors or woe potential contributors.

A successful media event is a collaborative effort between the newsmaker (YOU) and the reporters.  The newsmaker says something and does something.  The reporters must understand what is to be said and what is to be done so they can piece it together for the 60 to 90 seconds of coverage you may get on the news or picture in the paper.

Here you have two challenges.  First, some reporters cover everything from fires, to city council, to the circus coming to town.  Second, the reporter is not subject to your direction.  Still, you can usually get them to cover your story your way it if meets these three requirements:

  1. Is it clearly explained?
  2. Does it have news/entertainment value?
  3. Is it easier than anything else they might do instead?

Remember to explain - Through phone calls, media advisories, and news releases you convey to the reporters what the story is and how you want it told.  Your reputation and your relationship with reporters, as well as your skill in the mechanics of media, encourages them to cover your story the way you want it covered.  This is the plan for creating a successful media event.

Start with a vision

Before you do anything else, you should decide what image you want to portray to the media through the media event.  The vision you develop for the image will be key in helping bring together the rest of the pieces necessary to hold a successful media event.

Know your picture and know your headline

To plan any successful media event, you should be able to describe the picture you want on TV or in the newspaper.  You should also be able to write the headline you are trying to get.  All your planning goes toward getting that picture and that headline.

Careful advance of the picture

Be careful of the venue you choose for the photo opportunities.  It should be consistent with your vision and portray a friendly place.  Be sure your organization’s signage is visible and there are no distracting visuals in the background.  Also be sure there is enough room for media and participants to be staged to get the appropriate scene or picture.

Be prepared

Although it is more difficult to deal with the many possibilities that real people may present in your media event, you want to try to prepare people for the press and photographers.

Make the most of opportunities

Do a little research on the people at your media event site.  Perhaps there’s a special anniversary or birthday or honor being given to someone.  You can make the most of this opportunity by incorporating it into your event.

Remarks authentic to the occasion

Make sure your remarks have a direct relevance to the audience, occasion and community.

Holding a successful media event can be almost painless if you do a little bit of planning and a little bit of advance work to ensure that you have everything that you can control, under control.

Media Event Checklist

In an effort to assist your organization to plan a successful public relations event to promote your program, use this Media Event Checklist as a starting point and/or template:  Media Event Checklist

For ribbon-cutting, groundbreaking ceremonies and field dedications:

  • Oversized ribbon or bow
  • Oversized scissors
  • Oversized “check”
  • Shovel(s)


Microsoft Word or other word processing programs have colorful and helpful free templates available.

If you have a database of e-mail addresses, consider an electronic invitation.  “Save the Date” emails and reminders are also a good practice.

Potential Invitees:

  • Volunteers
  • Beneficiaries (i.e. children served, parents,members, etc.)
  • Local dignitaries and government officials (Mayor, City Council members, Chamber of Commerce, Superintendent of Schools, Board of Education Members, State Senator, Congressperson, etc.)
  • Program sponsors
  • Representatives from partner organizations
  • Individual donors
  • Prospective donors, both individuals and businesses

Check back here weekly for more advice regarding the BTF grant application process and other resource information related to youth baseball and softball programs and facilities.  Also, follow BTF on Twitter @btftoday for daily updates and ideas from people and organizations in the world of sports and philanthropy.

Good luck!

Pod-Cast: Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are heading into the long Thanksgiving Day weekend and wanted to wish everyone a safe and wonderful holiday.

It is often this time of year that we take time to reflect on what are grateful for and that which we want to give thanks for. The Baseball Tomorrow Fund has much to be grateful for, but that’s a whole other story.

We want to take this blogspace to thank the often unsung heroes of youth sports; volunteers. Volunteers can range from parents and coaches to those manning the concession stands, organizing carpool, directing tournaments and giving their time in any way needed. Regardless of their role, without these volunteers it would be difficult for most youth leagues to survive and thrive.

Below are a few pointers from our friends at the Girl Scouts of America on how to attract valuable volunteers:

  1. Be specific. Tell people what you want them to do before you recruit them.
  2. Be honest. Confirm the time and effort the role will entail.  
  3. Define the situation. Provide information regarding any training, supervision and support.  
  4. Identify the positives.
  5. Just ask – send out a blast email, reach out to your local college or high school, ask your neighbors, post fliers or call those in your address book.

Hopefully these tips will help you recruit volunteers as you prepare for the spring sports season.

Thank you for your continued support of youth baseball and softball and Happy Thanksgiving!

Visit the BTF Facebook, Twitter and Website pages.

Grant Applications 101: Budgets

Most grant applications will ask the applicant for budget information such as the annual organizational budget and project budget.  This information provides important information to the grant-making organization:

  • the “health”  and likely sustainability of an applicant
  • how a proposed grant will be used
  • the feasibility of the project (or likelihood that a project will be accomplished successfully)
  • the other funds and funders that are committed to the project or operation of an applicant

It is important that an applicant know the following information before it attempts to complete a grant application:

  1. The annual operating budget of the applicant (i.e. a statement of revenue, operating expenses, net profit/loss.)
  2. The applicant’s annual operating budget for the program or facility related to the grant request.
  3. The main sources of funding (i.e. revenue, donations, grants) the applicant relies on for its operation as well as specific programs or facilities.
  4. How the applicant spends it’s funding each year (i.e. operating expenses.)
  5. How much the proposed project (for which the grant request is intended) will cost.
  6. How much cash is currently available for the proposed project.
  7. How much in-kind funding (i.e. donated labor, materials, services, supplies) is currently available for the proposed project.
  8. Other organizations that have been asked for cash and in-kind funding for the proposed project, the status of the funding and the value.

Even small organizations with limited financial resources should develop a written budget.  Find free operating budget templates on the Internet to get started.  Think about the items your organization spends money on each year and from where the money comes.

For the Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF) grant application, the Budget Summary and Detailed Project Budget must be completed properly and completely.  Improper or incomplete budget information, such as not using the form provided in the application or modifying the form, will result in a delay in the evaluation process and possibly an automatic rejection.

A list of common sources of revenue and operating expenses for youth baseball and softball programs are as follows:

Player Registration Fees
Concessions/Merchandise Sales Proceeds
Fundraising Event Proceeds
Operating Expenses
Umpires Wages
Coaches Wages
Equipment and Supplies
Fundraising Expenses
Field and Facility Rental
League Dues
Tournament Fees
Field Maintenance Staffing or Services
Field Maintenance Materials and Supplies
Field Maintenance Equipment and Repairs
Legal Fees
Other Professional Fees
Office Supplies
Postage and Shipping
Loan Payment or Mortgage
Telephone or other Office Expenses

Another tip related to budgeting:  keep copies of receipts for all expenditures and donations or payments made to your organization!  This documentation will help you develop a budget for next year.

Check back here weekly for more advice regarding the BTF grant application process and other resource information related to youth baseball and softball programs and facilities.  Also, follow BTF on Twitter @btftoday for daily updates and ideas from people and organizations in the world of sports and philanthropy.

BTF’s 10 Questions for Rainer Husty, President of the Austrian Baseball Federation

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Photo Credits – BTF and Simon Breitwieser

In 2011, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund awarded a $104,000 USD grant to the Austrian Baseball Federation (ABF)  for the construction of a youth baseball field in Attnang-Puccheim, Austria.

The field now serves the local school and league programs offered by the Athletics Baseball Club, a member of the ABF.

Rainer Husty, President of the Austrian Baseball Federation, attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 1, 2012.

Rainer’s Bio:

Born:  Vienna Austria  28.04.1959

Personal: Married to Erika, 2 Children:  Benjamin 24 and Caroline 21

Education: High school for Chemical Industrie

Worked for 12 years as a food inspector for the city government of Vienna.  After this for 15 Years as a district manager of the 7th district in Vienna.  From 2006 til 2011 secretary of Sport for the Vienna Sportrooforganisation ASKOE.  Currently,  Chief Executive President of the Austrian Basball Federation.

1997 started as a volunteer in the Baseballclub Vienna Wanderers

2001 Elected as President of the Vienna Baseball Federation

2007 elected as president of the Austrian Baseball Federation

2010 elected as member at large on the board of CEB (European Baseball Federation)

BTF:  How and when did you become interested in and get involved with baseball?

Rainer:  I got interested when I was 14 years old, first time visiting the United states.  But I really got involved when my son started playing in 1997.  I started volunteering for Baseballclub Vienna Wanderers in the year 2001.

BTF:  Which MLB stadiums have you watched a game?  Do you have a favorite?  Which would you love to visit?

Rainer:  (I have watched games in) Cleveland, Chicago (Wrigley & US Cellular), Cincinnati and St.Louis.  Favorite Stadium: Cleveland.  I would like to visit Fenway Park (Boston).

BTF:  What was the biggest challenge during the construction project in Attnang-Puchheim?

Rainer:  The biggest challenge was to finish the whole project in this short time frame, especially fighting against the different weather conditions.

BTF:  How has the completion of the project affected your program, locally and nationally?

Rainer:  Locally it is a big infrastructural improvement for the youth program in this area.  Combined with the Austrian Baseball Academy (Central), we expect an increase of youth players in this region. I will help raise the level of play for all participating players.

BTF:  Other than the Athletics Baseball Sports Complex in Attnang-Puchheim, what other baseball facilities are available in Austria?

Rainer:  There are baseball fields in the following cities, Donrbirn, Hard, Feldkirch (Voralrberg), Kustein, Schwaz (Tirol), Klagenfurt(Carinthia), Graz(Styria), Rohrbach(Burgenland), Grammastetten, Linz, Wels, (UpperAustria), Schrems, Stockerau,Wr.Neustadt, Schwechat, Traiskirchen, Tulln, St.Pölten,(Lower Austria), Spenadlwiese Vienna and Freudenau Vienna.  All these fields are in different configurations. There are fields with flood lights (Spenadlwiese, Wr.Neustadt,) and extra youth fields (Spenadlwiese, Wr.Neustadt).  Some are very simple implemented in other sport complexes.

BTF:  What agencies, organizations or companies are your biggest supporters?

Rainer:  The national sport authority, Sport ministery of Austria.

BTF:  What is the biggest challenge for the Austrian Baseball Federation?

Rainer:  Improvement of the infrastructure all over the country, adapt the different standards.  It demands big financial commitment.

BTF:  What’s next for your organization?

Rainer:  Organize and conduct televised games for the 1st Baseball league, National team games, and youth tournaments. This should help us generate interest for sponsors, to raise more money for clubs and the federation.

BTF:  What message do you have for other baseball organizations in regions where baseball is not well-known?

Rainer:  Consequent engagement in a youth program is the best way to make baseball known and generate interest and popularity.

BTF:  What’s your prediction for next year’s World Baseball Classic?

Rainer:  I hope a European country wins. It will help Europe’s baseball popularity.

Grant Applications 101: The Project Timeline

The grant application and decision-making process is not an overnight proposition.  It takes time for an applicant to plan an effective project and write a complete grant application.  It also takes time for the grant-making organization to evaluate all of the requests, complete the due-diligence process, conduct a Board meeting and process grant payments.

At the Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF), we must automatically decline a request if the proposed timeline of a project conflicts with the current review cycle.  BTF grant funds are not awarded for past expenditures, so applicants are encouraged to leave a cushion of time between the complete grant application process and the start date of a proposed project.  Depending on when the letter of inquiry and application are submitted, the BTF review process takes 3-6 months.  If a grant is awarded for your project, the grant payment process is at least four weeks.

For example, if you plan to begin a project (i.e. a field renovation, purchase equipment, etc.) in April and plan to use a BTF grant to do so, you should not wait to apply for the January-March review cycle to apply because grant awards will not be determined until an unknown date in April.  If your organization is awarded a grant, grant funds will not be disbursed until the end of May, at the earliest.  This timeline is the same for all review cycles, noted below.  (The following application deadlines are for BTF applications only.  Letters of inquiry may be submitted at anytime; however, please allow four weeks for the review of a letter of inquiry.)

BTF Grant Review Process Timeline

Review Cycle Application Deadline Grants Awarded Grant Payments Disbursed

1 January




1 April




1 July




1 October



Once you plan your project and determine the best review cycle to apply, you will need to develop a detailed, realistic timeline for the proposed project.  Common delays such as inclement weather, a bid process, permit process, internal administrative processes, etc. should be taken into consideration and included in the timeline.  If a Baseball Tomorrow Fund grant is awarded for your project, the deadline to use the grant funds will be based on the timeline in the application.  Once a grant is awarded, requests for deadline extensions are rarely approved.  Please note:  in our experience, most projects take longer than expected.

Remember:  develop a detailed project plan, assume delays and leave a cushion of time.

Check back here weekly for more advice regarding the BTF grant application process and other resource information related to youth baseball and softball programs and facilities.  Also, follow BTF on Twitter @btftoday for daily updates and ideas from people and organizations in the world of sports and philanthropy.

BTF Opens Its Archives: Organizing Off-Season Clinics

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Even though your season may be over, kids can still improve their game. Through baseball and softball clinics, they can continue to hone their skills and even learn some new ones! If your youth baseball or softball program hasn’t conducted clinics in the past, or if you would like to improve an existing clinic, this story is for you.  Several years ago, BTF spoke with Matt Bennett, long-time MLB community relations professional, and Ryan Bevans of the MLB Players Alumni Association about how to run youth clinics.

How long have each of you been organizing youth clinics?

Ryan Bevans: The Legends for Youth Program has been in existence for about eleven years. I took over the program in August of 2007.

Matt Bennett: Fourteen years. Before working with the Angels, I organized clinics for both the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland A’s.

How many youth clinics have you organized?

RB: Nationwide, we ran 34 clinics in 2007 and the program will host over 40 free youth baseball events this year.

MB: Approximately 70, between the three Clubs.

How do you promote your clinics?

RB: We send out invitations to individuals on the e-mail distribution list. This allows us to control the size of our promotions and focus them geographically.

MB: Through the Angels website and community calendar.
We also pass out flyers at local parks.

What are the basic logistics of a skills clinic?

RB: All participants are grouped by age and go through 7-10 stations covering hitting, batting, fielding, pitching, etc. The on-field activities last for two hours and are followed by an autograph session for the kids.

MB: It depends on the number of kids. We’ve had as little as 100 and as many as 500 or 600. Based on the number, it determines whether it’s hands-on or a lecture. Since our clinics are open to the public and don’t require pre-registration, we are always prepared for both formats.

How to do you keep it organized?

RB: Over the years, we’ve developed a very efficient system for keeping things organized and running smoothly. This is a good thing because I’m usually the only event coordinator present at these clinics. We have also recently implemented an online registration system that automatically logs our participant information for us.

MB: Keep it on schedule. The biggest thing for us is tailor it to the number of kids that are there. We develop a schedule beforehand and we really keep to it.

What do you think is the optimal ratio of children per coach?

RB: We’ve found that a 15 child/coach ration is optimal for our system. It allows for each child to receive personal instruction while also keeping activity at a level that minimizes “down time” in the group.

MB: It depends. For interactive stations, with each child participating in drills, throwing etc, I would say 12 children to 1 coach. For most of our clinics, we work more with speaking and demonstration as opposed to hands on with each child. This allows for a greater number of kids to participate.

What elements are essential to include in a skills clinic?

RB: Fun, activity, and more fun. Keeping the kids active and in a positive mindset is the key to a successful event. If the children have too much “downtime” then the instructors will lose their attention, and it will ultimately affect the flow of the clinic. Keeping them engaged and active in fun exercises is something we stress.

MB: For us, it’s really important to have players attend. It’s also important to keep the instruction at the level of the kids experience.

Do you find that special training equipment is helpful? If so, what?

RB: We have found that some training equipment can be very helpful, if it is available. We aren’t able to travel with much equipment, but batting tees and other batting training tools seem to have the biggest impact on a clinic if available for use.

MB: I’ve found that most of the time we do not do batting, based on the number of kids we have, so we don’t necessarily use any special equipment. We like to use soft practice balls. It feels like a baseball and looks like a baseball, but if it hits someone, it’s not going to hurt.

What is the best way to teach kids at different skill levels? How do you make sure they are all learning something new?

RB: We try to handle this by grouping children by age groups. From there, it’s usually up to the judgment of our instructors as they observe the participants doing the drills. The focus of our clinic program is made very clear from the beginning of event planning. We’re going to focus on fundamentals and we’re going to make sure that it’s a fun event for everyone. With only a two hour window for activity, there’s only so much we can do from a “baseball instruction” standpoint.

MB: The easiest, most effective way is to simply break the larger group up by ages.

How do indoor and outdoor clinics differ? What are the advantages and disadvantages of both?

RB: Indoor clinics don’t allow for as much activity and they’re often far more restricted in space. Obviously, the advantage is that weather isn’t an issue, but our events run much more effectively at an outdoor venue.

Do you have any basic tips or advice for newcomers to youth clinics or for those looking to improve upon existing clinics?

RB: Our advice would be to set up a group of “core values” for your program that correspond with the goals you’re seeking to accomplish. We focus on having fun, practicing good life skills, and respect for the game. We simply use baseball activity to achieve these values because it’s what our members/instructors know best, and is the best way for us to positively promote the game of baseball. If we can ensure that a child is having a fun and positive experience on a baseball field where they receive reinforcement on the right way to do things, then we know we’ve given them something to take away from that and use later on.

MB: Be sure to work with the skills of the instructors. We have involved alumni players to assist current players as many of the alumni are more comfortable in speaking to groups and instructing.


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