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The 7th Annual Atlanta Braves Youth Baseball Classic presented by Bank of America was recently held at Wills Park in Alpharetta, GA on July 17-19. Thanks to the help from various volunteers from Bank of America, the Braves 400 Club, and Braves gameday staff, play started on Friday night under the lights.
The rest of the afternoon consisted of teams finishing up their pool play games in hopes of being the highest seed possible for Sunday’s championship brackets.
The on-field ceremony took place next with Bank of America SVP Cheryl Lomax, and several lucky Classic participants. Sunday started early again “under the lights.” The rest of the day, we inched closer towards the championships in each age division. During the first month of the Major League baseball season, seventeen MLB pitchers had (or will soon be having) their ulnar collateral ligament in their pitching arm reconstructed surgically.
You’d think that Major League Baseball teams, profitable businesses all worth hundreds of millions of dollars, would protect their most valuable assets, ones that have the most influence on whether they win or lose.
MLB coaches and executives say it’s because of overuse at younger ages, lack of a good “lifting” program, poor mechanics, and lots of other reasons that have varying levels of truth to them.
Here are some principles that may help you avoid the plague of Tommy John surgery for your pitchers.
Strengthening the surrounding muscles and tissues with exercises helps them take on the workload of throwing. Performing movements or exercises that give your joints greater freedom of movement then the energy you create be transferred more efficiently. All youth league baseball seasons have begun, even in the most northern areas of the country.
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity; that’s a quote from an ancient Roman philosopher named Seneca.
I really appreciate all of the interest and energy so many of you put into the Tips from the Coach Brainteaser Challenge. With physical education programs slowly fading away, and an overemphasis on playing games, young athletes are not ready to meet  the physical demands.
I have worked with hundreds of young athletes that do not have the ability to perform basic movements with proper technique or control, yet are being asked to play competitive sports almost year round. Whether it be push ups, pull ups, squats, planks or lunges, many of them lack the stability, or even the body awareness, to perform them properly. It’s no wonder why so many of these athletes fall short of their potential or spend half of the season injured. A lack of physical preparedness can lead to several types of injuries as games and repetitions accumulate. THINK About This: Your Son recently rolled his ankle at practice and you go out an buy him an ankle brace. It’s true that youth baseball players are not playing with the same velocity or intensity as a mature, high level player. Because of this, young athletes need to make sure that their body is stable enough to perform these activities.
In the beginning, performing body-weight movements several times per week, and then eventually progressing into loaded movements is sufficient for the athlete to become a better player. As they become stronger, and more stable, you will see an increase in the potential for power, as well as lower injury rates. In the end, the key to developing the athlete properly is through an honest assessment of where the athlete is and then programming appropriately. A 14 year old player is not ready to follow the programming of Alex Rodriguez or Justin Verlander. Lantz is the leader in pitching information today and his programs are a sincere resource for my staffs at MSU. Lantz is out in front of some cutting edge teaching methods and the level of information he's pumping out is second to none. The Youth Baseball Association of Royal Palm Beach is taking registration for its spring season, which begins in February and runs through May.
Step 2 Create a spreadsheet to record any information that you collect from the league website, other parents and coaches. Catching: Your son or daughter should be prepared to showcase their catching skills if they are interested in making the team as a catcher. Making a select team takes standout skills, the confidence to use those skills while trying out, the energy to showcase the skills, the ability to standout in a crowd and a demonstrated passion of the sport. The tournament hosted 71 teams from Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee with 9 age divisions, 6U-16U.
All players and coaches received an official Braves Youth Classic “Battle for the Tomahawk” t-shirt, tickets to the Braves vs. The excitement was felt throughout the park as teams battled for their first win and ultimately for the chance of winning the extremely sought-after wooden tomahawk. Ericka Newsome-Hill, Director of the Braves Community Affairs Department, welcomed the players, parents, and families and asked that all participants take a moment of silence for 10-year-old, Cliff White, who was scheduled to play with the 10U Wyer Gamers out of McDonough, GA.

Once the final games were completed, the teams had a little time to go back to their hotels and get ready for the big parade and Braves game at Turner Field. Cubs game that night provided a great experience for all the teams, coaches, and families in attendance.
This procedure, commonly as “Tommy John” surgery, named after the first person to have this procedure in 1974. No one knows the all of the reasons, but the most basic answer is that parts of a body (or a machine) break when the workload exceeds the strength and readiness of the (body) part to handle that stress. After all, winning games means more fans, more people in seats, more food, drink, souvenirs and parking – overall a more valuable business.
Most exercises should use several groups of muscles at once (as you do in throwing) and involve a rotational movement of your body (again, like throwing). Unfortunately, most people think stretches help open the joints, but most stretches you see typically just pull on tendons rather than opening your joints.
What it means is that when the ball ball is pitched to you right down the middle of the plate when there are two runners on and your team is down by one in the last inning, you not only know what to do with the pitch, but you are confident that you can make something happen.
If you’re hitting the cover off the ball, you should keep hitting the ball as often as you can to stay sharp. Because humans constantly change and adapt and become more or less adept at tasks over time. Understand that youth sports can be both extremely fulfilling and extremely stressful for your ballplayer.
By asking the body to do more than it’s capable of, you are asking for potential problems, things that can become severe over time. However, once the ankle (mobility) cannot function properly, the knee is being asked to carry the burden. However, they are still twisting, bending, running , swinging and going through many of the same movements.
Shoulder, knee, and low back injuries, just to name a few, can all be prevented through proper training from an early age. I wouldn’t move forward until an athlete can properly perform these 3 basic exercises.
An athlete’s development can be stunted by progressing them too quickly or not making sure that all exercises are being done correctly, down to the smallest detail. Not only did he challenge me physically, but he gave me the mental skills to pitch at the highest level. On the league website, you can obtain information on the teams, tryout schedules, the coach's contact info, the records of the various teams, the number of games each team plays, directions to the team's practice and game facilities, etc.
I created a spreadsheet with the following columns; 1) Team Name, 2) Competition Level, 3) 2010 record, 4) Number of games played, 5) Number of kids on the roster, 6) Team needs, coaches may let you know what positions they are looking to fill, 7) Tryout Dates and Locations, 8) Practice field location, 9) Driving distance from your home to practice or home games, 10) Coach's Name, 11) Coach's email, 12) Coach's Phone, 13) Coach's experience, 14) Notes and 15) Current status. Think through the following; 1) What level of competition do you want your kid to play, 2) How many games do you want your kid to play, 3) How far are you willing to drive, 4) What kind of coach do you want, 5) Do you want your son to play a particular position, 6) Cost you are willing to pay, 7) Where are your kids friends playing, etc. Coaches are looking for speed tracking down balls, proper technique and positioning and strong, accurate throws. If your son or daughter is a pitcher, they should let the coach know that you are interested in showcasing their pitching skills. The coach will be looking for proper footwork on throws to first, second and third, arm strength and accuracy, blocking technique, etc.
If the tryout has 40+ kids, each kid will get a very limited number of pitches to showcase their hitting and bunting.
Kids tend to throw extra hard in tryouts to impress, if they are not properly warmed up this could lead to an injury. We refer to this tournament as the “Battle for the Tomahawk” because each winning team and runner up is presented with a carved and engraved wooden tomahawk. Cubs game on the second day of the classic, and a chance to participate in the pre-game parade around the warning track along with their coaches and families. The summer heat was in full force as the teams continued playing in hopes of getting into that top seed spot. Cliff and his sister, Allie, were tragically lost in a car accident just days before the tournament started.
There are many similarities when comparing a most peoples’ bodies, especially when they are younger. Muscles are larger and direct significant force in a direction – they are far better designed to do that than ligaments. This is integration of muscle groups, just like the sport, and is much more effective than isolation, as many lifting programs are structured. Do you think marathon runners are better able to complete a race if they sit four days in between training runs? No matter what stage of the season you’re in, you want to either get hot or stay hot as a ballplayer.
Imagine how many times that violinist practiced that piece and compare it to the number of concerts in which he or she gets to play it for an audience.

You don’t get enough chances to handle the ball during the game, with the exception of the pitcher.
As a parent, there are times I’m sure you’d like to jump up and protect your son if he gets cleated covering second base or run into when catching. These include the value of working together as a team, the short term goals of practices or games, learning the discipline necessary to master a technique.
When high school, college, Olympic and professional athletes are asked to speak to audiences, about 70% of them mention their youth sports experiences. Sports has displayed many examples of inequality of opportunity due to race (Jackie Robinson), economic level (boxer Joe Frazier), caste or status, and gender. You should never forget that you are modelling your behavior and more than likely they will grow up doing what they were shown to be acceptable behavior. If you would like to see the complete interview along with the exercises your son should be doing check this out. We have worked with several high schools, youth leagues, travel teams, and many other organizations throughout San Diego, providing great service and competitive prices. Know how to do a sacrifice, suicide squeeze, safety squeeze, slug bunt, quick bunt for hit, etc. Take your son or daughter to a batting cage prior to the tryout to getting their timing down. If your son or daughter is late, they often jump right into drills with no warm up at all, or they miss reps while they are warming up.
But over time, different genetics, different (offseason, preseason, and in-season) preparation and exercise activity, different nutrition, different rest patterns, different illnesses and injuries, different workloads and just plain randomness makes for different results. So the more you learn to move in a way that uses your muscles rather than the ligaments to throw, the less likely you’ll rupture your UCL. We don’t seem to have that level of commitment or patience in sports, and maybe it doesn’t need quite that ratio. And even the pitcher is concerned with controlling the game (and their opponent) more than working on a changeup or a different pitch.
Also, a few years ago when the heart rates of 12-year-old players in the Little League World Series were batting, heart rates increased to as much as 168 bpm. It refers to the lifelong health benefits of athletic involvement versus the status that participation provides today.
As parents, don’t undermine this by voicing your opinion about one athlete compared to another. Our team sports division has access to all of today’s top brands, such as Rawlings, Mizuno, Wilson, A4, Russell, Schutt, Reebok, along with many others. Braves alumni Brian Jordan also said a few words to the group about teamwork and the importance of youth baseball. This is frequently referred to as “mechanics,” but its more accurately should be called the art of movement efficiency. The professional shortstops that I’ve admired most are the ones that take 100 ground balls (half to their glove side, and half to their arm side) every day. It’s impossible because I haven’t met any perfect coaches, never seen a perfect practice plan, and even if those existed there are no perfect ballplayers.
With today’s economy we work hard to get your San Diego based athletic teams the best product at a competitive price. If this happens, go to the first choice tryout and call the coach of the other team and request a private evaluation.
His former team had a great reputation so wearing the shirt signaled that he had played at a high level before.
A well thought out throwing program builds up a pitcher’s ability to throw a significant amount with most efficiency, makes them perform better and stay healthier. Along with great pricing, we pride ourselves on great customer service and delivering orders in a timely manner. The excitement was raised to a whole new level when Braves starting pitcher Matt Wisler was introduced to the crowd. For example, if the team you are trying out for is black and white, then wear something red. Matt was happy to switch trade in his glove for a catcher’s mitt and catch this special first pitch. After the ceremony was over, each team had their chance to meet Matt and take a team photo with him. Through your conversations with coaches, you can learn a lot about the politics of the team and other teams (coaches talk to other coaches). It is important that baseball coaches are aware of coaching tips that they can impart to their players.

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