From the Bleachers, Summer 2016

summer16One of my favorite @insidepitchmag editions yet! Loads of info & content in this issue! Great insight from @KeithMadison32 & @ChrisBurke02!

Zach Haile, ‏@Zaile17


 Awesome piece on COMMITMENT by @sealteambuild via @insidepitchmag  @ABCA1945. Just do the next right thing.

Gina Parris



Travel ball- a flawed system?-

We have a 12 year old son that has been playing “travel” for a few years now. We have seen all types of coaching. I stopped coaching him two years ago myself. Most coaches do have the players’ best interest at heart but as you mentioned it’s the aggressively competitive environment that prevents them from always “developing.” Most regions could easily install your very interesting format but some regions just don’t have the numbers to even come close. Keep up your vision and hope someday see you on the field.

-Ernie DeTrinidad


Great article, coach. I live in suburb of Houston and travel baseball is big business here. Parents can spend big $ and time doing travel ball. My 14 year old decided not to play this Spring. We played travel ball for the previous 7 years or so. We had a great team/parents. No team hoppers. No bad attitudes, etc. Spent lots of time/money together. But, like all good things, it came to an end. Anyway, I enjoyed your article and wish, in a perfect world, that your suggestions/plan could take root and help change the world of travel baseball.


TC (Spring,TX)


I love that. It nails it. It is about getting better. Not winning focused. It’s about team. I love the instruction after the game. That way, important facets are not lost over time, rather everyone learns immediately. I like the format of learning throughout playing the game. Good concept. Imagine how much longer the “love of the game” will continue to live. Love it.

-Greg Harris


Here in Northern California an entire generation of players have lost out on team fundamentals. It is nothing but a money grab by almost everyone involved. From Little League to our four year universities, every instructional activity has a fee. Kids playing for the love of the game vanished years ago. Now, this generation of coaches know only about tournaments, showcase events and when is my next private lesson scheduled? Many players are just not students of the game and few have ever been taught as a team together. They bounce around from team to team and coach to coach with different teammates at each stop. It is as if these young players are free agents each season. Please bring back player development and team fundamentals to Northern CA.

-Old School



I have been a Recreation Professional for 34 years and a professional scout the last 19. I have preached the same things you discussed here. There is no time for development due to no practicing as you mentioned. As a scout, I have great access to prospects at weekend tournaments for 15 & up. To this day, I have never been assigned to cover any kid 14 & under. Not too many 15 or 16’s either except to get a glimpse and then follow over the next few years. My focus as a coach of young players (8 – 10) is to teach the game, and teach them to play it the right way. Practices are where they learn the game (all aspects), and the games are where they showcase what they’ve been taught. We don’t teach during the games.

-LeBon Joye


This article is packed with great information and great advice. Thanks for taking the time to share them.

-Pat Northam


Great article, I shared with my Travel Teams….and with those who are interested.

– Talmadge Nunnari