Recently, I was invited in to a pregame meeting with a Division I Baseball staff for the purpose of going over the scouting report on the visiting team. I was impressed with the way the staff not only used technology and video to break down the vulnerabilities and strengths of the opposing team, but also how they also used the technology available to them to motivate and teach their own team. There are so many more tools available for coaches and athletes today as opposed to 20 years ago.
Some of the tools available are right at your fingertips. If you have a smart phone, you can participate in a couple of cool initiatives the American Baseball Coaches Association has started to help coaches grow in the game. Jeremy Sheetinger hit the ground running when he joined Craig Keilitz’s ABCA staff a couple of years ago. After coming on board, “Sheets” almost immediately began a creative, interactive bi-weekly chat (#ABCAchat) among coaches to share ideas, techniques and baseball coaching philosophies. I’ve talked to several college, high school and travel coaches who have taken advantage of this twitter chat and they have all indicated they have grown as a result of participating. “Sheets” also started a podcast, “Calls from the Clubhouse,” with some of baseball’s most popular “gurus.” He utilizes the incredible baseball network of the ABCA while providing learning and growing opportunities beyond the annual ABCA Clinic. Also, worth noting, are the Barnstorming Clinics initiated by the ABCA last year. You can read more about these clinics in this issue.
The latest baseball technology isn’t limited to the coaching community. Players and parents also have access to incredible opportunities for training via smart phone or a tablet. Our very own Chris Burke and Ken Jackson have a phenomenal product called E-Coach (you’ve probably noticed Chris’ “Frame-By-Frame” feature each issue sponsored by E-Coach). Players can actually interact with an online personal trainer such as Chris and other former major leaguers and professional coaches to improve hitting, pitching or any other phase of the game. You can learn more about E-Coach from the ad in this issue. Players in the modern era, no matter where you live, can take advantage of technology to improve your game.
Almost every article in this issue refers, in some way, to technology. A few succeed without taking advantage of the resources available to them, but many more are embracing technology and growing as a result of it.
In conclusion, thank you for helping us to become a compelling voice for amateur baseball. Along with the ABCA, we want to continue to help our great game grow, not only in numbers, but also in producing an even better product on the field.