Dugout Captain Update. October 1, 2018

DUGOUT CAPTAIN UDPATE

Last week I wrapped up an east coast trip with a couple meetings in New York City, the coolest of which was a sit down with a VP at Major League Baseball.  It’s great to know that our hard work is being noticed and appreciated, even by those at the top.  Prior to the Big Apple, my trip involved stops at headquarters for PONY, Little League, and Babe Ruth Leagues.  We have some fun things planned for 2019 🙂

I’ve worked hard to remain neutral and friendly to all of the youth organizations.  They recognize Dugout Captain as a valuable resource for the youth coach, who is undoubtedly THE primary influencer over their most precious asset – the athlete!  The challenges youth baseball organizations face are the same that we face as parents and coaches:

To provide a fun, entertaining, and wholesome experience that allows for development while encouraging additional participation.

It’s great to know that we’re all pulling on the same end of the rope and that Dugout Captain provides a unique and valuable service towards that shared goal.  It’s also important that I share with the DC community why they see us as different.  It is because of the practice planning component.  Content and drills are one thing, but the difference maker is the help Dugout Captain provides in taking drills to the field.  They are hungry for a tool to help with better practices!  THAT is the key.  So if you aren’t properly utilizing the Clipboard for your practice planning, give it a whirl.  I promise you won’t regret it.

Here’s one with PONY Baseball & Softball President Abe Key in Washington PA.  Mr. Key has led PONY Baseball into 2019 as a forward-thinking leader in the space of coaches education and player development:

This is the field in Williamsport, undergoing a massive overhaul after Hawaii shutout South Korea last month:

And a couple more from MLB in Manhattan:

 

BUSINESS UPDATE

A little less than a year ago, we made the decision to “go free,” a detail that has really simplified discussions with partner organizations.  Prior to that point, we had operated under a business plan selling subscriptions for $99/year.  We had some success, but it was evident that DC wouldn’t survive long-term under a paid subscription model.  So we made the switch to free and haven’t looked back!  Needless to say, it’s been way more fun with a price that reads $0 🙂  It’s much easier to convince people to try a free product than one that costs a hundred bucks.  And whether paid or free, I’ve still yet to encounter ANYONE that doesn’t like Dugout Captain.  To reiterate my challenge to you, I believe the biggest task we have is getting good baseball people to try the Clipboard out and realize just how much better their coaching life is when they build, save, and share practice plans. 

GROWTH & NUMBERS

As for growth, we’re up to 250 leagues across the world that have signed up with DC.  Off the top of my head, we have groups in Nepal, Mexico, Canada, UK, Kosovo, Hungary, Japan, Kazakhstan, Russia, England, and the Dominican Republic.  We also have multiple groups operating international baseball outreach and training programs that use Dugout Captain as their “leave behind.”  These groups touch remote baseball outposts in countries like Israel and Senegal, it’s awesome!  We help to continue the development of those areas after the training crews leave – some pretty humbling and very cool work that Dugout Captain is supporting.

Total membership has grown 115% in 2018 with a community size of roughly 15K.  We’ve set the goal of 50K members by the end of next spring and then we’ll really be able to enact change upon the baseball world.  The key comes down to the same challenge:  Our member coaches utilizing the Clipboard tool more and more, growing comfortable sharing practice plans and workout assignments to team member families and other baseball contacts.

WHAT’S TO COME

PITCHING 101 – There’s a backlog of pitching footage that is coming at some point.  We’ve completed filming to take my Coaching Pitchers book to video (over 100 hours of footage… sorry video-wizard Ryan!!).  At some point, we’ll start slicing up footage and building out the pitching library.  I’m super excited about this, and doing my best to stay patient with Ryan. 

BULLETIN BOARDS – Officially LIVE!!  Forums (bulletin boards) are ready and available HERE.  My dream is to have a true community of help, available at any time for coaching questions.  I know that I had lots of questions coming back to 5U baseball last spring, and I leaned on a couple outstanding youth coaches for help.  It would be great to be able to hide behind the computer screen and post all kinds of questions without feeling inadequate (ha!).

LIFE LESSON 101 / LET THEM PLAY INITIATIVE – Dugout Captain’s 2019 push will be to provide a weekly life-lesson companion article through the spring season.  Built into a simple one-sheet, Including video, conversation starter questions, challenges each week for the athlete and the coach… this promotion is designed to support the youth coach in maintaining proper perspective for their players, parents, and themselves.  Check out this rough draft example from web-wizard and artist extraordinaire Matt:

Having spent last season coaching many first-year families and athletes, I’m excited for what this simple one-sheet can provide a youth coach.

Personally, I’m into week #5 of Fall Ball for Cypress College and my pitchers are ready to explode.  We started capturing measurables on Friday (and will continue this week) to assess progress thus far.  Five weeks of a consistent routine, band work, long toss, foam rolling, bullpens, mechanical training, and 6-7 weeks in the weight room. Results?  An average increase of nearly 3 mph for program pitchers.  I can feel the jump happening as pitchers throw MORE and start to feel STRONGER.  This is when progress happens and it’s awesome!

There ya have it.  Have a great week, remembering always to… PLAY HARD and HAVE FUN!

~ DK

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