Great Time of Year

It’s been a long time since the last update and let me start with a hearty welcome to those new Captain’s yet to receive an update from DK (that’s me!).

Here in Southern California, the weather is turning.  While I realize that’s a slow and slight bend rather than a true turn… it’s kind of nice to feel the chill and put on more than one layer (spoiled baseball coach here).  Personally, I’m running two nights per week of small-group clinic instruction outdoors… and another evening training pitchers inside a facility.  I continue to devour the latest instruction and data-driven training techniques, and continue to grind through lessons with the goal of maximizing the baseball-experience of my athletes.

With these MLB playoffs, I’ve been BLOWN away by the quality of baseball this postseason.  How about those bullpen arms?!  Does anyone throw below 95mph any more?  Truly amazing stuff to watch.  As a Dodger fan (congrats to the Braves), it was a tough end to a season with Championship aspirations.  The postseason saw a lot of great baseball and I was blessed enough to go to Game #4 last week up in LA (surprised my kid with his first Dodger game!!).  Although we witnessed a dud of a baseball game, I was really touched watching my kid yell and dance and jump and ultimately pout!  Been dreaming of having my own little baseball fan for a long, long time. 🙂

Father and son time at Chavez Ravine!!

Training News and Recommendations

With absolutely no clue why, I can report than my own 8-yr old (9 in January) has just recently flipped the “bonkers-for-sports” switch.  This hasn’t necessarily translated to playing baseball yet, but I’m optimistic for an appropriate increase in desire, drive, and intensity (translated more accurately as attention) come Spring 2022.  He’s checking highlights and box scores every morning, begs to watch the Lakers, and wants to throw the ball all-day-every-day.  Can I get an Amen!!!

As for training, here’s what we are doing currently:

Train baseball once per week, while allowing another sport to be dominant

 In the day of way-to-early sport specialization, I believe it’s very important to balance the act between:

  1. Keeping up with those athletes playing ONLY baseball
  2. Developing an all-around athlete with a varied skillset and athletic, coachable make up
  3. Avoiding baseball burnout
After 22+ years working in baseball, I’ve now got my own athlete to develop – poor kid!  For our family, that means a split between soccer (two practices and a game) and flag football (one practice and a game).  The kid also attends a taekwando class once per week and then we have an active young daughter too.  I call this warp speed parenting, and it’s definitely chaotic.  But I know he needs the baseball development before we step up an age level during the spring season.  And once baseball tryouts roll around in early January (!!!!), it will be too late for any true skill development.
And so he does my small-group skill clinics on Mondays.  Last month it was a series of four pitching workouts with me, this month it’s hitting with a dear friend and great coach, and next month he chose to come back to pitching.  We play random catch or may hit wiffle balls at other times, but truly we’re only “practicing” once per week.
Up to this point, my boy hasn’t wanted to play sports.  He’s been a willing participant, and certainly has had fun palling around with the fellas.  But because he wasn’t driving that bus, we really haven’t played much outside of practices and games during the spring season.  As someone who spends a lot of time training other people’s kids, this has been fine so far – I think he’s young enough that the game hasn’t passed him by yet.  That said, I’m super pumped to see what Spring 2022 brings with a little boy that’s into it and will undoubtedly improve significantly with the increased practice (due to HIM wanting to swing the bat or toss the ball around).
Final thought here, my boy is just entering the phase where other kids are getting really, really good.  We’ll see how he progresses this year and take it as it comes.  For now, I’m super grounded and happy to let him develop as an all-around athlete.  We’ll see where his interests take him and if his interest in baseball continues to increase.  Heck, I think there’s still time for him to develop into whatever the Big Man upstairs has in store for him!

Dugout Captain News and Notes

Together we’ve surpassed 25K members, which means that there remains a strong desire for high-quality coach’s instruction in the baseball community.  We’ve stayed strong and kept the marketing solicitors off of DC, but we’ve had some really good discussions lately with relevant partners and may be involving some revenue drivers soon.  Along those lines, please keep eyes and ears open for an acquiring partner, as this tool is part of a bigger movement to make baseball fun and empower coaches to positively impact kids.  We’d love to play our role in that bigger purpose and would entertain a discussion about the future!

And now, a note on the for-fee coach’s training product I created just before the pandemic closed the world:

 

       

Inlyten Coaching Clinic Online

This is my life’s best work, organized and presented as a Coaching Clinic across six sessions and six topics:  Coaching 101, Hitting, Pitching, Infield, Outfield/Receiving, and The Mental Game.  Each “vertical” contains a 10-chapter video presentation, Q&A segments, associated drill videos, and other resources.  I’ve yet to receive ANY negative feedback, other than some sighs and groans that the videos are long!  (FYI, you can jump to any of the chapters or watch in full. )  I’d be thrilled to have your support and I’m confident you’ll find GREAT value in the product.  If you like the philosophy and coaching vibe at Dugout Captain, you will love the tips, tricks, and training strategies shared at Inlyten.

League Coaching Clinics

Inlyten serves the role of league coaching clinic beautifully.  As someone who has ran the in-person local league coach’s clinic for 20+ years, I created this product to provide a superior coach’s training tool.  With these skill-focused sessions, we’re able to deliver much more content, deeper skill training plans, and also provide answers to the most common coaching questions… all available on demand, 24/7, for parents and coaches to watch at their convenience.  And we do this for less than 1/2 of the cost of what I would charge for a 2.5 hour clinic!  If you need to check the box of training league coaches, click HERE to sign up and create a dedicated URL you can share with your volunteers in minutes!  We understand what it means to volunteer as a League Board Member and the responsibilities that no one steps up to handle, so let Inlyten tackle the coaching clinic task!

Partner News

PONY Baseball & Softball Announces 2022 Baseball World Series Dates – PONY Baseball and Softball International Board of Directors announced the sites and dates of its Baseball World Series events in 2022.  We at DC are huge fans of PONY and their high-quality World Series events!

Eric Cressey & Cressey Sports Performance – Quite possibly my favorite PODCAST episode ever with the Dodgers’ Blake Treinen.  I’m offically ALL-IN on Treinen.  What… a… stud!  Might be because I’m getting older and I’m a parent, but these two dudes represent the best in the baseball world.  It’s an older episode that somehow I missed, and definitely worth a listen.

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