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Welcome to the Braves Baseball website!


Braves Baseball is currently holding

private tryouts for our (2021) Baseball Season

for the following Age Groups:

Braves 7U, 8U, 9U, 10U, 11U, 12U, 13U, 14U, 15U Teams

*Roster Spots still available for 2021 season


(2021) Braves Travel Baseball Private Tryouts:  

Email Braves Baseball via link below to schedule a Braves Baseball Private Tryout for 2021 Season:


7U / 8U: 
















2021 Braves Tryout Location:

Gower Middle School - Baseball Field
*Field Located - End of School Parking Lot 
7941 S. Madison Street
Burr Ridge - 60527
*We try to have 2 Braves Teams Per Age Group each Season*

*2 Teams Per Age Group is not a gurantee - Braves Organization reserves the right to add more or less teams Per Age Group depending on number of players that tryout for 2021 season.


If you would like to be considered for the Braves, and want to schedule a private tryout for the 2021 season.

please contact:

To schedule a Private Tryout for 2021 Season.


Braves Baseball will be very selective in tryout process for upcoming 2021 season

  • Our criteria for Braves 2021 selection process will be based off of multiple facets:
  • Skill level
  • Baseball IQ
  • Player commitment to 2021 winter practices, season games & all team practices etc..
  • Player Attitude, Player Focus, Player Desire
  • *Parent behavior in regards to: Parent non-productive Involvement, Parent Disruption, Parent unsolicited interference with Teams, Organization, Coaches, Trainers and Braves Staff.

Braves Organization has the right to offer and or refuse potential players a spot on a Braves Team based off of the best interest of Braves Teams and Organization.

(No matter how good of a player - Braves will politely decline to offer a commitment letter to any potential player if above criteria cannot be met.)

Covid-19 Update (April 25, 2020)


Covid-19 Update (April 25, 2020)

Braves Families,

First and foremost, We hope everyone is staying healthy and safe in this pandemic time.

Here are a few updates in regards to our Braves 2020 season with Covid-19.

Listed Below are our goals and updates on the 2020 baseball season.

*Please Note nothing stated below is set in stone and cannot be predicted with 100% accuracy.

(1) Right now we are hopeful and anticipate a return date of June 1, 2020. This can definitely change with President Trump & Governor J.B. Pritzker lockdown orders for Illinois.

However, if we can return to baseball activities by June 1, 2020 we would like to do 1-2 weeks of practice to refresh before game play.

Then we would like to play games June, July, August & September to make up for 2 months of lockdown that we missed from Covid-19. We are trying to work with other local baseball organizations as well to ensure game play. 

(2) Normally our season ends by July 4 every year and travel baseball tryouts for the new season usually take place Mid-July of every year for all baseball organizations.

With our new anticipated plan for 2020 season - we would like to play until end of September if we can secure baseball fields and make up for missed time. This would eliminate a fall-ball baseball season and just continue with a normal 2020 regular baseball season.

Then we would hold our Braves team tryouts for all New Players interested in joining the 2021 Braves baseball season the 2nd or 3rd week of October 2020.

All current Braves players will be invited back for 2021 season with an initial commitment letter and (1) skill session once our season ends to see how they developed during their 2020 game season. The skill session is not a tryout but an opportunity for our trainers and coaches to see the skill &  development of our current players from 2020 season.

(3) Our Braves 2021 season would begin in November 2020 around Thanksgiving with our indoor winter training. Exact Date TBD.  

(4) *During our pandemic down time please have every Braves Player continue to work on the drills that we worked on prior to our shut down. As the weather gets better kids can be outside in the yard working on their Proper Throwing Motion & Proper Baseball Swing Technique. If a player cannot remember the proper motions or techniques that were taught a Braves Trainer can reach out via facetime to show proper techniques as a reminder if needed.         

Stay Safe and Healthy - God Bless everyone!  

Braves Baseball  

by posted 04/25/2020
Braves Baseball: Marcus Nettles & Cesar Carrillo

Braves Baseball is proud to annouce our two newest acquisitions to the Braves Training Family.

Former MLB Players Marcus Nettles & Cesar Carrillo

Marcus & Cesar will hold specility training camps every Sunday Starting September 29, 2019.



by posted 09/15/2019
Braves 2020 Season: Prospects Team Tryouts

Braves 2020 Season Prospect Teams

Team Ages: 10U, 12U, 14U

Braves Prospect Team Consists of: (4) Out of State Tournaments

October 2019: Las Vegas

December 2019: Florida

February 2020: Arizona

*June / *July 2020: *Georgia / *Illinois

*(To be determined)  

Tryout Fee: $25. Per Player for Prospects Team

Tryout Registration Link: http://assn.la/Reg/?r=3:189995

Tournament Player Fee: $250. Per Player Per Tourney

Welcome to the 2020 Braves Baseball Prospects Team Tryouts:


This is a tryout for the top players (approximately 15 players) at each team age group.  It is designed to produce elite baseball players by building on their existing skill set. Players will train together and against one another in scrimmages and small area games to develop their skills, work on game situational play and improve their overall competition level.

This team will practice for a total of 6 weeks; which consists of a week prior to each tournament and additional practices as needed. These practices will not conflict with your regular season travel team. Selected players will be offered the opportunity to compete in at least two tournaments and possible exhibitions games.  This means that not every player will be asked to participate in every tournament or game.  Please note that if your player declines the opportunity to participate in a tournament, he or she will not necessarily be offered a third opportunity.  Additionally, it is important that you accept or decline playing opportunities as soon as possible so that we are able to fill our rosters.

 Braves 10U, 12U & 14U Prospect Teams:

  • This 6-week program includes: The following sessions prior to each tournament.
    • 1-hour skill development session on Tuesdays
    • 1-hour hitting Session on Wednesdays
    • Scrimmage game on Thursdays
    • 1-hour Pitchers / Catchers Bullpen Session on Saturdays
    • Guaranteed invitation to two tournaments.
      • As stated above, if your player declines the opportunity to participate in a tournament, he or she will not necessarily be offered a third opportunity.
  • Prospects Team is available for players that have played at a Gold level or higher.
  • Tryouts for Prospects Team: Friday August 30, 2019 (5:30 - 7:30PM)
  • Tryout Location: Gower Middle School Baseball Field
  • Tryout Address: 7941 S. Madison Street (Burr Ridge - 60527)
  • Potential tournament dates: (Dates may vary)
  • October 4 - 6, 2019 (Las Vegas)    
  • December 27 -  29, 2019 (Florida)
  • February 14 - 16, 2020 (Arizona)  
  • *June 26 - 28, 2020 (Georgia or Illinois) (Either June or July)
  • *July 17 - 19, 2020 (Georgia or Illinois) (Either June or July)   
    • Tournaments are an additional cost.
  • Coaches:  Tom Barry, Anthony Lococo, Mike Mule, Jimmy Breslin, Bryan Taheri, Michael Rizzo.
  • Jerseys:
    • For tryouts, all current Braves players are required to wear their 2019 White alternate jersey. 
      • Once players are selected, both current Braves and new players named to the Braves Prospects Team, will receive new jerseys.
      • If a player needs a new white alternate jersey for any reason, there is a $30 replacement fee.
  • Fees:
    • Tryout / Evaluation Fee: 
      • Baseball Players: $25. Per Player
    • Prospect Team 6 Week Training Camp Session Fee: (One Time Fee:)
      • 10U Players: $295.
      • 12U Players: $295.
      • 14U Players: $295.
      • 14U Pitchers Only: $150.
    • Tournament Fees: TBD (Approximately $250. Per Tourney)


by posted 08/16/2019
Achieve Sports Medicine - Partnership

Braves Baseball is proud to announce that Achieve Sports Medicine is now the official Sports Medicine Team for the entire Braves Baseball Organization. 

Please Read Below: The vast benefits of our Partnership with Achieve Sports Medicine.



by posted 06/24/2019
Braves 8U Black: 1st Place Champions "Memorial Day Tourney&

Braves Baseball 8U Black Team

Congratulations to the 2018 Braves 8U Black Team 

for Winning 1st Place in the

"Chicagoland Sunday Baseball League" Memorial Day Tournament

May 26 - May 28, 2018 Tournament Champions!

Team Players:

Quinn Champion, Kameron Cox, Rikhil Doshi, Matthew Drew, Brody Elting, Braydon McMillen, Ryan Miller, Omari Mosqueda, Drew Murante, Evan Schwartz, Quentin Sweeney, Bryce Wilson



by posted 07/10/2018
Congratulations Jim Thome on 2018 Hall of Fame

Braves Baseball

Congratulates our good friend

Jim Thome #25

on his 1st Ballot

2018 Hall of Fame Induction

Congrats Big Fella - You Deserve it!

by posted 01/25/2018
Braves Baseball - Development Training Programs


Braves Baseball Academy

with our Florida, Dominican Republic affiliate:

(Top 10 Baseball)


Certified Braves Baseball Instructors

Along with Elite Certified Instructor Jimmy Breslin

Baseball Development Programs:

LTAD Program (Career Development)

Periodization Program (Yearly Program)

52 Week Baseball Player Development Training Program

Chicago Player Development Training Program

Florida Player Development Training Program

Las Vegas Player Development Training Program

Dominican Republic Player Development Training Program

Baseball Head Coaches & Assistant Coaches Training Certification Program
(Level 1 & Level 2 Coaches Certifications Available)

by posted 01/22/2018
Braves Training Video

by posted 12/31/2017
Braves 12U Tourney Team: 1st Place Champions - Las Vegas

Braves Baseball 12U Tourney Team

Congratulations to the 2017 / 2018 Braves 12U National Tourney Team 

for Winning 1st Place in the "Veterans Day Challenge" Tournament in Las Vegas, NV.

November 10 - November 12, 2017 Tournament Champions!

Team Players:

Trey Butler, Amir Gray, Landon Jasinski, Deion Johnson, Luke Murante, Alex Oddo, Fred Ragsdale, Isaiah Rhodes, Zion Rose, Will Turcich, Shane Walker

Team Coaches: Dennis Butler, Jimmy Haimann, Mark Jasinski, Dorion Johnson, Fred Ragsdale Sr.

Team Record: 7-0 (Undefeated)

by posted 11/14/2017
Braves 9U Navy: 1st Place Champions "Battle of Burbs"

Congratulations to the 2017 Braves 9U Navy Team 

for Winning 1st Place in the "Battle of the Burbs" Tournament in Oak Forest, IL.

July 27 - July 30, 2017 Tournament Champions!

Team Players:

Kamran Alikhan, Jack Altemose, PJ Doppke, James Esposito, Johnaton Esposito, Colin Kuchay, Michael McMahon, Sammy Murante, Aidan Polich, Dylan Pollack, Robert Sansone-Lisiak

Team Coaches: Rich Polich, Vince Esposito, Brian Kuchay, Scott Altemose

by posted 08/01/2017
Braves 11U Red - 2nd Place "Silver Series Championships&quo

Congratulations to the 2017 Braves 11U Red Team 

for taking 2ND Place in the "Silver Series Championships" Tournament in Midlothian, IL.

June 9 - June 11, 2017 Tournament Champions!

Team Players:

Ethan Bocanegra, Raymond Eaves, A'mare Hall, Jalen House, Landon Jasinski, Brandon Juska, Alex Keizer, Nay Nay Mirnada, Luke Murante, Fred Ragsdale, Dominic Scardigli, Will Turcich, Shane Walker

Team Coaches: Jimmy H, Mark Jasinski, Mike Mule, Chris Cunningham

by posted 07/31/2017
Braves Baseball

Braves Full-Time Travel Baseball Organization

The 2019 Braves organization is a full time travel organization that will play full-time travel baseball in various travel leagues as well as local and out of state tournaments.

Braves Teams try and play 30 - 50+ Games each season via travel leagues and tournaments. (This is not a guarantee due to area weather and field conditions each season.) 

Here, you'll be able to get news, information, schedules, rosters, game results, directions and much much more. Check back frequently for the latest information on Braves Baseball!

by posted 06/22/2017
Braves Travel Baseball

Travel Baseball is the most competitive form of youth baseball. It is best summarized as "Play to Win." Consequently, travel players are chosen through a try-out by the organization appointed trainers & coaches. Additionally, this approach may not always result in equal on field playing time for all players.

by posted 02/21/2017
Legacy Sports & Braves Baseball


Braves Baseball and new state of the art indoor training facility “Legacy Sports” located in Burr Ridge have created a training partnership for all Braves Teams. 

Legacy Sports Training Facility is the official  "Home of Braves Baseball"

Braves Teams will conduct all winter and indoor training at Legacy Sports Training Facility in Burr Ridge. 

Legacy Sports is located at:
7964 S. Madison St.
Burr Ridge, IL 60527
Legacy Sports Training Facility offers Batting Cages, Pitching Tunnels, High End Artificial Turf Training Areas for Team Development and Training. 
Legacy Sports Training Facility is not only limited to physical and mental training of all players but also offers video training and analysis of each player and team!

by posted 01/08/2017
Braves National USA Team

Is looking for the TOP 11U, 12U & 13U ELITE Players in the Nation!
to Join the Braves National USA TEAM!
Braves ELITE National USA TEAMS will play 3-5 National Tournaments
Starting in 2019.
Braves National USA Team will combine the very best players from their Elite Teams across the country. 
The 3-5 National Tournaments starting in 2019
will be a combination of the best Elite Braves Players
from across the country. 
*We are currently looking to add additional Elite players from across
the Nation to our Braves National USA Team.*
**If you are located in the USA and feel you have what it takes
to make the Braves National USA Team**

by posted 08/28/2016
Braves Baseball - Facebook Page

Braves Travel Baseball Organization 

is Now on Facebook - Come "Like" our page.





by posted 07/10/2016
Braves Baseball & Instagram

Braves Travel Organization 

Now has Instagram!

Email us any Braves Game, Player Pictures etc...

and we will add them to BRAVES BASEBALL

Instagram Page @ burrridgebravesbaseball


by posted 06/10/2016
About Braves Baseball:

Braves Baseball is a professionally trained youth baseball organization committed to the quality development of players from 8 years old into high school. To ensure the highest level of player development, all Braves Teams use professional trainers to provide training, development and input in managing each Braves team.

The 2018 Braves Full-Time Travel Teams play a competitive baseball schedule with local area travel teams in the WSBL (West Suburban Baseball League) and ILTBL (Illinois Travel Baseball League) as well as tournaments.

Braves Teams will try and play 40 - 50 Games each season via WSBL, ILTBL and Tournaments. (This is not a guarantee due to area weather and field conditions each season.) 

Our Goal is to develop all Braves players to their fullest in a competitive program.

*All Braves Teams Winter Training & Practices are held indoors starting first week of November.


What's included with Braves Baseball:


  • Professional Training 
  • Indoor Winter Training - starting 1st week of November every season.
  • Braves Baseball Uniform - Jersey, Hat, Pants, Socks, Belt, Helmet and Batting Bag
  • Focus on Baseball Development and Fundamentals
  • Local Tournaments as well as possible overnight tournaments
  • Managerial input by Braves Trainers to help Braves Team Coaches maximize our player development and team strategy. 


What's Expected from Braves Players and Parents:  


  • Commitment - We need all Braves players and parents committed to our overall goal of player development and training!
  •   Positive Attitude - Help Braves Players understand - baseball is 90% mental and their attitude on the field and in life helps develop their skills on and off the field.
  • Patience - Braves players need to understand that mistakes and errors are made and we need to have patience to learn from our errors and mistakes on and off the field and this requires patience.

by posted 06/02/2016
Braves 11U: 1st Place Champions "Play The Turf" Tourne

Congratulations to the 2016 Braves 11U Tourney Team 

for Winning 1st Place in the "Play the Turf" Tournament in Jacksonville, IL.

2016 Memorial Day Weekend Tournament Champions!


by posted 06/01/2016
Braves 10U - 2nd Place "Play The Turf" Tourny 2016

Congratulations to the 2016 Braves 10U Tourney Team

for taking 2ND Place in the "Play the Turf" Tournament in Jacksonville, IL.


by posted 05/31/2016
Braves 10U Elite - 1st Place PBR Junior Futures Selection Tourny

Congratulations to the 2016 Braves 10U Elite Team

for winning 1st Place in the PBR Junior Futures Tourney Undefeated!

The 2016 Braves 10U Elite Team went undefeated and WON 1st Place!



by posted 04/21/2016
Braves Training & Development Partnership


Braves Baseball Training Academy has an exclusive training and development partnership with our very own Florida & Dominican Republic affiliate Top 10 Baseball Academy. 

This exclusive designed development and training program will help further develop the skills and fundamentals of all Braves Organization Baseball Players. 

The Braves organization is here to help develop players at every age level to become better players on and off the field. 

Braves Baseball is committed to each Player and Family in our organization and we expect the same in return from our players and families.

Our Full-Time Braves Training Staff are 100% committed to the development of all Braves Teams and Players and we are looking towards the growth of each player and their future.

Training is tough and it will be a lot of work and dedication from both the players, parents and families!  

We will give each player the very best tools and training to succeed, learn, develop and grow as baseball players.

We are happy to announce that with our new exclusive training partnership we will be able to train in Chicago, Florida, Las Vegas and Dominican Republic year round.


by posted 08/24/2015
Braves Organization Shares - Mike Matheny Philosophy

Burr Ridge Braves Travel Baseball Organization

Share & Implement Mike Matheny Baseball Philosophy



Letter from Mike Matheny.....(St. Louis Cardinals Head Coach)

I always said that the only team that I would coach would be a team of orphans, and now here we are. The reason for me saying this is that I have found the biggest problem with youth sports has been the parents. I think that it is best to nip this in the bud right off the bat. I think the concept that I am asking all of you to grab is that this experience is ALL about the boys. If there is anything about it that includes you, we need to make a change of plans. My main goals are as follows:

(1) to teach these young men how to play the game of baseball the right way,

(2) to be a positive impact on them as young men, and

(3) do all of this with class.

We may not win every game, but we will be the classiest coaches, players, and parents in every game we play. The boys are going to play with a respect for their teammates, opposition, and the umpires no matter what.

With that being said, I need to let you know where I stand. I have no hidden agenda. I have no ulterior motive other than what I said about my goals. I also need all of you to know that my priorities in life will most likely be a part of how I coach, and the expectations I have for the boys. My Christian faith is the guide for my life and I have never been one for forcing my faith down someone's throat, but I also believe it to be cowardly, and hypocritical to shy away from what I believe. You as parents need to know for yourselves and for your boys, that when the opportunity presents itself, I will be honest with what I believe. That may make some people uncomfortable, but I did that as a player, and I hope to continue it in any endeavor that I get into. I am just trying to get as many potential issues out in the open from the beginning. I believe that the biggest role of the parent is to be a silent source of encouragement. I think if you ask most boys what they would want their parents to do during the game; they would say "NOTHING". Once again, this is ALL about the boys. I believe that a little league parent feels that they must participate with loud cheering and "Come on, let's go, you can do it", which just adds more pressure to the kids. I will be putting plenty of pressure on these boys to play the game the right way with class, and respect, and they will put too much pressure on themselves and each other already. You as parents need to be the silent, constant, source of support.

Let the record stand right now that we will not have good umpiring. This is a fact, and the sooner we all understand that, the better off we will be. We will have balls that bounce in the dirt that will be called strikes, and we will have balls over our heads that will be called strikes. Likewise, the opposite will happen with the strike zone while we are pitching. The boys will not be allowed at any time to show any emotion against the umpire. They will not shake their head, or pout, or say anything to the umpire. This is my job, and I will do it well. I once got paid to handle those guys, and I will let them know when they need to hear something. I am really doing all of you parents a favor that you probably don't realize at this point. I have taken out any work at all for you except to get them there on time, and enjoy. The thing that these boys need to hear is that you enjoyed watching them and you hope that they had fun. I know that it is going to be very hard not to coach from the stands and yell encouraging things to your son, but I am confident that this works in a negative way for their development and their enjoyment. Trust me on this. I am not saying that you cannot clap for your kids when they do well. I am saying that if you hand your child over to me to coach them, then let me do that job.

A large part of how your child improves is your responsibility. The difference for kids at this level is the amount of repetition that they get. This goes with pitching, hitting and fielding. As a parent, you can help out tremendously by playing catch, throwing batting practice, hitting ground balls, or finding an instructor who will do this in your place. The more of this your kids can get, the better. This is the one constant that I have found with players that reached the major leagues....someone spent time with them away from the field.

I am completely fine with your son getting lessons from whomever you see fit. The only problem I will have is if your instructor is telling your son not to follow the plan of the team. I will not teach a great deal of mechanics at the beginning, but I will teach mental approach, and expect the boys to comply. If I see something that your son is doing mechanically that is drastically wrong, I will talk with the instructor and clear things up. The same will hold true with pitching coaches. We will have a pitching philosophy and will teach the pitchers and catchers how to call a game, and why we choose the pitches we choose. There is no guessing. We will have a reason for the pitches that we throw. A pitching coach will be helpful for the boys to get their arms in shape and be ready to throw when spring arrives. Every boy on this team will be worked as a pitcher. We will not over use these young arms and will keep close watch on the number of innings that the boys are throwing.

I will be throwing so much info at these boys that they are going to suffer from overload for a while, but eventually they are going to get it. I am a stickler about the thought process of the game. I will be talking non-stop about situational hitting, situational pitching, and defensive preparation. The question that they are going to hear the most is "What were you thinking?" What were you thinking when you threw that pitch? What were you thinking during that at bat? What were you thinking before the pitch was thrown, were you anticipating anything? I am a firm believer that this game is more mental than physical, and the mental may be more difficult, but can be taught and can be learned by a 10 and 11 year old. If it sounds like I am going to be demanding of these boys, you are exactly right. I am definitely demanding their attention, and the other thing that I am going to require is effort. Their attitude, their concentration, and their effort are the things that they can control. If they give me these things every time they show up, they will have a great experience.

The best situation for all of us is for you to plan on handing these kids over to me and the assistant coaches when you drop them off, and plan on them being mine for the 2 or so hours that we have scheduled for a game, or the time that we have scheduled for the practice. I would like for these boys to have some responsibility for having their own water, not needing you to keep running to the concession stand, or having parents behind the dugout asking their son if they are thirsty, or hungry, or too hot, and I would appreciate if you would share this information with other invited guests...like grandparents. If there is an injury, obviously we will get you to help, but besides that, let's pretend that they are at work for a short amount of time and that you have been granted the pleasure of watching. I will have them at games early so we can get stretched and loosened up, and I will have a meeting with just the boys after the game. After the meeting, they are all yours again. As I am writing this, I sound like the little league Nazi, but I believe that this will make things easier for everyone involved.

I truly believe that the family is the most important institution in the lives of these guys. With that being said, l think that the family events are much more important than the sports events. I just ask that you are considerate of the rest of the team and let the team manager, and myself know when you will miss, and to let us know as soon as possible. I know that there will be times when I am going to miss either for family reasons, for other commitments. If your son misses a game or a practice, it is not the end of the world, but there may be some sort of repercussion, just out of respect for the kids that put the effort into making it. The kind of repercussions could possibly be running, altered playing time, or position in the batting order.

Speaking of batting order, I would like to address that right from the top as well seeing that next to playing time this is the second most complained about issue, or actually tied for second with position on the defensive field. Once again, I need you to know that I am trying to develop each boy individually, and I will give them a chance to learn and play any position that they are interested in. I also believe that this team will be competitive and when we get into situations where we are focusing on winning; like a tournament for example; we are going to put the boys in the position that will give the team the best opportunity. I will talk with the boys individually and have them tell me what their favorite position is and what other position they would like to learn about. As this season progresses, there is a chance that your son may be playing a position that they don't necessarily like, but I will need your support about their role on the team. I know that times have changed, but one of the greatest lessons that my father taught me was that my coach was always right...even when he was wrong. The principle is a great life lesson about how things really work. I hope that I will have enough humility to come to your son if I treated him wrong and apologize. Our culture has lost this respect for authority mostly because the kids hear the parents constantly complaining about the teachers and coaches of the child.

I need all of you to know that we are most likely going to lose many games this year. The main reason is that we need to find out how we measure up with the local talent pool. The only way to do this is to play against some of the best teams. I am convinced that if the boys put their work in at home, and give me their best effort, that we will be able to play with just about any team. Time will tell. l also believe that there is enough local talent that we will not have to do a large amount of travel, if any. This may be disappointing for those of you who only play baseball and look forward to the out of town experiences, but I also know that this is a relief for the parents that have traveled throughout the US and Canada for hockey and soccer looking for better competition. In my experiences, we have traveled all over the Midwest and have found just as good competition right in our back yard. If this season goes well, we will entertain the idea of travel in the future.

The boys will be required to show up ready to play every time they come to the field. Shirts tucked in, hats on straight, and pants not drooping down to their knees. There is not an excuse for lack of hustle on a baseball field. From the first step outside the dugout they will hustle. They will have a fast jog to their position, to the plate, and back to the bench when they make an out. We will run out every hit harder than any team we will play, and will learn how to always back up a play to help our teammates. Every single play, every player will be required to move to a spot. Players that do not hustle and run out balls will not play. The boys will catch on to this quickly. The game of baseball becomes very boring when players are not thinking about the next play and what they possibly could do to help the team. Players on the bench will not be messing around. I will constantly be talking with them about situations and what they would be doing if they were in a specific position, or if they were the batter. There is as much to learn on the bench as there is on the field if the boys want to learn. All of this will take some time for the boys to conform to. They are boys and I am not trying to take away from that, but I do believe that they can bear down and concentrate hard for just a little while during the games and practices.

I know this works because this was how I was taught the game and how our parents acted in the stands. We started our little league team when I was 10 years old in a little suburb of Columbus, Ohio. We had a very disciplined coach that expected the same from us. We committed 8 summers to this man and we were rewarded for our efforts. I went to Michigan, one went to Duke, one to Miami of Florida, two went to North Carolina, one went to Central Florida, one went to Kent State, and most of the others played smaller division one or division two baseball. Four of us went on to play professionally. This was coming from a town where no one had ever been recruited by any colleges. I am not saying that this is what is going to happen to our boys, but what I do want you to see is that this system works. I know that right now you are asking yourself if this is what you want to get yourself into and I understand that for some of you it may not be the right fit. I also think that there is a great opportunity for these boys to grow together and learn some lessons that will go beyond their baseball experience. Let me know as soon as possible whether or not this is a commitment that you and your son want to make.


Mike Matheny


by posted 08/24/2015
Braves 9U - Takes 1st Place in Hinsdale 4th of July Tourney!

Congratulations to the 2015 Braves 9U Team for taking 1st Place in the 4th of July Hinsdale Tournament!

Out of 16 Teams in the Hinsdale Gold 9U Division

The 2015 Braves 9U Team went undefeated and WON 1st Place!


by posted 07/31/2015
Top 10 Things Your Kid Wants You To Do!

Top 10 Things Kids Want Parents To Do in Youth Sports

"Organized youth sport is a valuable form of recreation for millions of children (Weinberg & Gould, 2007) made possible by substantial adult involvement (Weiss & Fretwell, 2005). Coaches and parents can be a source of support or a source of stress throughout the "sport careers" of young athletes (Fredricks & Eccles, 2004; Smith & Smoll, 2007). Some adults may behave in ways that promote stress in children simply because they do not understand how children want them to behave (Omli, LaVoi, & Wiese-Bjornstal, 2008)."
-From Kids Speak Project
We hear the extreme stories in the news: "Youth league parent jailed for punching coach (or umpire)".

Umpires tell me there is more yelling and jeers from parents at youth levels than at the high school and college levels.

We see it in more subtle ways in players as a youth league coach.
  • Coaching kids from the stands or by the fence, kids do worse because they are confused that the coach is telling them one thing and a parent another.
  • Parents who criticize for every out or error that leads to kids being overly critical of their own performance. The exceedingly high expectations parents place on them can't be met so kids tense up and under-perform.
So what's the primary solution? The development of new educational programs for parents at the local league levels? A greater emphasis in umpires ejecting parents for disruptive behavior?

The simple solution is to listen to what your kids want.

What do they want? According to Dr. Jens Omil, of the Institute Child Development at the University of Minnesota, who asked kids as part of the Kids Speak project, here are the Top 10 Things Kids Want Parents to Do at Youth Sport Events:
  1. Go to their games and watch them play.
  2. Tell them that they did a good job.
  3. Clap after their team does something good.
  4. Encourage them after the game if their team lost.
  5. Encourage them while they are playing.
  6. Control your own emotions.
  7. Say “good try” if they make a mistake.
  8. Bring treats for them and their teammates.
  9. Take pictures or video of the game while they play.
  10. Compliment the umpire or referee if they make a good call.
And here are the Top 5 Things Kids DO NOT Want Parents to do at Youth Sports Events:
  1. Tell them to break the rules.
  2. Swear or say “bad words” loud enough for them to hear.
  3. Say mean things to the other team or umpires.
  4. Yell at them if they make a mistake.
  5. Argue with parents from the other team.
Pass this article along to parents, coaches or anyone associated with youth sports. Let's have a great season out there.

by posted 07/15/2015
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