The Dugout

From the field and the stands, check out our blogs below for insights into all things baseball.

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3 Easy Summer Drills for Younger Baseball Players

Depending on where you live, many rec seasons have ended and summer break has begun!  Pool parties and water gun fights will take the place of baseball practice and games, but that is no reason why your player can’t continue to learn baseball skills this summer.  Especially for the younger players, muscle memory is key to development.  The more reps a player gets, the more likely they are to master a skill.  Mastering skills brings confidence in these kids.  Here are three easy drills you can do with your player at home a few times a week to work on that mastery.

Hitting off the tee

All you need is a tee and a net.  Even if you don’t have baseballs, tennis balls or similar will work just as well.  Have your player hit 10-15 balls off the tee and do this two to three times.  For ease, line them up to hit balls straight ahead as if it was a pitch down the middle.  For younger baseball players, a great drill to include is the Slow Motion to the Point of Contact Drill.  Have your player take their swing in super slo-mo up to the point of contact.  Then, reverse back to starting position, and swing full speed.  This drill helps a player visualize where their hands, bat, and lower body are while they are swinging. Click here to see it in action.

Get that glove out

A simple way to get started here is to get your player about 15 feet away and simply roll them ground balls.  Move them around, change speeds a little, whatever you  like.  The point of this repetition is to get comfortable attacking the baseball.  To get more advanced, one of our favorite drills for fielding work is the 1-2-3-4 Hold.  You don’t even need a ball for this one.  You can set a ball in front of your player for reference.  Your player will then go through the four steps of approaching the baseball, starting with a glove-side first step through getting down into the fielding position.  For members, click here to see the training video in action.  

Throwing- Who has a towel?

Beyond simply playing catch (which, by the way, is one of the best things you can continue to do over the summer), you can get your player to have some fun and try the Towel Drill.  The purpose here is to get your player’s throwing mechanics in order.  To get the pop of the towel on the mitt or the chair, a player has to use good form to get their arm back and up and then extend past their body and whip their wrist downward.  This mimics getting the ball to spin up and down as opposed to sideways, which we see in many younger players with improper form.  Here’s  the drill in motion.

Try to do these baseball drills a couple of times per week in the backyard or even in the living room for the last two.  You’ll see continuous improvement in the player’s form and most importantly, in their confidence.

If you are reading this and are not a Standout Baseball member, click here for more information and to sign up to get full access to our Training Library!  You can use promo code GAPTOGAP with our monthly membership to try us out, and you can cancel anytime.

And be sure to follow us on our social media sites for regular updates and tips related to youth baseball training!

The 6:1 Ratio - Why Positive Reinforcement Matters

Analyze the behavior, not the results.

In 2013, Harvard Business Review published an article called ‘The Ideal Praise To Criticism Ratio’ that studied the effectiveness of leadership teams in a variety of business units.  The study found that the highest performing groups had a nearly 6:1 ratio of positive comments to negative comments within the team. 

On the flip side, the lowest performing teams had a ratio of 0.36:1, or nearly 3 negative comments for each positive comment.  While this study was performed on groups of working adults, the results can be applied to nearly any team setting, including youth baseball!  Let’s look at a few ways we can apply the study’s results as coaches and as parents to help our players develop in this game.

  1. Praise the fundamental development
  2. Frame player dev in a positive way
  3. Criticize behavior, not results
  4. Remember its a game

Appreciate the fundamentals

Mastering a specific skill can be hard!  Many players we coach are new to the game, and we are throwing a lot of baseball information their way.  Even advanced players are learning more detailed skill development every year as they get older. 

Take time to pat a player on the back or give them a high five when they do a drill correctly or make what you consider to be a routine play in a game.  Learning the proper baseball mechanics is crucial to long-term success in this game.  We want players to want to get better, and positive reinforcement, even for small wins, goes a long way towards that.  

Be critical of behavior, not results

It is easy to get upset when your players fail on the field.  As coaches, we often times see our players’ performance on the field as either a confirmation or an indictment of our coaching and expect too much from our players in terms of results and outcomes.  I remember a few years ago yelling at my son from the dugout for missing a groundball and letting a run score.  A dad in the stands looked over at me and said, “that’s the dad coming out in you.” 

As a coach (and his dad), I wanted him to make that play, but his miscue wasn’t due to lack of effort.  He’s a kid and he simply missed the ball.  I learned a valuable lesson that day. We’ve got to allow players room to fail and learn from their miscues.  These young players have enough pressure to impress mom and dad in the stands, so we don’t need to add to that. Instead of being critical, offer support and use these moments as teaching opportunities back in the dugout or at the next practice. 

It is important, though, to be critical of behavior.  Young players need to know there are rules to the game and ways to be good teammates.  I equate it to what I expect my childrens’ teachers to do at school.  They aren’t going to reprimand a student for a bad quiz or test, but they will reprimand a student who is being disruptive to the class. 

So, save the negative feedback for issues like not hustling, or not supporting teammates, but be sure to do it in a way that is appropriate for the age of the player so they can learn from the experience.

Remember, it really is just a game

Games are meant to be fun.  No world events are changed, and no scholarships won or lost in a youth baseball game.  Go into leading your team with a mindset that having fun is as integral a part of development as learning proper mechanics.  Be intentional with your comments and feedback, and help foster a team culture that will make players want to come back out again next season.

Link to original HBR article here.

5 Tips to Max Out Training in Small Group Baseball Stations

Step it up a notch with these tips to max out reps for your players.

Do you struggle as a coach to get meaningful repetitions for your players during baseball practice? Especially at the youth level, coaches can feel overwhelmed trying to keep kids of a wide range of skills engaged, learning, and getting enough reps. 

While trying to cater to your entire team, it can be easy to overlook one of the most important parts of practice for player development- small group station work. Station work can be intimidating because it spreads your team out and decentralizes instruction across the field. Don’t fear it, make it work!  Here are 5 tips to optimize your drillwork during your on field practices.

Plan your time out before baseball practice begins

If you have one hour on the field, know how much time you want to spend doing station work.  At some ages, this may be 75% of your field time. For most teams, we recommend at least ⅓ of your practice time be allocated for your drills.  If you have 3 stations and 25 minutes set aside, make sure to pay attention to the time to keep things moving and get kids through each station. 

For our coaches enrolled in our Coach’s Plan or League Programs, we’ve got a variety of plans for station work that you can download and bring to practice.

Keep groups small

The goal of baseball station work is to max out specific movement reps and allow players to create the muscle memory needed to make plays on a consistent basis. To achieve this, keep group sizes small. If you have a team of 10-12 players, divide into 3 groups. 

This allows each player to get dozens of reps at each station. It also keeps the kids moving. With 3-4 players per group, you can move quickly and give the kids some cardio work too!  Most importantly, small groups let players get….

Reps, reps, reps!

A huge challenge we face as baseball coaches is getting enough field time. If we are on the practice field 1-2 times per week for a few months, we’ve got to take advantage of it and be ready to rep out.  Small group station work is where that happens. When you break your team into groups, make sure to keep a quick pace that is age/skill appropriate. 

When I have 8-10 minutes per station, my aim is to get each player at least 20-25 reps for the movement. This promotes muscle memory and enables players to get comfortable with the movement over time.

Spread out!

If you are lucky enough to have the whole field, work stations in the infield and the outfield. And don’t think twice about doing infield work on the outfield grass- location doesn’t matter. Try and get the groups far enough away from each other so that you and your coaches can provide instruction to a group without causing the other groups to get distracted by the noise (for those of you who have coached 7 and under, you know what I’m talking about!). If I have the whole field, I like working one drill on each side of the infield and the third group in the outfield, but most any configuration can work.

Involve your baseball parents

I’ve run so many practices and look up to see moms and dads hanging on the fence observing from a distance. Bring them inside the fence, grab a glove, and get on the field with you. Running three stations optimally will need six ‘coaches’, so that instruction can be given and order maintained. This also brings your parents into their kid’s activities, which is a good thing.

Over the course of a season, you can 10X the development of your players through small group work. It takes more planning and effort than simply hitting ground balls and fly balls to 9 kids across the diamond, but it is well worth the effort. We’d love to help you run a great practice with our Standout Baseball plans, so come check it out here.

5 Ways to Structure a Great Baseball Practice

No matter your coaching skill level, intentionality is essential to run your best baseball practice.

As we head into the spring season this year, this is a great time to set some goals as coaches for what we want to accomplish with our teams this season. For some, it is simply teaching kids to play catch, put a ball in play, and get to first base. For other coaches, you have more experienced players that are looking to take a step forward in development this season. Either way, we as coaches must be intentional in our planning to be successful. Having a structured plan for your practice time is a great start! We’ve put together 5 components for you to run a great baseball practice each time your team hits the field.

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1. Get the kids loose!

Don’t skimp on warmups! Baseball players of all ages need to prepare for the movement repetitions they will have during baseball practice. Start with some active dynamic warmups, such as high knees, butt kicks, walking lunges, and runs. You can line your players on the foul line and send them in groups towards center field and then back.

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2. Throwing warm ups – throw with intention

One of the biggest things we need to as coaches is teach young players how to properly throw a baseball! Often times we simply get the players out in right field and let them throw for a few minutes with no direction at all. Get the players throwing with an intention as opposed to just messing around. Pay attention to player form, footwork, and how they follow through. And let’s not forget this is where they learn to catch the ball too! Playing catch is the baseline of baseball. If you can’t catch and throw, it will be really difficult for the player to develop more baseball skills.

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3. Small group station work

Instead of diving into a full team drill or session, break the kids into small groups. This will allow for more reps and keep players engaged. For example, you could break your team into 3 groups of 3-5 players and run three stations of baseball fielding drills. By breaking into small groups, you can 3x the number of reps each player gets during your practice. This will pay huge dividends as the season and your practices progress. Tip- Get your parents involved. To run multiple stations, you will likely need more adults on the field. Don’t be afraid to ask your parents watching from the bleachers to grab a glove and help out.

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4. Team drills

While small group work promotes greater reps, players also need to learn and master how to work as a team.  Take time each practice to run full team drills, like a round of infield, or live BP. We’ve got some great ideas in our practice guides that we offer to coaches and youth leagues for a variety of age groups and skill levels.

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5. Baserunning and conditioning

A great way to end practice is with some baserunning drills and competitions. Teach the kids how to make a turn at first base to get that double and how to pick up their third base coach to snag the extra base on a ball to the outfield. You can also incorporate some fun races to give the kids a fun way to end practice while also getting some conditioning.

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At the end of the day, the most important thing you can do is provide your players with a consistent experience in which they are getting better and having fun doing it. Take some time to prepare for practice. We have an entire section of our Training Dashboard devoted to helping coaches run effective practices and help players get better (and have some fun). 

Click here to learn more about how we can help!

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4 Ways To Be A Great Baseball Teammate

Baseball is about teamwork and supporting our team in their individual efforts and development.

At Standout, we focus most of our efforts helping coaches and players fine-tune their individual skills on the diamond. After all, baseball is an individual game masked as a team sport. We challenge kids to "do their best and forget the rest’" and learn how to repeat movements time and again until they have them perfected. This is awesome stuff, but being a talented ballplayer will only get you so far in this game. Players need to be great at being a teammate too!

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"You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime." - Babe Ruth

The Babe said this almost 100 years ago, and it stands true today. Here are four simple tips on how we can all learn to be a great teammate.

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Give your best effort

This should be pretty simple, right? Players need to come to the park and give their best. Baseball is a tough game, and teammates will benefit from seeing their peers trying hard and working to improve. Effort can be contagious, but remember, so can lack of effort! Giving your best does not always equate to success on GameChanger, but it resonates in a dugout of peers.

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Congratulate success of others

When a player does something well, let them know! We want this game to be fun and part of that is being recognized for doing something well. A pat on the back or a high five after a great defensive play goes a long way, and that is true for 5 year olds all the way up to the pros. Nothing makes me happier as a coach than seeing our players run over to their teammate for a high five after making a great play.

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Stay positive

You and your teammates have worked hard all season on baseball defense drills in practice. You know what?  Errors are still going to happen. Even Dansby Swanson made 8 errors last season on his way to winning a Gold Glove as the best defensive shortstop in the NL. When a teammate makes a mistake, don’t make it worse. Pick your teammate up and let them know they will get the next one.  

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Put WE before ME

As coaches, we must build a culture on our teams that the team success is greater than individual success. Sometimes we need a player to get a bunt down when they want to go for the double in the gap. Players need to believe that the bunt they laid down was every bit as great as the double they wanted to hit. This type of team attitude not only leads to wins on the field, but more importantly, helps players learn the value of teamwork, and this lesson can be  applied well beyond the baseball field.

So remember- it is not always about stats or wins.  Let’s build a culture where our players learn the value of working together and supporting each other.  

Welcome to Standout Baseball

We are excited to see you here! Read this to learn more about how we help players STAND OUT!

Do Your Best and Forget the Rest!

We’re glad you’re here. Standout Baseball is your premium online resource for baseball training and coaching resources. Our mission is to transform youth baseball players into confident leaders in their game and empower coaches with the tools they need to run a fun, dynamic practice.

We have a passion for developing young athletes of character and determination – and we believe that for many, organized sports is the bridge to a full life on and off the field.  

Answering the Call

Standout began in Las Vegas more than a decade ago, with Kevin Batista personally leading players from t-ball to the pros. Kevin rapidly developed a premium regimen of drills and movements, always focused on the core fundamentals (or the “fundies” as you’ll hear us say) that deliver stronger numbers, leadership, and excellence in baseball. 

For years, Kevin’s players raved about what they learned and parents always asked how more budding baseball athletes could benefit from his training. How do you reach more players? Put it online! Fast forward to today, and you’ll find a tested and proven online catalog of resources that:

  • Develops strong young athletes
  • Empowers coaches
  • Builds competitive, exciting leagues
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Standout Training Library is your #1 resource to learning and mastering the fundies of baseball. With our Standout Training Library and instructional videos, you can easily understand proper mechanics and identify how to correct poor movements that are keeping you or your athlete from becoming a Standout player. 

In nearly every case, you want to laser focus on the mechanics of hitting, fielding, throwing/pitching, and catching. We put those fundies in the palm of your hand. And to make it even better, you can practice most drills at home in the garage or backyard.

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Standout Coaches Corner

We haven’t left you out, coaches. The Standout Coaches Corner helps everyone from first-timers to seasoned vets maximize practice time with their teams. Active, dynamic practices keep players engaged and make it easier for them to learn the fundies, which in turn will produce better results for a team. We don’t just help individual coaches though – our league and association partners use our resources to create a universal curriculum across age groups and retain more players year after year.

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Standout Virtual Assessments

In addition to our training pages, you can upload player videos in our easy-to-use Standout Virtual Assessment portal. We provide expert assessments that review and give feedback on your player’s mechanics across all facets of their game. 

  • Want your swing analyzed? We got it. 
  • How about the form on fielding a ground ball? Hit us up. 

In fact, you can code ‘blastoff’ on our Single Video Assessment right now to get one free!  

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We hope you join us on this baseball journey and enjoy reading The Dugout Blog! Whether during a game or practice, The Dugout is where we share stories, new lessons learned, and the funny things that happen on the field with you. Our aim is to provide unique, entertaining, and informative content that our Standout members can learn from and use, and sometimes even laugh at! 

As Coach Kevin says, “Do your best and forget the rest!”


Coach Josh

Standout Baseball

Our mission is to enable youth players to achieve success in baseball and life by gaining confidence in what they do on the ballfield. Baseball ends for all of us, but what we learn from the game carries on for the rest of our lives.

Join Us

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New to Youth Baseball Coaching? 5 Hacks for Beginner Coaches to Run A Great Practice

It doesn't take baseball experience to be a great coach, just a little planning and effort.

Coaching youth baseball can be one of the most rewarding experiences anyone can have. When you see see the look on your player’s face when they drive in a run or make a great play, you’ll want to be a coach forever. 

If you’re a parent or a new coach (or both), don’t be intimidated. You don’t have to be an expert, you just have to be present for your players and willing to learn. Standout Baseball is here to help.  Here are 5 tips that will get you on your way to being a successful, memorable coach.

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1- Define your personal goals and success

I tell parents at the beginning of every youth baseball season that I have two goals. The first is that the kids have fun. The second is that the kids will beg their parents at the end of the season to sign them up again next year. 

Playing baseball should first and foremost be fun for the kids, especially at the younger ages. You know what, though? Most kids have fun getting better at a skill. As a new baseball coach, we suggest you should prioritize positive feedback and making practice and games challenging, yet fun.

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2- Have your plan and follow it

It is really hard to be effective at anything when we don’t have a plan. Running a good practice is no different. A good practice plan enables youth baseball coaches to stay focused and allocate time wisely. I like to print mine out and include the baseball drills and the timeframe to do them so we can stay on point.  A great way to start is to break the practice up into 3-4 sessions that focus on different baseball drills.

Most importantly, that plan needs to…

3- Keep your players engaged

Nothing is worse than seeing kids standing around on the field during baseball practice. Younger players start playing in the dirt. Older players start thinking about the girl in their science class. A general rule of thumb for our baseball practice plans is to work in small groups of 4-5 for a majority of the practice time. 

This allows you to move around and guide groups of baseball players, groups manage themselves, and young leaders on your team have their chance to shine. Your players get far more repetition and far less standing around. Not to mention the fact that parents love it because it wears their kids out!

4- Treat your child as you would any other kid on the team

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Up until the teenage years, most youth baseball coaches have a child on their team. The single worst thing you can do as a coach is to single out your child above, or below, the rest of their teammates. 

This topic will be an entire blog post soon, but in summary, every single person watching from the stands or participating in a baseball practice or game is paying attention to this. This is the easiest way to create animosity between teammates, parents, and coaches. Most importantly, it can create problems for the parent(coach)/child(player) relationship that can carry well beyond the ballpark.

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5- Use your available resources

If you are just getting started with youth baseball coaching and don’t know where to begin, the Standout Coaches Corner is a great place to start. Our content organizes great drills to incorporate into practice based on age/skill levels and movements.

Don’t be afraid to ask other parents for help, too! You may be surrounded by parents that have some knowledge of the game and would like to be involved in some way. Some of my best practices included 4 parents on the field helping coordinate the kids. You don’t need to be on an island, take advantage of the resources around you.

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Standout as a baseball coach!

Standout Baseball believes baseball  coaches have the opportunity to significantly improve the confidence of young athletes that they can carry into every part of their lives. Our goal is to arm coaches with great practice plans and drills that will create a fun, dynamic practice that helps players get better at baseball. 

Our Coaches Corner and Training Library can help you be a confident coach and improve player engagement and skills. Most importantly, these resources will make practice fun for the kids! Let’s get started!

27 New Baseball Training Drills Now Available

The newest additions to the Standout Baseball Training Library are up and live!

We are excited to announce that our newest additions to our Training Library are up and live!  We added 27 new baseball drills for our Standout Baseball players and coaches to use to improve their games.  We’ve created a new Catching Program and added to our already robust Hitting and Fielding Programs.  Read on to learn more!  

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Catching Category -  ALL NEW

We’ve added a brand new series of content to give our Standout catchers some love too!  With the help of several former players and coaches, we put together the core drills that will help new and experienced catchers get better at:

  • Receiving the baseball
  • Performing the movements needed to block poor pitches 
  • The footwork to throw out base stealers
  • Getting their pitchers strikes called on those close pitches

These core drills will build confidence in those new to the tools of ignorance as well as help experienced catchers stay sharp and impact the game. 

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Hitting and Fielding Category Updates

Our hitting and fielding curriculums got even more robust with the addition of our latest training pages.  The new hitting content provides additional drillwork to focus on the micro-movements needed for a powerful, controlled swing.  Many of these new drills build off of the foundational trainings.  These additions will add a new level of variety to your training program.

Our fielding additions will provide additional drills to improve footwork and be in the right position to field the baseball and get outs.  New drills will help players understand how to better move laterally to the ball and get their feet in the correct position to make strong throws across the diamond.

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The Standout Baseball Program

Don’t forget, our pages are not just videos- We give you the key movements to focus on, common miscues and errors, and most importantly, the movements that define a Standout player.  You can sort and filter by drills that can be done at home, or drills that are advanced, in order to focus on the best movements to improve your game. 

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Virtual Assessment to review your swing or fielding form!

And don’t forget, we offer virtual assessments to provide 1-1 feedback on your player’s specific movements and skills.  Click here to learn more and get started! 

Standout Baseball

Our mission is to enable youth players to achieve success in baseball and life by gaining confidence in what they do on the ballfield. Baseball ends for all of us, but what we learn from the game carries on for the rest of our lives.

Join Us

Sign up for our newsletter below, or you can contact us anytime at

4 December Activities for Youth Baseball Players

What youth baseball players can do in December to up their game.

4 December activities for baseball players

For many of us, when the calendar turns to December we all start thinking ahead to the holidays. The weather has turned colder, Thanksgiving is in the rearview mirror, and we are all ready to gain a few pounds over the next few weeks. Baseball is the last thing on our minds. Fall seasons have wrapped and we are ready for a break from organized baseball. And you know what I say to that? TAKE IT!  Here are 4 things you can do this month that don’t involve organized baseball that will help your players.

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Let the kids play

I laugh when I think about this phrase and how it defines some generational differences in MLB players. For this blog topic, it is spot on. Our players are involved in an ever-increasing amount of organized activities, from baseball to music lessons. I’m a huge believer in getting kids outside with minimal adult direction. Jump on the trampoline. Play whiffle ball. Get a game of HORSE going in the driveway. This allows kids to be creative and develop confidence in themselves in a completely different way than organized activities.

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Use Standout at home

If your player just can’t stand being away from the game, our Training Library is a full of baseball drills that can be done in your backyard, driveway, or even your living room. We have dozens of low impact drills that focus on movements over power, such as the LVI Throwing Drill, or the Backhand Variations, or the Slo-Mo and Reverse. These drills help players slow down and repeat movements that improve performance.  It also allows those arms and knees to ….

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Whether you are 5, 15, or 55, your body needs time to rest and heal. Baseball is demanding on joints and small muscle groups, and taking a break gives these parts of our bodies a chance to heal and get stronger. Trust me, my knees now wish I had taken more time to recover when I was a young player. Even major leaguers take up to a month off from baseball activities to give their bodies a chance to recover from the grind of the season.

(Giancarlo Stanton playing for his high school basketball team)

Play other sports

The debate on this on social media is endless, but I will stand firm that younger players especially need to develop a variety of skills that don’t all involve hitting a fastball. You may think your 10 year old is the second coming of Mike Trout, but he hasn’t even hit puberty yet.  Kids involved in a variety of activities develop new skills, and maybe most importantly, they may find new interests. It also minimizes the chance for burnout on a single activity, which we see all the time. I love this quote from Giancarlo Stanton on the topic:

“I played basketball, baseball, and football. I never had much downtime. But I think playing multiple sports helped tremendously in my baseball career. I have the agility of all three combined into one.”  

— Giancarlo Stanton

Standout Baseball

Our mission is to enable youth players to achieve success in baseball and life by gaining confidence in what they do on the ballfield. Baseball ends for all of us, but what we learn from the game carries on for the rest of our lives.

Join Us

Sign up for our newsletter below, or you can contact us anytime at