Results tagged ‘ Tim Rappe ’

Tim’s Tip: Moment of Truth #2-The First Domino to Fall in the Swing Sequence

The “Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip,” 10 separate weeklong baseball/softball camps that will be held in various cities across Wisconsin this summer for kids ages 6-14, will be back for its second season and so is Tim Rappe. In addition to putting on the camps, last summer executive director Tim Rappe provided some baseball tips here on John and Cait…Plus 9 as well. Read on for more from Coach Tim!

Enjoy!
Cait

JohnandCait@Brewers.com

“MOMENT OF TRUTH #2”:The First Domino to Fall in the Swing Sequence

In my last post I discussed the importance of starting in the optimum stance to generate bat accuracy and power at the point of contact. I labeled that MOMENT OF TRUTH #1. Today’s topic is a bit more controversial. I say “controversial” not because hitting experts don’t recognize that it happens; but rather because some may not give it the same emphasis as we do at the Brewers Baseball Academy. This single move can set up the hitter’s lower half for success or it can betray the entire swing…and it doesn’t come naturally for hitters so we need to teach it. That’s why I think it’s critical.

So, exactly what is MOMENT OF TRUTH #2? So many times I’ve heard baseball people debate regarding the first thing that moves when we launch the bat. Invariably, there is a group that believes that the hitter “just throws his hands” at the ball. Yes, the hitter does do that…but it is by no means the FIRST thing. In fact, it’s the last thing the hitter does prior to contact.

So what’s first? Drum roll please…The inside of the back knee pinches forward and down toward the inside ankle of the front foot. It’s the Knee Pinch that keeps the hitter from spinning on his back foot. It’s the Knee Pinch that launches the back hip, which is the power center. It is the Knee Pinch that prevents the hitter from rising up on his back leg. Yes, it’s the Knee Pinch that launches the hitter’s momentum into the baseball. Important? You betcha.

Take a look at former Brewers sluggers Robin Yount, Ben Oglivie  and Geoff Jenkins. Check out the knee pinch.

Yount Oglivie Jenkins

This next shot is a great overhead of Ryan Braun. If Ryan hadn’t pinched his knee in the way I described, he will spin on his back foot (we used to call this “squishing the bug”) and the back heel will retreat toward the catcher. Clearly, that’s not what’s happening here. Why? Because this is the way it supposed to be done!

Braun Overhead

The Knee Pinch is difficult to teach in the context of this blog. But go ahead and use your DVR the next time Gomez, Braun or Lucroy launches a moon shot. Focus on the back knee and I think you will see exactly what I mean and exactly why I respectfully submit the Knee Pinch as MOMENT OF TRUTH #2.

In my next post I’ll focus on MOMENT OF TRUTH #3…”Bend Your Wrists and Wave Bye-Bye to a Good Swing.” Until then, if you’re gonna swing might as well swing hard.

-Tim Rappé

Tim.Rappe@Brewers.com

 

 

 

Tim’s Tip: Moment of Truth #1-Get Set Up to Smash

The “Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip,” 10 separate weeklong baseball/softball camps that will be held in various cities across Wisconsin this summer for kids ages 6-14, will be back for its second season and so is Tim Rappe. In addition to putting on the camps, last summer executive director Tim Rappe provided some baseball tips here on John and Cait…Plus 9 as well. Read on for more from Coach Tim!

Enjoy!
Cait

JohnandCait@Brewers.com

“MOMENT OF TRUTH #1”: GET SET UP TO SMASH

In my last post I talked about the overwhelming value of using video to help your athlete. In our Brewers Baseball Academy summer camps we video the swing of every player. But that’s the easy part. Video is nothing more than a nice keepsake unless it’s transformed into a teaching tool and that takes some serious baseball smarts.

I’ve done over 2,000 swing analyses over the past couple years and I’ve identified four points in the swing that can make or break a hitter’s at bat. It’s those four “Moments of Truth” where kids have a tendency to mess up. I think the reason why these breakdowns occur is because there’s nothing particularly “natural” about these four key points in the swing. Kids don’t fall out of the crib doing them.

That these critical moments in the swing don’t come naturally is the bad news. The good news is that they can be taught.

MOMENT OF TRUTH #1: If you want to finish right, you need to start right. Many of the problems at contact are a function of bad posture at heel plant. What the hitter does prior to the front heel planting is, for the most part, a matter of personal style. However, at heel plant is when hitting instructors start “keeping score.”

Here is a great shot of Carlos Gomez at heel plant and the following six checkpoints are critical to starting a good swing.

GOMEZ TIMS TIP

  1. Head up and turned so that both eyes can track the ball. No tilting!!
  2. Don’t let the camera angle fool you. At heel plant, Carlos’ head is right above his belt buckle and in the middle of his feet. He looks like his weight is evenly distributed front to back
  3. Knob of the bat is angled toward the catcher’s feet. Barrel is somewhat about his head
  4. Hands are at shoulder height and at or just inside his back elbow (toward the catcher)
  5. Knees are inside ankles and flexed in athletic position
  6. Toes are on a straight line toward the pitcher

Does your hitter have to look exactly like this? Or course not. But all good hitters at heel plant look remarkably similar. So, from our perspective it makes a whole bunch of sense for the Brewers Baseball Academy to make sure our kids understand this. If you start right there is no guarantee you’ll finish right. But, if you start wrong, there is not much chance of finishing right. Make sense?

In my next post I’ll focus on Moment of Truth #2…the first domino to fall in the swing sequence. Until then, if you’re gonna swing, might as well swing hard.

-Tim Rappé

Tim.Rappe@Brewers.com

 

 

 

Tim’s Tip: Update Your Coaching Effectiveness for Just $5

The “Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip,” 10 separate weeklong baseball/softball camps that will be held in various cities across Wisconsin this summer for kids ages 6-14, will be back for its second season and so is Tim Rappe. In addition to putting on the camps, last summer executive director Tim Rappe provided some baseball tips here on John and Cait…Plus 9 as well. Read on for another installment from Coach Tim!

Enjoy!
Cait

JohnandCait@Brewers.com

UPGRADE YOUR COACHING EFFECTIVENESS FOR A WHOPPING $5

In my last post I promised a $5 suggestion that could have a profound impact on your child’s baseball/softball life. Read on…

Inside Miller Park sits Joe Crawford, our Coaching Assistant/Digital Media Coordinator, amid a bank of laptops and video screens that would make NASA jealous. Joe’s job is to record and catalog every pitch and every at-bat (both ours and theirs) for players and coaches to review as needed. While baseball, on the field, has remained relatively unchanged for the past century, our ability to dissect every aspect of a player’s performance upside down and inside out has changed exponentially.

While the level of digital sophistication at the MLB level is understandably off the chart, there are very affordable options for parents and youth coaches. For my money, with kids’ fascination with all things video, their tendency to be visual learners and the sheer speed of pitching and hitting actions, everybody should use video to help their kids.

Video. That’s my strong suggestion. Video may be the single biggest new asset a parent/coach can bring to the field. Kids love watching themselves and coaches love the “proof is in the video” credibility they get when players finally “see” what you’ve been telling them all along.

Every coach should consider using video as a teaching tool

Every coach should consider using video as a teaching tool.

At our Brewers Baseball Academy we record the swing of every player, analyze it, and email it out sometime after the camp. It’s an unbelievably valuable tool to extend the camp “classroom” beyond the 30 hour camp week.

If you are the analytical type and need to research all the products in the market feel free to “Google” away. You may come up with better options…and there are tons of options. Here is my summary of what I think you should be looking for:

1)     Easy to learn. I want my guys to be great baseball coaches, not computer whizzes.

2)     Analysis must be work on iOS and Android tablets and smartphones

3)     I must be able to narrate, telestrate and run back and forth in slo-mo

4)     I want side-by-side player comparison ability

5)     Easy to share

6)     Cloud-based so that email systems won’t reject large files

7)     Smart tech company that will keep improving their product

8)     Cheap

DISCLAIMER: The Brewers Baseball Academy has no financial interest or any other interest in promoting one app over another. In fact, if you come up with a better selection, I’m all ears.

I have found that Coach’s Eye (www.coachseye.com) meets our needs quite nicely. I’m almost embarrassed to tell you that the cost of Coach’s Eye is a whopping $4.99.

In 2014, video is too cheap, too easy and too powerful to ignore. In my next post I will reveal my first of four “Moments of Truth” that can make or break an at-bat. Oh yeah, I’ve identified these four “Moments of Truth” by doing over 2,000 swing analyses…on video.

Until next time, if you’re gonna swing, might as well swing hard.

-Coach Tim

Tim.Rappe@Brewers.com

Coach Tim “Reporting from Spring Training”

The “Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip,” 10 separate weeklong baseball/softball camps that will be held in various cities across Wisconsin this summer for kids ages 6-14, will be back for its second season and so is Tim Rappe. In addition to putting on the camps, last summer executive director Tim Rappe provided some baseball tips here on John and Cait…Plus 9 as well. Read on for the first 2014 installment from Coach Tim!

Enjoy!
Cait

JohnandCait@Brewers.com

COACH TIM “REPORTING FROM SPRING TRAINING”

We often hear that “pitchers and catchers report” may be the most poetic and inspirational four word phrase in a baseball lover’s vocabulary. But I’ve got a better one…”Reporting from Spring Training.” And that’s exactly where I am as I write this.

Every year I make the trip to Maryvale, Arizona to watch baseball. Not so much to watch the games as to watch the guys prepare. My role as Director of the Brewers Baseball Academy is to make sure that what we do at camp in Kenosha, Green Bay, Waunakee, etc., reflects what goes on in our Big League camp. And so I come to Maryvale to watch and listen. Because when you break it down, our week-long instructional camps look a lot more like Spring Training than a day at Miller Park.

After just two days here’s what I see. I see a whole lot of attention being paid to fundamentals. You might think that’s always the case and to a large extent it is. But this camp feels different. There is a focused attention to detail.

The Crew works on rundowns prior to catching the bus to today’s game.

The Crew works on rundowns prior to catching the bus to today’s game.

Today I saw bunt coverage, “first and thirds,” rundowns, PFP, backhands, forehands, outfield drop steps. I watched Carlos Gomez and Aramis Ramirez take about 100 extra cuts after their regular workout. And I see that our pitchers are working together as a group to build a camaraderie and help spot the little things that only other pitchers can identify.

 Lohse helping his co-worker, Gallardo, work through some delivery mechanics

Lohse helping his co-worker, Gallardo, work through some delivery mechanics

I can imagine that to the Spring Training neophyte, all this activity might seem a bit chaotic, but it’s not. There is a purpose and tempo to everything going on.

You could hang up a sign over Maryvale that reads “MEN AT WORK” and that would be spot on. And that’s why I love coming out here. That, and a net gain of about 50 degrees from the frigid temps at home.

In my next post I’ll give you an idea that may be the best thing you can do to help the young player in your life. So break the piggy bank because this idea is going to set you back about $5…no kidding.

Until then, I’m Coach Tim “Reporting from Spring Training.” (sigh) If you’re gonna swing, might as well swing hard.

-Tim Rappé

Tim.Rappe@Brewers.com

 

 

 

Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip Returns This Summer

We are proud to announce the second season of the “Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip.”  The Academy is open to youth (ages 6-14) and includes 10 separate weeklong baseball/softball camps that will be held in various cities across Wisconsin this summer.  A complete schedule of camp locations and dates is listed below. 

BE-13 BaseballAcadem-Logo-FINAL

As in 2013, the camps will be conducted under the supervision of Tim Rappé, executive director of the Brewers Baseball Academy.  In last year’s inaugural season, 650 participants took part in the camps.

“In 2013, we set out to create the best baseball camp in America for Wisconsin kids,” said Rappé.  “Based upon the feedback from parents, our first season was a wonderful success and 2014 will be even better.”

Each camp runs Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. with instruction provided by experienced youth coaches.  During one of the five camp days, campers are transported by bus to Miller Park for a one-of-a-kind experience as they will be treated to a guest appearance from a current Brewers player and have their photo taken.  Campers will also receive instruction from Brewers coach John Shelby.

A unique component of the Brewers Baseball Academy is that a video motion analysis of each participant will be performed.  Every camper’s swing will be recorded, analyzed and shared with the player and his/her parents.  In addition, all participants will take part in a baseball or softball skills competition.  Each week, scores will be posted at Brewers.com/camps and upon completion of the last camp (August 18-22), the top scorers will be invited to the Champions’ Day Finals at Miller Park.  Boys and girls will compete separately in appropriate grade groups.

The fee for the weeklong camp is $395 per child, which includes 30 hours of exceptional instruction, a complete Brewers uniform, four Brewers game tickets to one of three select games – compliments of Kwik Trip – and a V.I.P. day at Miller Park.

Registration is currently available at Brewers.com/camps. Registrations received prior to March 31 will receive a $25 discount.  This discount may not be combined with any other discount.  If registering two or more children, each child will receive a $25 discount if booked together.  A limited number of spots are available for each camp location.

As the presenting sponsor of the Brewers Baseball Academy, Kwik Trip will award 240 random participants with $25 gift cards to their locations.  One lucky camper from each host city will also receive a personalized camp jersey, along with a special presentation during the camp graduation ceremony.

Additional information can be found online at Brewers.com/camps. For questions, please contact Brewers Baseball Academy Executive Director Tim Rappé at Tim.Rappe@brewers.com or call (414) 939-8808.

2014 Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip
City Site Dates
Fond du Lac, WI Marian University June 23-27
Green Bay, WI Notre Dame Academy July 7-11
Waunakee, WI Waunakee High School July 7-11
Milwaukee, WI University School of Milwaukee July 14-18
Mukwonago, WI Mukwonago High School July 21-25
Delafield, WI St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy July 21-25
Appleton, WI Fox Valley Lutheran High School August 4-8
Kenosha, WI Carthage College August 4-8
Wauwatosa, WI Breitlow Park August 18-22
Greendale, WI Greendale High School August 18-22

-Cait

JohnandCait@Brewers.com

Tim’s Tips: Reflecting on the Summer

If you’ll recall, this past season, we launched the Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip, eight separate week-long baseball/softball camps open to youth (ages 6-14) which were held in various cities across Wisconsin this summer.

All season, in addition to putting on the camps, executive director Tim Rappe provided some baseball tips here on John and Cait…Plus 9 as well. Read on for the latest installment from Coach Tim.

Enjoy!
-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

TOP SIX THINGS I HEARD THIS SUMMER THAT MADE ME CRINGE

Right out of the box I will admit that just because we wear a Major League uniform doesn’t mean we have all the answers. I am not afraid to question what I believe and have made adjustments in my teaching approach over the years as a result. That being said, I’m also not afraid to go toe-to-toe with things I hear that are fundamentally wrong; especially those that pose a threat to the health of the athlete.

Here are some of my “favorites” from this past summer…

#1. “Are You Teaching the NEW Way of Hitting?”

Oh boy. Part of my role with the Brewers is to attend seminars, study video, observe Spring Training, and generally keep up with new approaches to teaching our game. 99% of the time, that question is traced to a private instructor or Internet Guru who is trying to make a name for himself by “discovering” something new or renaming something old for marketing purposes. Doesn’t mean they’re wrong…but they do add to the noise that tends to confuse people. We teach hitting the way that Carlos Gomez, Ryan Braun, Jonathan Lucroy and for that matter, Miguel Cabrera, swing the bat.

#2. “My Son Plays Travel Ball so He’s Probably Too Good for Your Camp.”

Ugh. Them’s fightin’ words. When you take a look at the resume of our coaching staff and the depth of our curriculum, it’s pretty much impossible to conclude that we can’t help an athlete of any level…unless he comes to camp with the mindset that he doesn’t want to learn.

#3. “Girls Need to Learn a Different Way to Hit Because…Well, They’re Girls.”

I know that statement is not meant to be insulting to softball players…but it is. The male and female bodies get the bat to the ball in exactly the same way. Granted, there are some nuances but girls generate force at the point of contact just like guys. Just ask Jennie Finch, Crystl Bustos, Stacey Nuveman and Jessica Mendoza…probably the best U.S Olympic hitters of all time. Better yet, grab some video as I have and see for yourself. Of course, I’m not referring to slap hitting here.

“You Hit Like a Girl” could be the nicest thing someone could say to you.

“You Hit Like a Girl” could be the nicest thing someone could say to you.

#4. “I Heard You Should Never Use a Batting Tee Again.”

Yikes. There’s that Internet Guru again proclaiming that if you don’t do it his way, at best you are a terrible coach and at worst, a moron. Don’t use tees? Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Every professional, collegiate and high school team relies on the tee to isolate swing mechanics before introducing a pitched ball. Statements like that may be a good way to sell a video but it also adds more confusing noise in the market. By the way, I bought video…and I got my money back.

Don’t be so fast to dump the batting tee

Don’t be so fast to dump the batting tee

#5. “I’m Going to Have My Son Throw Every Day Over the Winter to Add MPH’s to His Fastball.”

No. No. No. Sometimes more is not better and when it comes to the “care and feeding” of the arm, it definitely isn’t. The shoulder and elbow need rest in order to repair the strain of the long grind of the spring/summer season. Big Leaguers shut it down after the season and not just to play golf. Since 2000, there has been a 500% increase in elbow and shoulder injuries among young baseball and softball players. Almost all of that is attributed to overuse. Now when I say to shut it down I’m referring to all overhead activity like volleyball, football passing, dodgeball in gym class, badminton, etc. I know that’s not realistic but not throwing a baseball IS realistic. Work on core strength and hammer those difficult-to-work decelerators in the back. You will love the result come spring.

#6. “Coach, Am I Throwing the Curveball Correctly?”

You’re asking the wrong question. Yes, it’s true that a correctly thrown curveball is less stressful on your arm than one thrown incorrectly. And yes, there are some pro’s who started throwing junk very early in their young lives. There are also miles of scar tissue and shattered careers because of the unnecessary harm caused by curves and sliders. As a teacher of baseball and the Director of the Brewers Baseball Academy I will not teach the curve because it plays Russian Roulette with the pre-pubescent athlete. I know that’s controversial but winning isn’t worth the risk. Spot your fastball. Throw a change-up and study hitters’ weaknesses. The “W’s” will pile up.

OK, got all that off my chest. Until next time, “If you’re gonna swing, might as well swing hard.”

-Tim Rappé

Tim.Rappe@Brewers.com

Baseball in the Land of Sand: Coach Tim Travels to Dubai

This past season, we launched the new Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip, eight separate week-long baseball/softball camps open to youth (ages 6-14) which were held in various cities across Wisconsin this summer.

All summer long, in addition to putting on the camps, executive director Tim Rappe provided some baseball tips here on John and Cait…Plus 9 as well. Now, read on for a story of his exciting travels to Dubai.

Enjoy!
-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

BASEBALL IN THE LAND OF THE SAND

I admit that as I’ve aged, I’ve become more and more of a homebody. So, when Team Rhino Sports, the only baseball/softball training academy in the Middle East, invited me to assist with a camp for the Dubai Little League, it took more than a little nudging to pack my suitcase and make the journey to the “Land of the Sand.” But, with passport in hand and one of the best Brewers Baseball Academy instructors at my side, Isaac Valdez and I boarded a plane for the 15 hour flight to Dubai.

Here I am at Dubai’s “Field of Dreams” with the Burj Khalifa (world’s tallest building) in the background.

Here I am at Dubai’s “Field of Dreams” with the Burj Khalifa (world’s tallest building) in the background.

For the geographically challenged, of which I am a charter member, Dubai is a city in the emirate of Dubai which is part of the country of the United Arab Emirates. Think of it as New York City in the state of New York in the country of the United States. That may be where the similarities end. Dubai is a Muslim emirate sitting on the Persian Gulf not so very far from places we hear about every day…and not often in a good way.

In the city of Dubai, you can play a spectacular golf course in the morning, eat lunch at the world’s tallest building, shop in the world’s largest shopping mall and finish the day by skiing indoors at another enormous shopping mall…no kidding. The wealth and opulence are incredible. Roger Federer gave a tennis lesson yesterday to one of the camp kids and Rihanna is performing tonight just up the road in Abu Dhabi…not very often I get to write “Abu Dhabi” so I had to throw that in. Dubai is where the Arabs come to relax as well as a whole bunch of famous American entertainers.

And then there is baseball. I really didn’t know what to expect from the Dubai Little League but what I found was an organization that is trying to hang on to a piece of their heritage which happens to be embedded in a rare patch of green that serves as home to the 400 kids of the Dubai Little League.

This is the morning of the last day of camp and what I’ve experienced isn’t whole lot different than Brewers Camp in in Oshkosh or Delafield. Yes, the kids are from Dubai, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia but they got those addresses by way of Ohio, Indiana, New Jersey, Washington, etc. In other words, these are American children of “expats” who have been raised to love baseball and their MLB teams just like we do. They are following the playoffs like their counterparts in America except for the fact that the games usually start around 4am local time.

It’s been a remarkable experience and I feel blessed to be a part of these kids’ baseball lives. It’s going to be 105 degrees today and you have to be careful as the sun and heat can flatten you like a Jim Henderson fastball. Other than the heat, the only threat to my health in this Middle Eastern country was the teenage Dubai Royal firing past our car at about 200mph in his Ferrari on our way to the baseball fields yesterday…

Until next time, “If you’re gonna swing, might as well swing hard.”

-Tim Rappé

Tim.Rappe@Brewers.com

Brewers Baseball Academy Skills Champion’s Day Wrap Up

If you’ll recall, this past season, we launched the Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip, eight separate week-long baseball/softball camps open to youth (ages 6-14) which were held in various cities across Wisconsin this summer.

All season, in addition to putting on the camps, executive director Tim Rappe provided some baseball tips here on John and Cait…Plus 9 as well. Read on for the latest installment from Coach Tim, a wrap up of the Brewers Baseball Academy Champions Day.

Enjoy!
-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

THE SECRET SAUCE IN EVERY CHAMPION’S RECIPE

At each Brewers Baseball Academy summer camp we have the kids participate in a Skills Competition that measures bat speed, running speed and field/throwing speed. We’ve found that breaking up the instruction with competitive events really spices up the day and the Skills Competition does the trick. Plus, it helps reinforce the very things that we are teaching the kids during the week.

A couple weeks ago, the top 70 scorers from the summer participated in Champions Day at Miller Park. In addition to the 70 competitors, there were another 300+ friends and family members in attendance. It was a gorgeous day, although I wished the grounds crew was preparing the infield for the playoffs rather than re-sodding…but that’s what next year is for.

The focus of this post is to ask whether or not placing kids in the cauldron of competition prepares them for what’s ahead. Trust me; the kids at Champions Day feel the pressure of competing for a trophy in front of a lot of people on the very field their baseball heroes perform. It’s only natural to feel that heart-pounding, sweaty palms, “where’s the restroom” sensation. The big question, of course, is whether or not the performer can park those feelings somewhere they won’t impede their physical and mental performance. Or do they give into them and essentially fall apart at the most critical time?

I submit that champions not only control those emotions but use them to propel his/her performance to new heights. That confidence, that belief in oneself, is the secret sauce in every winner’s recipe.

What's the "Secret Sauce" in every Champion's recipe?

What’s the “Secret Sauce” in every Champion’s recipe?

I think about all the travel tryouts that were conducted throughout Wisconsin in the last 60 days. We measure kids’ running speed. We hit them ground balls and watch the “carry” on their throws across the infield or outfield. We throw batting practice and watch their strokes. What we can’t do is put a dipstick in that part of the athlete that measures their ability to manage stress…to excel under pressure. If we could, I fear that many of us would come up a quart low.

Case in point. If you ever had the pleasure of standing in the third base coaching box you get a real sense of the kids who step into the batter’s box like they own it. It’s as though they lock the door behind them and nothing exists other than the next pitch. These kids will compete for me. On the other hand, I’ve had plenty of kids who stepped into the batter’s box in that same pressure cooker situation and looked as though there was a snake in it.

The remarkable “you can’t beat me” attitude is what separates good from great and it may very well be hard wired in the athlete’s DNA. Although, preparation, experience and multiple “learnable” techniques can make a huge difference. But the “will to win” that we see from the great ones may not be something we can teach. Then again, a few Sunday’s ago class was in session at Miller Park for 70 young athletes from the Brewers Baseball Academy…and they put on a show. You can click here to see the final rankings.

 

Until next time, “If you’re gonna swing, might as well swing hard.”

-Tim Rappé

Tim.Rappe@Brewers.com

Wrapping Up the Inaugural Year of Brewers Baseball Academy

If you’ll recall, this summer, we launched the new Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip, eight separate week-long baseball/softball camps open to youth (ages 6-14) which were held in various cities across Wisconsin this summer.

All summer long, in addition to putting on the camps, executive director Tim Rappe provided some baseball tips here on John and Cait…Plus 9 as well. Read on for his summer wrap-up.

Enjoy!
-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

WRAPPING UP THE INAUGURAL YEAR OF BREWERS BASEBALL ACADEMY

Well, it’s over. We just wrapped up the first season of the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Academy and what an exciting summer it was! The only downside is that it kept me from writing. It’s difficult to explain just how time consuming and exhausting it can be bouncing from town to town and hotel to hotel…especially at my advanced age. :) Sounds like I’m whining, but the fact is that I love it and can’t wait to start next season.

Normally, my objective in these posts is to explore baseball and softball from an instructional perspective. But, there are a couple observations from the summer that deserve to be shared.

By a large margin, the winning observation is that the people of Wisconsin LOVE their Brewers. Whether we were at the Notre Dame Academy in Green Bay or  Sun Prairie High School or Carthage College, the passion for this team was amazing to see. Let’s face it; we’ve had a headline-grabbing summer and much of the news was not good. But Brewers fans continue to support the team and believe that the future is bright. Our staff witnessed that time and again and it sure made our jobs a bunch more fun working with kids who came ready to learn and ready to learn the “Brewers” way.

My second big observation is that there are some crazy good instructors in Wisconsin who also love the Brewers and poured their hearts and considerable talent into making the Brewers Baseball Academy a critical success. While we have a ways to go in terms of reaching our enrollment potential, from the perspective of a 20+ year camp veteran, what these guys did throughout the state was remarkable. We set out to create the best baseball and softball camp in America and I’ll be darned if that didn’t happen.

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A special thanks to Field Director and “Chief Entertainment Officer,” Scott Staude. And a big thanks to Station Leaders Dean Haase, Brian Gillogly, Dan O’Brien, Jason Jacome and Ronnie Nedset. Just outstanding.

I also want to thank Scooter Gennett, Jim Henderson, Caleb Gindl, Martin Maldonado, Khris Davis, Sean Halton, Logan Schafer and of course, Coach John “T-Bone” Shelby for making our trips to Miller park unforgettable.

We will be putting an exclamation point on our first season on 9/29 as 80 campers compete in the first Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Academy Skills Championship at Miller Park. If you want to check out the finalists, click here.

Until next time, “If you’re gonna swing, might as well swing hard.”

-Tim Rappé

Tim.Rappe@Brewers.com

Brewers Baseball Academy in Full Swing

If you haven’t heard by now, our Brewers Baseball Academy, presented by Kwik Trip, is eight separate week-long baseball/softball camps open to youth (ages 6-14) that are being held in various cities across Wisconsin this summer.

I recently came across a nice piece on the camp, produced by Time Warner Cable Sports32, which I thought I’d share. This video gives a great sense of what the camps are all about:

If you’re interested in signing your child up for one of the remaining camps, please visit brewers.com/camps for details.

Enjoy!
-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

 

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