Results tagged ‘ Tim Rappe ’

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

 

Tim’s Tips: Train Your Brain!

Here’s another great tip from Tim Rappé, Executive Director of our new Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip, eight separate week-long baseball/softball camps open to youth (ages 6-14) that will be held in various cities across Wisconsin this summer.

Along with signing up for the camps and getting excellent baseball instruction there, every so often, Tim will provide some baseball tips here on John and Cait…Plus 9 as well.

Enjoy!
-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

TRAIN THE BRAIN THE RIGHT WAY FOR THE BEST BASEBALL RESULTS

In 1994, at the age of 31, perhaps the greatest basketball player of that generation and maybe of all generations decided to quit the NBA and become a professional baseball player. Yes, Michael Jordan, an extraordinarily gifted athlete retired (for the first time) from the NBA and gave everything he had in order to get a shot at the Big Leagues.

Certainly someone with such amazing athleticism and a legendary will to succeed could find his way on to a Major League roster…nope, it didn’t happen. Jordan’s .202 batting average for the AA Birmingham Barons was the beginning and end of his pro baseball “odyssey.”

You see, hitting successfully is not like lifting weights or even running a marathon. Hitting is a complex visual-motor skill that has to be learned. Picking up spin, speed and identifying direction of a pitched ball and then getting the bat to the right spot at the right time requires a skill set that doesn’t happen by accident.

When Michael Jordan’s brain was most receptive to making all the amazing neurological connections necessary to be a skilled baseball player, he was busy learning another sport. The bottom line is that at age 31, Jordan was too old for his brain to make the complex adjustments to play baseball at a high level.

So, you say, “Coach Tim, where are you going with this?” We need to understand there is a time in the life of our brain when it is better suited to learn. Ever wonder why kids can pick up a second language so much easier than us old fogies? The young brain is craving new stimuli and responds accordingly. The older brain is still growing but not with nearly the same appetite as it once had.

That’s pretty much why we work so hard on correct fundamentals at the Brewers Baseball Academy. I swear we can almost hear the brain cells multiplying when we’re around young players. The brain is a blank canvas or as some neurologists call it; an “engram.” Think of the brain as a blank DVD that only records what we send to it. That’s why it is so critical to not only learn the game at a young age, but to learn to play it correctly.

In my opinion and it’s an opinion shared by many others, what separates great baseball players from the rest of us mere mortals is their ability to collect and process data. Fielding thousands of ground balls, throwing thousands of pitches and seeing pitch after pitch after pitch is the data that our brain must collect and process in order for it to learn.

I can’t even imagine how many complex and nearly simultaneous pieces of data a hitter must process as a 95mph heater is hurled at him. To top it off, the body has about as much time as it takes to strike a match to act on the data. And yet, they do it. And they do it because they have observed and processed so much data over their baseball lives that they have achieved a level of “unconscious competency.”

Since data collection and processing is vital in acquiring fine motor skills, it is important that we try to reach game speed when we practice. I know what I am saying is very difficult to achieve at the youth level. But there are things we can do to send the right training messages to our brain.

For starters, use a stopwatch liberally. It’s easy to figure out how fast a typical runner gets down the line so when you are doing infield, put a stopwatch on your fielders and challenge them to get the ball to first base under that time. Turn double plays with a stopwatch and watch the pace of your practices pick up. Practices will not only be more fun but the “data” your players collect will be far more valuable for their developing baseball brains.

Using aids like a stopwatch and a bat speed device can boost the quality of practices and feed the baseball brain with valuable data.

Using aids like a stopwatch and a bat speed device can boost the quality of practices and feed the baseball brain with valuable data.

Another “data collecting” idea I’ve employed in the past is the use of a bat speed measuring device at indoor practices. Here’s a picture of one that I really like and that we use at camp. Wait until you see how much faster your kids swing the bat when each swing is being measured against their last swing as well as their teammates’.

Sports Radar Device

Sports Radar Device

Again, the point is to approach game speed in your training whenever possible so that learning can be optimized. It’s not hocus pocus. There is a scientific, neurological basis for learning baseball at a young age and it is paramount that the training messages we send to the brain are mechanically correct and approach the intensity that the brain/body will be asked to achieve in competition.

In short…Train young. Train right. Play right.

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

-Tim Rappé

Tim.Rappe@Brewers.com

Tim’s Tips: Talking Quality At-Bats

Here’s another great tip from Tim Rappé, Executive Director of our new Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip, eight separate week-long baseball/softball camps open to youth (ages 6-14) that will be held in various cities across Wisconsin this summer.

Along with signing up for the camps and getting excellent baseball instruction there, every so often, Tim will provide some baseball tips here on John and Cait…Plus 9 as well.

Enjoy!
-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

SHARING BATTING AVERAGES…MAYBE THE WORST THING WE CAN DO FOR OUR PLAYERS

 I know this post is going to be controversial. As a baseball and softball coach for more years than I can remember, I have often made playing decisions and batting order decisions based upon batting average. BA is easy to calculate and the baseball/softball culture has revolved around BA as undeniably the most important offensive statistic. Just yesterday, I picked up the newspaper and read the top 100 high school batting averages in the area. It’s how we keep “score” when comparing offensive players.

And that’s a shame. Let’s suppose a player hammers a line drive at shortstop in his first at-bat (AB). He then advances a runner from second to third in his second AB with a sharp grounder to second base and in his final plate appearance drives the centerfielder to the wall where he makes an over-the-shoulder catch. The batter is 0-3 and his batting average takes a dip.

Do we seriously think that my imaginary hitter’s 0-3 performance was a failure? If we judge him by batting average, the answer would have to be “yes.”

Why do we love to watch Ryan Braun and Jean Segura? Answer: Because they compete in every AB. In other words, they give us “quality” At Bats (QAB). But, of course, a QAB doesn’t always result in a hit. At last count, there are eight guys out there with gloves trying to catch it. More and more coaches are grading hitters’ performances based upon whether or not they give a QAB..and that’s a good thing.

 Ryan Braun is the “poster child” for how to compete in every at-bat. Ryan knows the value of a quality at-bat.

Ryan Braun is the “poster child” for how to compete in every at-bat. Ryan knows the value of a quality at-bat.

Here are several examples of a QAB:

  • Hit the ball hard regardless of whether or not it results in a hit
  • Any seven or more pitch AB that doesn’t end in a called third strike
  • Execute situationally: Sacrifice bunt, suicide squeeze, advance a runner, sac fly, etc.
  • Getting a walk (unless it’s my big bopper taking a walk with two outs and runners on base)

On the other hand, I don’t consider a “handle shot” that falls over second base or a nine-hop “seeing eye” grounder that manages to squeak through the infield a QAB. Get the idea? You can find plenty of QAB charts on the internet if you decide to make the move from away from the almighty batting average. You will find yourself and your players having a much better approach to winning a baseball game when they are equipped with an understanding of Quality At-Bats.

Over the years, one of the sure signs that my team was going badly or about to tumble was when I’d overhear kids talking about their batting averages. The last “swing thought” I want my hitter to have is about what happens to his batting average if he gets a hit or doesn’t. Batting average can be poison for a hitter, but focusing on Quality At-Bats is the antidote

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

-Tim Rappé

Tim.Rappe@Brewers.com

Tim’s Tips: Fielding and “The Milwaukee Two-Step”

Last month, I introduced to you Tim Rappé, Executive Director of our new Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip, eight separate week-long baseball/softball camps open to youth (ages 6-14) that will be held in various cities across Wisconsin this summer.

Along with signing up for the camps and getting excellent baseball instruction there, every so often, Tim will provide some baseball tips here on John and Cait…Plus 9 as well. See below for his insight on the batting stance!

Enjoy!
-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

“MILWAUKEE TWO-STEP”…THE DANCE OF THE GREAT INFIELDER

Time to talk a little defense. Any coach or scout who has to make a decision about which player we draft or keep on our team at travel tryouts knows how difficult that decision can often be. Certainly, we look at arm speed, bat speed, leg speed, position-specific proficiency and the important but intangible, character “make up.” In addition to those attributes, I think it’s fair to say that we all have something that we specifically look for that can make or break that player’s chances of going forward.

Here’s mine. When it comes to judging an infielder I watch their approach to a ground ball…specifically, I watch their feet. I want to see the infielder work him or herself into position to (a) decrease the distance of the throw and (b) increase momentum to the target. Does the infielder come to the ground ball and stop or does he/she come through the ball and continue in the direction of the target? By virtue of this simple evaluation, I will often make the “cut or keep” decision.

And here’s how we teach kids to do this correctly. The feet do not land at the same time as they would when a basketball player does a “jump stop.” The basketball player is deliberately stopping his momentum to his target and converting that to a vertical movement. The baseball and softball player wants to create controlled momentum toward their target.

Before I get into more depth on this subject it’s important to understand that I am describing the action of the infielder throwing the ball from his/her right to left like a shortstop to 1b. It does not apply to the first baseman throwing to 2b or the second baseman throwing to the shortstop covering 2b. Got it?

It starts by working the body into a position where the ground ball is just off his/her left shoulder. Whether the infielder takes two steps or ten steps to charge the ball, the last two steps are: Right Foot followed by Left Foot. This left shoulder positioning and Right Foot/Left Foot movement causes the fielder to receive the ball just to the left of his/her belly button and when the fielder makes a power step to the target, the distance is shortened considerably and momentum gives their throw more “carry.” The infielder has achieved what I want to see..Decreased Distance and Increased Momentum.

Rickie Weeks Fielding

A smooth, rhythmic, RIGHT>LEFT>STEP>THROW execution is exactly how an average arm can achieve above average results and the “plus” arm turns into a rocket launcher. And it tells me that the player has been well trained and is ready to advance.

There is another critical positive result from this fielding approach. The fielder who comes to the ball and stops or even worse, sits back and lets the ball come to him/her is sentenced to whatever the last hop is…good or nasty. The fielder who is aggressive and comes through the ball can often control which hop he/she fields. Ever wonder why great shortstops seem to always get good hops? It’s not an accident.

Want to make the team and show that you’ve got the stuff to be a big time infielder? Remember the RIGHT>LEFT>STEP>THROW fielding action.

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

-Tim Rappé

Tim.Rappe@Brewers.com

Tim’s Tips: Busting One of Baseball’s Biggest Myths

Last month, I introduced to you Tim Rappé, Executive Director of our new Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip, eight separate week-long baseball/softball camps open to youth (ages 6-14) that will be held in various cities across Wisconsin this summer.

Along with signing up for the camps and getting excellent baseball instruction there, every so often, Tim will provide some baseball tips here on John and Cait…Plus 9 as well. See below for his insight on the batting stance!

Enjoy!
-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

SWING DOWN OF THE BALL!?

BUSTING ONE OF BASEBALL’S BIGGEST MYTHS

I confess. Years ago I preached the importance of swinging down on the ball. It sure made sense when you consider that the hands start at shoulder height and have to hit a ball that is obviously lower than that. So swinging down seemed to make a ton of sense and we sure didn’t want to encourage the dreaded uppercut.

But even as I taught the “swing down” concept, there was something gnawing at me that kept whispering that this just didn’t make the most sense. But I trusted my eyes and the advice that had been passed along to me. Isn’t it true that much of what we teach is because that’s how we were taught? The really good news is that most of that which is passed along remains true. Swinging down on the ball is not one of them. Here’s why:

The top of the pitching rubber is set at 10 inches above the ground. Most baseball pitchers throw the ball from an overhead position. The instant the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand, gravity begins to do its thing and a 90 mph pitch decelerates at about 1 mph every seven feet. When the ball crosses the plate it’s traveling diagonally down at about -10 degrees.

So, Coach Tim, what’s your point?

My point is that because the ball is traveling downward when it crosses the plate does it really make sense to swing down to make solid contact? The ANSWER: It doesn’t make sense at all. And thanks to high-speed video we can confirm that, at the point of contact, the ideal swing should be 7 to 10 degrees tilted upward. In other words…an uppercut. Getting the bat head on the same plane as the ball is undeniably the best way to “square up” a pitch. Video confirms that our major league hitters swing up at contact. Braun uppercut

If you are hearing this for the first time, I realize that it may challenge what you were previously “sure” of. New video technology has rocked many of our traditional beliefs. But here’s why you don’t necessarily have to change a thing about how you coach, even armed with this new information. If you are teaching the correct starting position, correct hand path and proper finish, the likely result is a slight uppercut at contact. Mission accomplished.

The uppercut that we see from our young hitters that ends up in a pop up, a top-spin grounder or a whiff is the result of a severe 15-30 degree uppercut that does not match up with the downward angle of the pitch. At the Brewers Baseball Academy we don’t teach kids to uppercut. We teach the correct positioning of the body and the proper swing sequence. The resulting path of the bat head is where it should be…traveling about 10 degrees upward at contact.

The irony is that we want a slight uppercut but we don’t teach kids to uppercut because you will not like the result. Teach proper swing mechanics and the result will be more balls hit on the “screws.” Whether or not you decide to continue to shout out “SWING LEVEL!” to your hitters is up to you. But now you know the truth.

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

-Tim Rappé

Tim.Rappe@Brewers.com

Tim’s Tips: Pop and Glide, See the Ball Before You Stride

Last month, I introduced to you Tim Rappé, Executive Director of our new Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip, eight separate week-long baseball/softball camps open to youth (ages 6-14) that will be held in various cities across Wisconsin this summer.

Along with signing up for the camps and getting excellent baseball instruction there, every so often, Tim will provide some baseball tips here on John and Cait…Plus 9 as well. See below for his insight on the batting stance!

Enjoy!
-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

POP AND GLIDE, SEE THE BALL BEFORE YOU STRIDE

In a previous post, I discussed how important it is to have excellent timing and control of the bat if you ever expect to be a good hitter. Now I’m going to discuss a very specific component of timing that is often misunderstood and unfortunately often taught incorrectly.

If you’ve been around coaching for a while you may have heard the expression, “When the pitcher shows you his pocket, you show yours.” That’s a pretty good visual meant to describe the timing of the pitcher lifting his stride leg and the hitter assuming the load-stride phase of the swing. In general, that’s solid advice but I think it’s flawed. Let me explain.

I’ve spent a great deal of time watching video over the years and made it a point at a recent Spring Training game between the Brewers and the Angels to confirm or disprove this critical teaching point. What I saw was exactly as expected. The hitter’s stride foot does not plant until the ball is in flight.  If we step too early, the “kinetic chain” is broken and power will be lost…a bad thing. If the stride heel plants a fraction of a second before the swing is launched, there is a maximum transfer of power…a good thing. What makes this especially difficult to achieve is that a  90 mph only takes .44 seconds to reach the hitter. Talk about a small window in which to get “on time.”

Braun

So, here’s my problem with the “pocket-showing” strategy.  It doesn’t take into account that (a) not every pitcher’s delivery is the same. Some guys are slower to the plate than others and (b) not every pitch is delivered at the same speed. Clearly, if the first guy you face is throwing 60 mph and the second guy is throwing 80 mph, using the back pocket as the timing trigger will almost certainly cause a break in that kinetic chain…a bad thing.

It is better to be early than late but our goal should be to get the front side down on time. If anyone questions that, just ask any pitcher what he’s trying to do to the hitter. His answer: Mess with the hitter’s timing. If that front foot heel comes down too early or too late, advantage pitcher.

So, what is the hitter’s strategy to stay on time? That’s what the on-deck circle is for. Take a look at pro hitters and see them trying to get their timing down before they step in the box. And make sure that when the heel plants you are balanced. Don’t lean back. Don’t get out over your front side. Take another look at Ryan Braun’s picture for a textbook shot of what a hitter should look like prior to the swing. If you were expecting gas (fastball) and got Uncle Charley (off speed) as long as you are balanced with good posture and your hands haven’t leaked forward, you can still drive the ball.

Hitting is about constant adjustment and nothing is more critical and ever changing than proper timing. “Pop and glide, pop and glide. See the ball before you stride” is an old timers’ verse to remind hitters that the foot comes down as the ball is in flight. Still good advice.

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

-Tim Rappé

Tim.Rappe@Brewers.com

Tim’s Tips: How Important is Batting Stance in Hitting Effectively?

Last month, I introduced to you Tim Rappé, Executive Director of our new Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip, eight separate week-long baseball/softball camps open to youth (ages 6-14) that will be held in various cities across Wisconsin this summer.

Along with signing up for the camps and getting excellent baseball instruction there, every so often, Tim will provide some baseball tips here on John and Cait…Plus 9 as well. See below for his insight on the batting stance!

Enjoy!
-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

How Important Is Batting Stance in Hitting Effectively?

One of our favorite and most effective ways of demonstrating correct hitting mechanics is to point out how the Major Leaguers, the best hitters in the world, go about their business. Video and photos make believers out of even the most stubborn pupils. But what happens when our professional role models seems to be teaching all the wrong stuff?

Here’s the scene: Our best hitter steps into the batter’s box and assumes a stance that looks like he’s been possessed when what he’s really doing is channeling his favorite player. Probably something he saw in last night’s game or on SportsCenter. Remember the “horror” when our young players decided to mimic our own Craig Counsell?

Counsell stance 1

Here’s my advice to coaches when that happens. Relax. With the exception that I will point out in a minute, what the hitter does with the bat and/or his body prior to the “heel down” position is style and will not necessarily impact his hitting success at all. You might consider letting this part of the hitting process belong to his unique personality. Big leaguers use their stance and pre-swing movement primarily to relax, find a rhythm and prepare for the explosion that’s to come. Kids often get creative in their stances because they think it looks cool. As a coach, you have to decide if this is a battle you choose to fight.

To help make the best decision for your player, keep in mind the three things we must accomplish in every at-bat:

1)      Get the “sweet” part of the bat to the hitting lane as directly and as quickly as possible and keep the bat in the hitting lane for as long as possible

2)      Generate maximum power at the point of contact

3)      Eliminate anything in the pre-swing or swing that prevents #1 or #2

Hitting is so darn tough that our position at the Brewers Baseball Academy is summed up in the question we ask our hitters: “Why would you do anything that might make hitting tougher than it already is?”  Sometimes asking that question works. Sometimes it doesn’t.

So, exactly how do we determine if there is a problem? If the stance and pre-swing movement are considered “style,” when do we start getting serious about hitting mechanics? The answer is at “heel plant.” While we allow creativity in the stance, once that front heel lands, we are very particular about a whole laundry list of key points. If any of them are compromised because of what the hitter has done previous to that, it must be fixed. I could do a whole chapter on what we look for in this position but I’ll save that for a future post.

If the hitter’s stance and pre-swing movement don’t get in the way of the three absolute requirements, you may want to let your hitter “express” himself. However, and this is a BIG “however,” if it does cause him to be out of position at “heel plant” or it causes him to get there at the wrong time, then it must be corrected.

Circling back to our major league role models, what we have found through video analysis is that regardless of pre-heel plant styles, once the front heel lands the position of 95% of big league hitters is remarkably similar. Take a look at where Craig Counsell is when his heel lands. Rock solid.

CounsellC10RS035

So, here’s what we know. The best hitters in the game may exercise their own creativity which, to the untrained eye, can give the impression that hitters have widely different mechanics. But a closer analysis reveals that when that front heel hits the ground, the absolutes are present with just about everyone…certainly with all the best hitters. And also keep in mind that Major League hitters are ridiculously gifted athletes who can afford to get a little crazier with their pre-swing approach because their talent can overcome that craziness…sometimes. Our advice to all hitters, especially the young ones? Keep it simple. Develop your own comfortable approach that serves to prepare you for the very difficult challenge that’s hurling toward you, but don’t let style ever get in the way of getting the job done. Ever.

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

-Tim Rappé

Tim.Rappe@Brewers.com

Tim’s Tips: Bat Speed or Bat Control…Which is King?

Last week, I introduced to you Tim Rappé, Executive Director of our new Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip, eight separate week-long baseball/softball camps open to youth (ages 6-14) that will be held in various cities across Wisconsin this summer.

Along with signing up for the camps and getting excellent baseball instruction there, every so often, Tim will provide some baseball tips here on John and Cait…Plus 9 as well. See below for his insight on Bat Speed/Bat Control.

Enjoy!
-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

BAT SPEED OR BAT CONTROL…WHICH IS KING?

It’s Monday morning in Maryvale and I’m doing one of my favorite spring training activities. That is, watching batting practice. The team is taking BP on the game field this morning and I’m reminded of an animated conversation last night about hitting…specifically, about bat speed versus bat control. I leave the religion and political conversations to others. But bring up hitting and it’s “go time.”

Anyway, I was asked to confirm a dad’s belief that bat speed is the single most important component of hitting success. I understand dad’s beliefs because I get asked about bat speed all the time. And it is obviously vital for success at the plate. But the obsession with increasing swing speed as the most important thing a hitter does is generally wrong. Here’s why.

If a hitter swings the bat at a heretofore unattainable 150mph (no one can) but fails to get the four inch sweet spot to the right place at the right time, the best result he can expect is a mis-hit. But the most likely result is a whiff.  Conclusion: Great bat speed without great bat control and timing is pretty close to meaningless.

Remember that one of the absolute goals of every swing is to generate maximum power at the point of contact. Clearly, bat speed is critical but not at the expense of accuracy and timing. A “Happy Gilmore” walking hack might generate great bat head speed but unless you’re playing slowpitch softball, the result will not be good. The good news is that that correct mechanics will not only lead to control of the bat but is the single most important thing a hitter can do to increase bat speed.

Alex Gonzalez shows how perfect timing results in maximum force at contact.

Alex Gonzalez shows how perfect timing results in maximum force at contact.

Why does watching the Brewers take BP remind me of the importance of bat control? Because every swing they take has a situational purpose. The 3-1 count swing is different than an 0-2 swing. Runner on 3b with less than two outs demands a different approach than 0-0 with the bases empty and so on and so on. As I’m writing, Carlos Gomez is told to hit behind the runner on first base and he does. Next pitch he’s told to drive the ball and he does just that.

Getting the bat head to the right spot at the right time requires unbelievable timing and accuracy and I maintain the most important and the most difficult aspect of hitting. That’s why, at the Brewers Baseball Academy, we use a progressive hitting approach that builds the hitter from the ground up. Over the past winter I did video analyses for over 700 young hitters and we will use that data along with a couple ideas I picked up at spring training to build a hitting strategy for every camper. You can count on it.

Despite all my huffing and puffing about timing and control, until next time, “If you’re gonna swing, might as well swing hard.”

-Tim Rappé

Tim.Rappe@Brewers.com

Introducing Tim Rappe, Executive Director of the Brewers Baseball Academy

Two weeks ago, we announced the exciting addition of the Brewers Baseball Academy, presented by Kwik Trip,   eight separate week-long baseball/softball camps open to youth (ages 6-14) that will be held in various cities across Wisconsin this summer.

BE-13 BaseballAcadem-Logo-FINAL

And now, I’d like to introduce Tim Rappé, Executive Director of the Brewers Baseball Academy, who, from time to time, will be a guest blogger on John and Cait…Plus 9 (plus Tim)!

Tim Rappé (ruhPAY) is a veteran of the youth camp business as a result of 17 years with the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls. Tim created and managed the youth player development program for both teams and served as president of the most respected summer camp program associated with any professional team in the country. He also served as president of the Bulls/Sox Training Academy from inception in 2001 through December of 2011.

Tim attended Brookfield Central HS and was an All American sprinter at UW-Madison. He was a draft pick of the Cincinnati Reds. With his background and also, as a father of five himself (whose oldest son played baseball at Virginia Tech and his oldest daughter plays softball at Ohio University), Tim is passionate about teaching  kids “the greatest game on the face of the earth.” He promises to do no less for the kids in Wisconsin.

So now, without further ado, here’s Tim!

-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

Tim Rappe, Executive Director of the new Brewers Baseball Academy and guest blogger special to John and Cait...Plus 9!

Tim Rappe, Executive Director of the new Brewers Baseball Academy and guest blogger special to John and Cait…Plus 9!

In case you missed the news, recently the Brewers announced the launch of a summer camp program entitled the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Academy. I am beyond honored to have been selected to serve as executive director of this new chapter in Brewers history. In future posts I will discuss a variety of topics – primarily instruction-based, but in this initial entry I want to make a couple very important points regarding what you can expect at a Brewers baseball and softball camp.

First, a confession….Quite often professional teams roll out sports camps that are more about creating a sponsorship opportunity with actual instruction taking a back seat. This promise I will make about the Brewers Baseball Academy: Our mission is to create the finest baseball/softball camp in America for kids in Wisconsin. Our success will be measured by how much your child improves from Monday to Friday. And, incidentally, we intend to have a blast along the way. Fun is an essential ingredient in the learning process and we’ll have a double dose of that.

So, if you have a boy or girl 6 to 14, have we got a camp for you! And it doesn’t matter if he or she is picking up a bat for the first time or is the stud shortstop on a select travel team. They will have fun, they will get better, and along the way, create memories that will last a lifetime. How cool is that?

We’ve got terrific sites in the Milwaukee area, Sun Prairie, Kenosha, Appleton, Oshkosh and Green Bay.

Check out all the details at www.brewers.com/camps to find out how you can be part of the inaugural year of the Brewers Baseball Academy. Or you can always email me at tim.rappe@brewers.com. Until next time, don’t forget: “If you’re gonna swing, might as well swing hard.”

-Tim Rappé

Tim.Rappe@Brewers.com

Brewers Baseball Academy to Debut this Summer with 8 Week-long Youth Camps

Today we are proud to announce the inaugural season of the Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip!

The Academy is open to youth (ages 6-14) and includes eight separate week-long 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. The camps will be conducted under the supervision of Tim Rappé, executive director of the Brewers Baseball Academy.

BE-13 BaseballAcadem-Logo-FINAL
“Our promise is to create a world class Milwaukee Brewers baseball experience for every camper,” said Rappé. “Regardless of skill level, the camp will profoundly improve each player’s ability to play the game of baseball.”

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 12-16), 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 week-long 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 120 random participants with $50 gift cards to their store. One lucky camper from each host city will also receive a personalized camp jersey, along with a special presentation during the camp graduation ceremony.

In addition, two registrations per host city will be given away through a promotion at Pick ‘n Save stores throughout the season. For details, visit participating Pick ‘n Save locations.

2013 BREWERS BASEBALL ACADEMY CAMPS

City

Site

Dates

Sun Prairie, WI

Sun Prairie High School

June 17-21

Green Bay, WI

Notre Dame Academy

June 24-28

Delafield, WI

St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy

July 1-5

Appleton, WI

Fox Valley Lutheran High School

July 8-12

Milwaukee, WI

University School of Milwaukee

July 15-19

Oshkosh, WI

Oshkosh West High School

July 22-26

Mukwonago, WI

Mukwonago High School

July 29-August 2

Kenosha, WI

Carthage College

August 12-16

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

-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

800×600

The Milwaukee Brewers are proud to announce the inaugural season of the “Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip.” The Academy is open to youth (ages 6-14) and includes eight separate week-long 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. The camps will be conducted under the supervision of Tim Rappé, executive director of the Brewers Baseball Academy.

“Our promise is to create a world class Milwaukee Brewers baseball experience for every camper,” said Rappé. “Regardless of skill level, the camp will profoundly improve each player’s ability to play the game of baseball.”

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/campsand upon completion of the last camp (August 12-16), 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 week-long 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.

–more–

 

 

 

 

BREWERS BASEBALL ACADEMY continued

 

As the presenting sponsor of the Brewers Baseball Academy, Kwik Trip will award 120 random participants with $50 gift cards to their store. One lucky camper from each host city will also receive a personalized camp jersey, along with a special presentation during the camp graduation ceremony.

 

In addition, two registrations per host city will be given away through a promotion at Pick ‘n Save stores throughout the season. For details, visit participating Pick ‘n Save locations.

 

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

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