|PROUD DAY FOR ACADEMY ELITE BASEBALL
|AE Alums Ben Klimesh and Charlie Tilson meet for first time as PROFESSIONAL PLAYERS!
AE COLLEGIANS IN THE NEWS
|NCAC HITTING STREAK
|AE's Chuck Apfelbach sets Record hitting in 23 straught games!!!
|Andrew Touhy earned NCAC Conference Player of the Week honors in April
|MARCH 25, 2013
|AE's CHARLIE DILLON NAMED LANDMARK COLLEGIATE ATHLETIC CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
SIGNS WITH WINONA! CLICK
ON ERIC (ABOVE) FOR THE STORY
Contact Academy Elite at
Pickwick Avenue, Glenview, IL 60026
|CLICK FOR STORY ON AE's BOB COOK
|2012 AE 17 SELECT ISU INVITATIONAL CHAMPIONS
|CLICK ON PIC FOR HIGHLIGHTS OF ISU CHAMPIONSHIP
AE SELECT IOWA TOURNAMENT HIGHLIGHTS
AE SELECT TOP COLLEGE PROSPECT TOURNEY HIGHLIGHTS
AE SELECT NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY HIGHLIGHTS
AE SELECT LOUISVILLE, KY VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS 2012
This fall, Academy Elite saw its
11th player in 5 years make his collegiate baseball team or be offered a scholarship to play in 2014--that did NOT play for
his highschool team--or even MAKE his team. These opportunities rank from niche Division III programs to powerhouse
Division I programs. We have noticed many high school programs virtually copying our format with their summer schedules and
coaches following our lead in helping players gain exposure and opportunities. On the North Shore, players are virtually threatened
to be cut if they entertain Club Baseball opportunities. At Academy Elite, we have been viewed as everything from Mavericks
to Outlaw Renegades. As this LA Times article points out, we are
what we claimed to be all along; visionaries, forward thinkers and hard-working advocates for baseball players.
CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW FOR THE FULL ARTICLE
LA TIMES ARTICLE
CLICK HERE FOR NATIONALS STORY
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
WRITING LETTERS TO COLLEGE COACHES...REVISITED...
Letters and Emails to College Coaches--Revisited!
9:18 pm cdt
Here it is again...our annual
post about how to write a letter/email to a college coach.
How to send a College Coach an
One of the best ways to get the attention of college coaches is to email them. The problem is most recruits
don’t know exactly how to go about doing that. From my own experience, I’ve whittled contacting coaches down to
an effective formula. Here are some tips on how to email college coaches for maximum results:
- Have a legitimate sounding email. It looks better to be emailing a coach with an email address that has all or part of your name in it. The
goal is to be professional here, and it isn’t too professional if a coach is receiving an email from “firstname.lastname@example.org”.
Don’t hesitate to create a free email account on Yahoo! or Hotmail with your firstname_lastname@website as an
email specifically for your recruiting emails. It will help you keep track of all your contacts.
- The subject line. You want the coach to open your email. Simply putting “read this” at the subject line probably won’t
do it. Provide a little bit of your information in the subject line. For example, write something like “Mitch Thompson,
LHP Prospect from Rockford, IL”. I’ve found that providing your name, your position (you should put down any position
that you play, multiple positions look better to a coach), and your location.
- Pack that email with recipients. search for “athletic directory” on Google. This will give you many, many schools at all levels with coaches you can email. Upon finding the coaches’ emails on
your page of interest, copy and paste them into the recipients section. Make sure to go after assistant coaches too; they’re
more likely to check their inbox. I would often send out emails to 100 coaches at a time. They really don’t care if
there’s a lot of other recipients listed because they do the same thing when emailing their recruits.
- Introduce yourself. Don’t jump straight into a pitch about why you’re the next million-dollar bonus babyr. Remember, this coach
probably still has no idea who you are. Repeating the information from the subject line is a good start: “Hey Coach,
my name is Mitch Thompson and I’m a 6’2”, 200 pound LHP from Boylan High School in Rockford, IL, class of
- List some of your athletic credentials. Start with some of your athletic feats. How many years
have you been a starter? Do you have any honors such as all-league, team captain, etc.? Any other statistical claims (i.e.
led the team in steals last season) as well as a 60 time (if it makes you look good) should be included as well, but
don’t be so quick to list the results of every single showcase skill out there. Some mystery can be a good
- Move on to academics. You’ve got to
be honest here. Coaches want to know how you’re performing in the classroom, and they have to know at some point, so
it’s best to not have any surprises. List your GPA (weighted if possible), test scores (ACT, SAT) and any other relevant
academic info you can put in there, such as honor roll, AP/IB classes, etc. You have to present yourself as a kid who can
appeal to the admissions office as well. Coaches want the whole package.
Any other way you can demonstrate your leadership and character (i.e. volunteering, Boy Scouts, involvement with church) will
make you more appealing to a coach and an admissions office. Again, coaches want the whole package.
- Link any other resources you have available. This is why I recommend setting up a free profile
with AcademyELITE. You can post all your stats, info, pictures and even some highlights. That way, if your email interests
a coach, he can visit your profile to find out even more about you. Say something along the lines of “For more information
about me, here is my AcademyELITE profile: (link here).
- Don’t make it an essay. That’s why it’s good to have a AE profile.
You don’t want to write several pages about how awesome you are. Just a paragraph with a few key points about why you
would be a good fit for their program, a place to find out more about you, and ways to contact you (include phone numbers,
cell phone especially).
Thank them for their time. College coaches are busy
guys. While they should be interested in finding out more about potential recruits, they didn’t have to read your email,
so thank them for doing so.
- Tell them how to contact you.
When emailing coaches, provide name, address, phone numbers, and email address (again). Make it as easy as possible
for them to contact you.
- Follow up. If a coach requests
additional information, a copy of your transcript, and/or video, don’t hesitate to send it, even if you’re not
too interested in the school.
Friday, September 30, 2011
Dudes and Duds...
8:15 am cdt
Hey there! At Academy Elite, we use three terms to describe players to one another.
Without naming names, you might
want to categorize yourself and be aware that you are creating your brand every time you step across the white lines...
PLAYER: This is a guy who can do a little bit of everything. He is reliable, shows up ready to play,
requires no "babysitting". If you give him a sign, he attempts to execute properly. He doesn't whine and bitch
about where or how often he plays. He comes with no parental baggage, is generally program oriented and adheres to a
"team" mantra. A "Player" is a guy you would always ask back for another season and you will always look
out for this as he has made an investment in you as a coach or mentor and is loyal to your program. You don't win without
plenty of these guys.
DUDE: This guy takes "Player" to another level. He works tirelessly.
This guy skips homecoming to make a fall game. He gets BIG hits and wants the ball against the best teams--and can produce.
He breaks up with his girlfriend on February 28 to focus on his goal of 15 extra-base hits. He is self motivated. He
plays for himself with a fire and passion that is infectious. He picks up teammates almost instinctively and is indespensible
in the dugout. His manner of play makes others question their own commitment and effort. This guy is why we coach.
One of these guys per year can refuel our collective coaching tanks and they are critical in developing a program. Dudes,
it should be noted, are not just the truly elite players, but they come with NO BAGGAGE. They are meticulous in their
reputation and their parents are supportive and non-meddlesome, program oriented advocates for their son.
Sadly, this is a larger group than coaches would like. Number one symptom of a "Dud" is a guy whose parents
create an impossible expectation. Coaches find themselves balancing parent-pleasing with the competitive integrity of
their ballclub. The player, who is invariably struggling begins to press and creates symptom two...frozen pizza. Now this
player is full of thought and cannot perform simple tasks like taking signs, secondary leads, bunts and even good old fashioned
hustle. At AE, we are exceptional at keeping the morale of this player intact, but not without costs.
In addition, this
player fails to "control what he can control". Some Duds issues stem from having talent but a lack of
work ethic--specific, meaningful work. After age 15, if you are not in the gym 3 times per week in the off-season, you
are allowing others an opportunity to pass you by. This player fails to be constructively objective and critical of his game
allowing himself to go season to season without adding or improving any useable skill. Duds routinely make excuses or blame
the program/coach for their shortcomings. This guy skips a Sunday bullpen in the spring to watch the Hawks or Bulls. He will
never be a consistent performer.
We recommend you guys ask your coaching staff what you can improve upon specifically
this off-season. Work hard without guarantees of anything besides your athletic dignity and impeccable reputation as
a Dude! You might bust your butt and not be offered a spot on the team next spring...but you will gain pride, purpose, and
respect of coaches and players. I've never met a SINGLE player that regretted working hard toward their goal--regardless
of achievement. The good ones control what they can and stay positive.
At Academy Elite, we have so few Duds
every year, we are the most fortunate program around.
In 2011, our Dud-free Nationals won their third major championship
in three years. This time it was
the Big One...the DSP World Series at 18U. Twelve of those players are on to collegiate
playing opportunities. Can you be a National? You gotta be a "Dude".
Friday, April 9, 2010
7:31 am cdt
First of all, it's likely not some major mechanical flaw. Players, parents and coaches tend to overreact to 3 for 15's
with major reconstructive mechanical adjustments, lineup changes, even eye-exams (not always a bad idea prior to the start
of a season). The reality is probably above the shoulders. Illinois High School coaches have a tough issue to deal with.
The veteran coaches know that the kid can hit--just needs to relax, etc. Problem is, they also know they only have a month
of quality weather to get their club playoff-ready. If this were the big leagues, we'd look at the first six weeks and
see what direction the kid is headed and make necessary adjustments. For the Prep player, six weeks is basically the
season. So what to do?
Well, this area is a specialty of mine. I find that most of the useful strategies
I have acquired playing at a high level revolved more around my failures (overcoming different types of fears--or
dealing with them with proper behavior) than successes. The following things WILL NOT work to turn it around...
An unannounced benching or lethal drop in the batting order from 3rd to 8th. Unless a kid is just lazy and a waste of
a uniform, a sudden drop in the lineup is seen as a grave consequence in his life and his confidence will plummet. Instead,
talk to the player. In college, I moved from 3rd to 7th (after leading off my whole life). Our hitting coach said,
"I KNOW you can hit. You're over-thinking this thing. You're still hitting fastballs pretty hard. Coach and I think
if you hit in the higher grass for awhile, you'll get more fastballs, you'll satrt building something and get your presence
back at the plate. You're not going anywhere--you're in the lineup. Take your time, stay focused, and let yourself play."
It worked like a magic potion. It has worked for me as a coach countless times as well.
2. "If you hit
another pop-up or strikeout with men on--you're done"...ummmmm yeah. NOT a good plan. Basically, this hitter is
going to the plate thinking of two things; a popup AND a strikeout. Try, "stay behind the ball, get a good one
to hammer." or "see white, hit white."
3. "Lower your hands and lengthen your stride
and tilt your ass bend your knees choke up open up keep your head in there firmer grip looser grip jump down turn around pick
a bail o cotton..." Invite 30 people over to your house and put out 50 different indredients and see what kind
of soup they make...PARALYSIS BY ANALYSIS, as the saying goes...
Instead, try these little tips. You
may find them sane...and helpful...
1. Take a more useful batting practice guys! Instead of coming to AE and
chucking 100 balls at your buddy who's scuffling, little drills like "5 hit and runs" or "3-2 counts",
etc. create a small amount of expectation and energy (pressure and focus) that translates better into games. Batting
practice is a great time to fail--no scorebooks! In fact, if you're not failing once in a while in BP--you're not improving.
It's the failures and proper reaction to those failures in baseball that teach us and move us up the ladder.
2. Have a plan. Develop an approach with your coach. Don't go crazy with mechanics. Most of you have solid
swings by March. You and your coach within 20 at bats can see how you're being pitched, how aggresive you are, etc.
Talk to your coach and develop a simple plan. I had a kid scuffling last summer; he hit into some tough outs and lost
his aggressiveness. I started the runners in his next two trips with men on basically making him be aggressive and putting
the ball in play hard. The first trip he bounced out and the next he hit a long triple to right-center. He went
9-13 with a homer the rest of the week. If you need a basic plan, you can never go wrong with using what I call the "big
half of the field". It allows you to let the ball travel--see it better--and get back to basics. Trying to pull
the ball, overswinging or just plain trying to do too much plays into the pitchers arsenal. You'll turn an ordinary
kid throwing "78 with an overhand breaker" into "87 with a tight slider". I've seen many kids without
a plan or approach throw themselves
world-class change ups! If it seems like you're ALWAYS hitting
0-1, 0-2, or 1-2...you probably need to change your approach. Stay positive, team oriented, and trust your coach to help.
3. POSITIVE messages are key. We ALL hit the same way...Optic nerve, brain, message, muscle reaction
First, SEE THE BALL. Great hitters can track a ball within 10 feet of the plate. Hitters that suck see it out
of the hand and react. These guys are GREAT 6th grade power threats. Load behind the ball and TRACK it. Maybe even take
a pitch. Ever get a take sign 3 and 0 and swear to the Heavenly Father that had coach just let you swing you'da hit
it 12 miles? The reason is there was NO FEAR of failure. You KNEW you were not swinging. You relaxed and just
SAW the baseball travel. It looks so big and sexy. That's your optic nerve and brain relaxed. Now, add the power
of negative thought and the baseball is reduced to a Bayer aspirin dipping, diving and rocketing through the cosmos. Why?
It's simple. Your hitting sequence becomes optic nerve, brain, fear, message, inhibited muscle reaction
Your muscles WILL NOT react properly when fed negative thought...
To that end, I have told at least a HUNDRED
kids of the following scenario; they always laugh and say "Holy Cr*p! That's SO true."...
You walk everywhere
you go. Up the stairs, down the stairs, to your car, the refrigerator...you never even think about it. It's a
natural as breathing. Now, it's a school day. You turn the corner into a basically empty hallway.
There's a girl you really think is smokin' at her locker with her friend. You don't want to be rude--or a dork, so you
muster the best James Bond "hi" that you've got. Then something HORRIBLE happens. You pass her and...suddenly...you
CANNOT WALK! You're in "I'm a freaking loser freefall!" Things like, "does she think I'm a dork?"
or "are they laughing at me?" stagger you against the ropes and suddenly the negative thoughts have turned something
as natural as WALKING into an impossible chore.
Try listening to yourself breathe in a quiet room sometime. Before you know it--you won't
be able to do that, either, without increased concentration. It's bizarre. We use our brains for evil all the time.
In the end, if you wanna talk give our staff a holler at 224.944.8534. Just keep in mind, as Manny says,
''When Im hitting (well) I can see the ball close to me. When I'm not hitting, I see it close to him (pitcher)."
SEE THE BASEBALL.
Friday, September 26, 2008
I get emails with touching little anectdotes seemingly daily.
I am blessed that people think enough to include me in their left-clicks. Today, I recieved one that really hit the
target with me.
5:32 pm cdt
I like the message and want to share it you. It follows...
Recently I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments
together at the airport. They had announced
Standing near the security gate , they hugged and the mother said , 'I
love you and I wish
The daughter replied , ' Mom , our life together has been more than
enough. Your love
is all I ever needed. I wish you enough , too , Mom'.
They kissed and the daughter left. The mother walked
over to the
window where I was seated. Standing there I could see she wanted and
needed to cry. I tried not to intrude
on her privacy but she welcomed
me in by asking , 'Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it
Yes , I have,' I replied. ' forgive me for asking,
but why is this a forever good-bye?'.
'I am old and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the
reality is - the next trip back will
be for my funeral,' she said.
'When you were saying good-bye , I heard you say , 'I wish you
May I ask what that means?'.
She began to smile. 'That's a wish that has been handed down from
generations. My parents used to say it to everyone'. She paused
a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it
in detail and she
smiled even more. 'When we said , 'I wish you enough' , we were
wanting the other
person to have a life filled with just enough good
things to sustain them'. Then turning toward me , she shared the
following as if she were reciting it from memory.
I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter
the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you
enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of
joys in life may
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough
loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.
She then began to cry and walked away.
They say it takes a minute to find a special person , an hour to
them , a day to love them but then an entire life to forget
TAKE TIME TO LIVE.....
all my friends and loved ones,
I WISH YOU ENOUGH