Development ProgramUpdated Thursday August 27, 2015 by Rick Licursi.
Development Program Goals
1. Provide a fun baseball learning opportunity
2. Improve basic skills
3. Prepare kids for Juniors & Minors
4. Provide an opportunity to play in tournaments
5. Make existing OPLL travel program stronger
Registration will occur in June. We will have two programs – Juniors Development Program & Minors Development Program.
For the Juniors Development Program, we will open registration to kids who would be 7u and 8u in 2016. 6u kids can participate if they have approval from one of the development team head coaches. Due to the skill difference between a 6u and a 8u kid, we will let the coaches decide if the 6u player is ready.
For the Minors Development Program, we will open registration to kids that will be 9u and 10u in 2016.
If kids sign up for the Development Team and they make a travel team, then they can pull the kids from the development team.
For this program to be successful, we need parents to volunteer and get involved with the practices and scrimmages. Coaches should expect 75% or more of the parents to participate in the practices.
Kids per Team
Each team will consist of 10-12 kids.
We would allow the players’ parents to request a coach. After registration is closed, we will contact the parents. If the coach has more requests than spots, then we will allow the coaches the ability to choose which requests they want to honor. If the kids do not select a coach, then the coaches can select kids they know. We will divide up the kids evenly between teams.
We may need to shuffle the teams once the Fieldhouse practice schedule is established. This will identify what day the actual practices will be on. We will not know the schedule until all the travel teams are established. This typically occurs in August.
The following charges will be applied to the registration costs:
Money would be paid to the league. The league would provide the supplies to the coach. The coach would work out the practice times with the Field House Manager and the other Development Team Coaches.
Please Note - The OPLL does not make money on this program.
Scrimmage facilities - The coaches can opt to rent fields at Sahlen’s, New Era, or OP Gym for scrimmaging.
Tournaments - The tournament costs will vary between $60 and $120 per kid, depending on the number of tournaments they enter. Typical tournaments cost between $30 to $40 per player. Participating in tournaments will be dependent on their son qualifying for a team. Uniform cost would be ~$45. The coaches will be responsible for ordering the jerseys (with guidance from OPLL).
The extra costs would be collected independently by the team.
Each team will have a Field House time slot from September through April. The 1 hour slot is ideal for kids this age. Having the entire Field House allows the coaches to maximize the kids time with a bat or ball. This emphasizes the need for parental involvement. If parents aren’t willing to commit, then the program will be very difficult to sustain. Through the trial run, we have maximized the player’s time with the ball - The kids get a lot of repetitions. This keeps their focus and attention.
The Director of Coaching will be working with the Development Teams to ensure the coaches are coaching baseball properly. OPLL will offer coaches clinics and we will be sending technical experts to some of the practices. Our philosophy is simple - If the coaches have a good grasp on baseball fundamentals and they are shown ways to teach these skills, then the kids will benefit. This also gets all kids learning the same techniques, which will help as the kids progress through the different leagues & possibly into travel programs.
The coaches may hold practices & scrimmages in September on the OPLL fields. We recommend practicing in stations for 30 minutes and then playing a scrimmage for 45 minutes. This is an ideal time to play as the weather is great and the fields are open.
When the weather turns and the days get shorter, the teams will practice indoors at the OPLL Fieldhouse. They will use stations to cover fielding, catching, throwing, hitting, pitching, and base running.
The frequency of the practices would be up to the coach’s discretion. They should encourage their parents to choose which practices to attend and which they want to skip, depending on their child.
We would allow the Development Program kids to play on tournament teams. OPLL will work with the coaches to determine which kids are tournament ready. We will provide the coaches with a list of tournaments. The coaches will provide this list to the parents. The kids will be pooled together. The Development Team head coaches will get together to decide how the teams will be assembled.
During tournaments the kids will be playing against all-star teams and travel teams. The tournaments are designed to give the kids some exposure to competitive baseball.
Wayne Hemmerling (Development Program Coordinator)
Tim Stiles (Field House Manager)