Travel Baseball… Should it Be about Winning or Player Development?

We often get asked whether our Revolution Travel Baseball program is about “player development” or “winning”? First, let me say that RPP Baseball is operating at full capacity. We didn’t start a travel program to fill up the building. In fact, we are currently seeking additional space. Second, we aren’t looking to build just another travel program. Similar to our player development programs we are looking to build a nationally recognized travel program that can compete with any organization at any level.

With that said, let’s cover the topic “winning vs. development?”

For us development means preparation and there are several buckets that go under this topic. Obviously, skill is at the top of the list. For pitchers, you need to throw hard with good command and control. In addition, with all the present technology, you also need to have good pitch movement metrics. For position players, you need to have bat speed, power, and good swing metrics, and be adjustable at the plate. You also need linear and lateral running speed and obviously a good glove.

But often a number of topics often go unnoticed or ignored in development. This is specifically true with what happens off the field as source of preparation for a sport where movements often last 2-3 seconds. Strength training, power production, overall athleticism, speed mechanics, mobility, movement patterns, nutrition, sleep, and mental performance are all equally important as player development goes. The younger you begin thinking about training off the field, the more prepared you will be in the long run.

At Revolution Baseball, we incorporate most of these aspects into a holistic program that builds athletes from the ground up. The bottom line is, in order to perform at a high level requires training in multiple disciplines all of which should be addressed in a comprehensive player development program from a young age (preferably 11-13).

Now let’s talk “winning”.

In a team sport like baseball, there are two types of winning. Winning as a team and winning as an individual. For example, if your team wins but you had a bad outing on the mound, is that “winning”? I think that is probably a NO from an individual’s perspective.

With all that said, when parents and players are asking about “player development” vs. “playing to win”, they’re also indirectly talking about playing time.

In sports, “playing to win” generally implies that better players get more playing time. Optimally everyone on the team is at a similar level and playing time can be shared equally. But that’s not always what happens. Doesn’t matter the team and the talent, every team has a bell curve. You have players at different levels. The key is to flatten that curve as much as possible over time by flooding the system with player development.

And that is our goal…

“To flood the system with Player Development.”

When it comes to winning, however, there is more to the story!

Every player / family makes an independent decision about who they want to play for. Participants are free to come and go, kind of like free agency. And here is where the rubber meets the road, players who train harder and work harder generally also want to win. They go hand-in-hand.

If you don’t run a program with winning as a part of your mindset, pretty soon you will be left with a less-than-optimal environment for developing elite athletes.

Why? Because the better players will leave, and mediocrity will set in. Improving as a player is not only about how hard you train, but also whom you surround yourself with. Playing with high caliber players will make you strive for more.

To sum it up, here is our approach at Revolution Baseball…

Flood the system with player development, flatten the curve and play with a winning mindset.  The process may take a bit to unfold but it’s inevitable, especially if you have the right training and programming to go along with it, which we do!

Interested in a travel program that has player development in its DNA, join us at upcoming tryouts… click here!

By Bahram Shirazi (owner at RPP Baseball)


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