Winter break is around the corner - what do you have planned for your ball player? CT Edge has it covered with an exciting 5 days of baseball workouts for your athlete to help keep him focused, energized, and engaged in all things baseball. Class size is small - register today!
Owners, Dennis Boucher and Jason Pfannenbecker celebrated their inaugural year in business last week with an in depth planning session to plan for the 2016 Season. The planning session incorporated a 360 review of 2015 from facility review to team performance to player development to program goals. Here are some highlights:
Since the Grand Opening in November of 2014, the CT Edge has made tremendous strides. The building renovations were completed by mid Winter 2015 housing five turf cages for indoor training, a lounge to facilitate team meetings and parent interaction, and a ProShop with CT Edge clothing and accessories. Despite a late Winter, two baseball fields were carved out of the adjoining property to facilitate convenient, outdoor practices as well as host 8U - 12U home baseball games. Moving forward into 2016, CT Edge will focus their facility efforts on the adjoining baseball fields, by improving the grounds conditions for practices and games. In addition, the ProShop clothing line will be expanded with a more extensive offering of clothing and accessories for players, parents, siblings, and fans.
Many of the CT Edge teams experienced winning seasons - racking up trophies, rings, and medals to adorn the walls of their bedrooms. Others had seasons filled with continuous improvement through intensive player development of individual skills while learning how to work together to create a team chemistry. CT Edge does not identify one of these seasons to be more successful than the other, as a trophy or a title does not determine the ultimate success of a player or a season in youth sports. Development, perseverance, focus, drive, and desire are elements that can come out of a winning or losing season for which there is no medal, yet the rewards are far greater than the title. As tryouts commence in mid November, CT Edge will look for players who are not only skilled ball players, but players that have the drive to improve and willingness to learn.
Throughout the course of the season, it became clear that leadership, in the form of both coaches and players, is crucial to the team dynamic. Changes have been implemented to ensure that players have strong role models on the field who excel at transferring baseball skills, increasing one's understanding of the mental part of the game, and are committed to the development of the players on all levels - as athletes, as students, and as young men. In regards to player leadership, CT Edge will work with all players to model positive leadership techniques and address behavior unbecoming of young athletes. To facilitate this ongoing effort, CT Edge is in the process of developing conduct code guidelines for both coaches and players to set an organizational standard for all members of the program and will communicate this standard prior to the start of the Spring season.
Baseball is a team sport driven by individual opportunities. As such, the Winter training regime has been revised to reflect the need for specialized, position specific training complemented with longer team practices to develop team chemistry on the field. A series of Winter Clinics were announced highlighting opportunities for small group, specialized training in hitting, pitching, catching, and infield work. These sessions promise to provide interested players with an opportunity to focus on their individual skills on their own time, in order to more significantly contribute to their team in the Spring. This change in programming will allow for longer team practices during the off-season. Open hitting, which was highly successful in he inaugural year, will start back up in December. At $10 per player, kids are welcome to come to CT Edge and hit off of live pitching in multiple tunnels. This informal, no pressure style is a great opportunity to kids to stay loose all Winter long, regardless of their commitments to other teams or sports.
In 2015, several of our CT Edge athletes were identified as players to watch by college recruiters. Invitations to college showcases in Rhode Island, New York, and Massachusetts were offered to these players in the Fall of 2015. Beyond the responsibility of providing baseball instruction, CT Edge will continue to work with our players who have a desire to play baseball at the college level. We will achieve this program goal by assisting them with the recruiting process, providing mentorship with the application process, communicating with coaches in accordance with NCAA regulations, and providing opportunities for players to be seen by college and pro recruiters.
Halloween weekend. The last weekend of a long season highlighted with amazing comebacks at Nationals in South Carolina, fierce battles against the best in the country at the World Series in Long Island, and victories at home in Connecticut.
The 14U CT Edge Select started preparing for the 2015 season in Winter of 2014, determined to push themselves to be better than they were the season before - stronger, smarter, smoother. Seamless on the field, cohesive as a team. So on their journey, the long Winter of training finally gave way to Spring on our new fields. Seemingly, without notice, Spring trickled over into Summer and before our eyes the season was over. The team wrapped it up with an impressive record of 57-8-2, but CT Edge is not about records or wins in the book. It is about growth. It is about player development. It is about challenge. CT Edge is about finding out what the team and the players need, even when it is harder, more uncomfortable, and means not as good of a record. It is about the players and about the team. With this is mind, the coaches gathered the team family together to make a decision to place the boys in 16U Wood Bat for the Fall Season. The decision was approved with the hope that it would ensure that the team would be pushed to face stronger, faster, older athletes who would challenge the players to play smarter, cleaner, and more focused baseball in every game.
There were concerns ... Were the boys ready? Would the pitcher be at risk? Would the catcher be at risk? Would the boys lose confidence? Would they fracture and splinter when the wins weren't racking up and games weren't a 4 inning mercy? Could they adjust to the wood bats? In addition to the baseball concerns, many of the boys started high school this year. The added work load, new social dynamics, changing of schools, and for some, the addition of a second competitive sport in the Fall season would all culminate at the same time as asking this group of kids to play up two age groups. On paper, it looked like a lot to handle for a group of 13 and 14 year old boys. To make it work, and to ensure the well-being of the players, parents and coaches had to commit to working together towards common goals for the Fall: continued progress of each and every player emotionally, socially, and athletically both on and off the field.
Coaches and parents worked together to ensure that scholar athletes were keeping up with school commitments both in the classroom as well as on the football field or cross country course. Meetings were held to discuss the need for sportsmanship, a team dynamic, and personal maturity. Conversations continued regularly stressing the need for a dual effort between parents and coaches to remain focused on the common goal - continued progress.
And so the boys played 16U this Fall. The racked up a few more losses than in the Summer season. The games were closer and required more focus, and not to our surprise, there were stumbles. Players needed to adjust to the reality that their opponents were better competition than they played during the regular Summer season. The fly ball to left center that was a stand up double was now an out. The hard ground ball in the hole that was a single in the Summer was now an out. Those high pop-ups were a whole lot higher and that line drive came off the bat a whole lot faster. The pitchers were stronger, had better control, and more pitches in their repertoire. There were more strikeouts, more ground balls, and yes, more outs. The boys had to learn to control their emotions, count on one another to bring in the man on second, stand up and high five the kid who just hit a sac fly to right field, cheer on the kid who just hustled to run out the throw for a base hit, and support one another in the face of increased setbacks, including defeat. Injuries surfaced, teammates had to skip practices to finish homework or prep for an entrance exam, and players had to fill in at new or unfamiliar positions, requiring veterans to communicate plays and provide leadership in the field. The boys were challenged in every possible way: physically, mentally, and socially. When they faltered, they were asked questions for which they did not yet have answers. What kind of ball player do you want to be? What kind of man do you want to be?
The culmination of this team family decision was Halloween weekend, coming off of a USSSA Championship victory in a 14U tournament. It was time to go back to the tougher world and less predictable world of 16U for the playoffs. Their hard work during the regular season bought them one game on Saturday, which they won without too much struggle. Sunday promised to be a harder day. Single elimination, with a possible three games against strong, well-rounded teams. Tough pitching all day required better pitch selection, well-placed hits, and small ball basics. Faster base-runners challenged our pitchers and catchers to keep leads short, block better behind the plate, and stay on their toes to throw out or pick off runners at every opportunity. And finally, inevitable mental or physical errors in the field required players pick each other up, hustle back into the dugout, and remain committed to one another on every play - regardless of outcome.
On a breezy Sunday, marking the first day of November, the boys met at the field at 8am and left just shy of 11pm that same evening. Yes, the CT Edge Select 14U team left with trophies naming them the 16U league champions for the Fall Season. They played all weekend with a love of the game most often seen in little boys, but with a progressing maturity that brings each one of them a step closer to becoming young men.
CT Edge Baseball Academy Announces Schedule for 2015-2016 Winter Clinics
Every athlete has parts of his game that need work. The off-season is the best time to identify those weaknesses and attack them with the same drive and determination that you exhibit on the playing field . Whether it's your blocking as a catcher, your footwork as an infielder, your delivery as a pitcher, or your extension as a hitter, the CT Edge coaches are ready to prepare players for the 2016 season.
Monday - Hitting Clinics
Tuesdays - Pitchers & Catchers Clinics
Wednesdays - Catchers Clinics
Thursdays - Infielder & Throwing Mechanics Clinics
Visit www.ctedgebaseball.com for more information.
Space is limited, so register early to reserve your spot!
Winter Clinics are open to all ball players.
You do not need to be a CT Edge player to register or participate.
You do need to be dedicated to the game and to your personal development.