How Brandon Made All Stars
(This story on how Brandon Made All Stars is excerpted from the e-book,
“How to Make All-Stars”)
Maybe the best story to learn from is about the kid we’ve been following along in this book from the very beginning, Brandon from our Angel’s team that we did our 17 tests on. He did almost all of the steps outlined in this book and could be a model for your efforts.
Brandon started his quest to make all-stars this year, the day they chose all-stars the prior year. It was that day he came to me and asked “what do I need to do to make all-stars the next year?”
He was realistic in that he didn’t have any expectations that he should’ve made the team that year, he honestly wanted to know if it were possible to be put on a course that would help him make all-stars the following year.
The first thing I did with him was give him an honest evaluation of his talent and how he ranked in the league. Having watched him and the kids in the league I put him in the middle of the pack. That would represent ranking #60 out of the 120 kids in the league. That meant that he would have to pass 48 kids or more in one year’s time! (Or readjust the goal to make it in two years).
I told him that to do that meant that he would have to do a lot of work. Since he could throw fairly well and since pitching is the #1 thing all-star teams look for, I told him that we should start him learning to pitch. He liked that idea since they let him pitch 2 innings this past year.
That would take about 20 minutes a day 5 – 6 days a week (I don’t have time to go into what all that means and what he would be working on during those times, I’m letting you know of the time commitment I was demanding of him.) Then the #2 thing the voters look for was strong hitters, hitters that had memorable hits like doubles, triples and home runs (although only one kid had hit a home run all the prior year in his age division and that was on the little field). So that would take another time commitment of 20 minutes a day, 5 – 6 days a week, practicing on the tee, hitting off of someone tossing to him, and someone pitching to him (I’m not a big believer in pitching machines, due to the lack of timing matching the arm motion of the pitcher, but that’s a story for another day). On top of that, he’d have to get lessons from me every week to make sure he was learning the right things and using me as a motivator and progress checker.
That’s a big time commitment – but he said “yes” and more importantly, he followed through and did everything I asked him to do in his training sessions and his practice times.
Seven months of practicing and training 5 – 6 days a week went by with no playing of actual baseball games against other kids. He had watched videos, went to a clinic put on by Tony Gwynn 150 miles away, and went to see a major league pitching coach to double check the pitching mechanics I had given him. All the while before the day of tryouts for the new season Brandon just quietly went about the business ahead of him with the goal of making the all-star team in his head and in his prayers.
Since this league has kids as voters, for the day of tryouts, I suggested a different tactic than the one I suggest for leagues that have coach voters. (See chapters on different voting techniques of leagues). I suggested he didn’t dress like a ball player and while I didn’t suggest he tank or sandbag (not do his best at) the tryout, the goal was to get ranked lower so that he might have the chance to play on a better team, since normally the better teams in the leagues get more kids voted on to all-stars than the last place teams do. And while he hit one farther than any kid at the tryouts, the coaches must have attributed it to a lucky hit as they picked him on a team in the 5th or 6th round (meaning that he was now ranked in the coaches’ eyes about #30 – 36, but we knew he was better than that and they hadn’t tested for pitching which was now very good.
Move forward with me one month and the first day of practice arrived. Imagine the coach’s surprise and delight to find his 5th or 6th pick turning out to be his best player and best pitcher. Imagine the #1 pick’s surprise and shock to find a kid better than him now. (This was one of our targets – to get to be in the top three of a team, and being #1 would be even better).
Most kids figure they practice enough baseball during the season by going to team practices 2 – 3 times per week, but the commitment I had with Brandon was to workout 5 – 6 days per week, so he continued with the program as before, giving 30 – 40 minutes or more on his drills even on practice days.
His hard work paid off as he got the ball on opening day to pitch and this continued as he pitched the most innings on his team, throwing more strikes than any other pitcher in the league, and winning 7 games while losing 3. And at the plate he hit a number of balls into the outfield for doubles and put 2 over the fence for home runs, which really made his name known around the field.
Leaving nothing to chance, he watched a number of other games, in his jersey that had his last name on the back. And played games of pickle and other games of chase, etc. with the other league kids, having fun meeting and becoming friends with many of the kids in the league.
When the day of voting came around, Brandon was there, just hanging out,
just like my book suggests.
And so when they called out the names of the all-star team, one of those names was Brandon’s! That’s Brandon beaming with pride in his all-star jersey and hat outside the batting cage he practiced so much in on the front cover.
(To see the cover photo this is referencing, click here.)
That's how Brandon made all stars. Would you like to make your all-star team? If so,
I have some questions for you
Would you be willing to do what Brandon did to make your all-star team?
Would all the hard work be worth it to you? If “yes”, then make it happen, do the steps we’ve talked about in this book. Read some of the questions others had about this process to learn more and be sure to follow the steps I have for you in the conclusion.
SIDENOTE: Some may view 30 – 40 minutes a day, 6 days a week as extreme for a 10 year old, but realize this was Brandon’s goal, not mine or anyone else’s and he had to pass more kids than you would normally have to in 1 year’s time.
To find out more about how Brandon made all stars but more importantly, how you can make all-stars, click here now!