The S.L.I.D.E. - Youth Baseball Podcast
The S.L.I.D.E. - Youth Baseball Podcast
17 – Player Development with Mark Helsel from US Elite Baseball

For this episode, Jen and Aaron are joined by Mark Helsel from US Elite Baseball along with the newest member of the Slide podcast team, Bryson Mitchell. Mark is joining the show today to talk about player development.

Despite not growing up surrounded by baseball, Mark was obsessed with baseball and helped found US Elite Baseball about 17 years ago. Back then, travel baseball was much smaller and much more specific. His son was 12 and wanted to play in the SCC at that time, so Mark formed a team of other kids, 100% of whom got scholarships.

It took dedication and hard work, and it also took a love of what he does to get the program to where it is today. Mark credits Rob Bruno from the Norcal program with mentorship and helping to build the program. Coaching Little League is a huge responsibility that takes care and attention. To help him, Mark has created the 10 Commandments of Youth Sports.

These rules are a way to help parents with kids in youth sports positively support them. For example, do not talk about the game immediately after. Instead, wait for them to be ready. Another big one is to allow them to fail. You can’t learn if you don’t fail. The pressure to win and be perfect can be devastating for a young player.

Today, youth sports is much more of a phenomenon, with a lot more factors involved. Things like money and parental involvement have become much larger parts of the experience, and it can cause fractured relationships. Mark has training programs for his players, coaches, and parents that they have to complete before they can attend.


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