Ryan Brownlee: What were the biggest challenges getting your facility going?
Well, COVID was happening, but the biggest challenge was the fear of failure. It was a big uptaking, but my life dream was to do something big for baseball in the west [Chicago] suburbs.
RB: Do you feel like you need to be certified in Rapsodo, Driveline, and youth certification to run a facility?
I think you need to have some understanding of it. The biggest thing is, technology is booming. Everyone has something with technology. In my head you just need to know what it is and be able to speak to it. You do not need to be a professional at using the equipment, you just need to know what it is.
RB: What are some of the other things that maybe have changed since you first started?
Personally we have gotten to a simplistic model. For example, when people ask me what my hitting philosophy is, I tell them hitting is problem solving in motion. Every pitch presents its own problem and, as a hitter, we want to solve that problem.
RB: What was the thing that stuck out to you when you went and watched the World Baseball Classic?
Passion and energy. They play with so much pride, energy, and passion about where they are from. It could be a minor leaguer going against a major leaguer but they fit the mold making the game fun.
RB: Do you have many three-sport athletes coming into the facility?
Maybe not three sports but definitely multi-sport. I think it is great, I really support multi-sport athletes. I think it is great for different body movements. I do think it is harder than it has ever been though. Every sport is going on a 12-month calendar now.
RB: How can we help players and parents get a better and healthier perspective on the developmental piece?
I think it's just telling the truth. The sad thing is it's my truth, right? You have to give them information so they can make the best decision.
RB: What would you like to see changed in travel league tournaments?
For the most part, I would like to see tournaments that are just five games. Play full games and get rid of round robins. I also would like to see travel teams practice more.
RB: What are your thoughts on the ABCA Diversity Meeting at the Convention?
It is a good start to things and a good environment to have a tough conversation. You see a bunch of people step up and at least try to have the conversation.