I wanted to provide information about our program so families could make the best decisions possible while focusing on what we do and why it is important. We do not recruit the top athletes and search for the better players (although we do get our share of them), we accept all “committed” athletes and families into our program.
Our Stars and Stripes Sports- Columbia, SC team has limited spots available as we are not looking to have the biggest group as we can only serve a number between 60 and 100 athletes. Our target for this program is 75 players while having a 9U, 12U, 13U, 14U and 18U team. Each team should have 12 players on the roster and we will have fill ins available that need flexibility.
All players on our rosters have to contribute, they also have to pitch no matter their skill level, we will teach them to compete and when committing to our program we commit to our families. They do not have to worry about losing their spot in our program if they do not get a hit on the weekend or give up the game winning walk off home run. It is our job to teach and develop each player and our teams job to bring everyone along as we are only as good as our weakest link and we are all responsible for one another success on and off the field.
Each player must 1. Play Fearless 2. Be a Good Teammate and 3. Live A Little (No one should have more fun than us!). Parents must support their child and every child in our program equally as much. If the parent does not have anything good to say, then do not say it. If they embarrass their child, I will embarrass them. There are no parent head coaches and there are no politics in our program, we always do what is in the best interest of the team by doing what is in the best interest of each player. Long Term Development is our focus and we are experience and proven in the ability to develop properly.
We reward effort and take the pressure off of making mistakes which everyone does. Any error made should be made being aggressive without fear of failing. The players should not get yelled at for making an error and especially if it is a play, skill or technique that has never been taught to them. All of those errors are mine! I will own them. However, I will fix them and make sure they are better prepared and understand what skill is necessary along with the proper technique to be successful at making the next play in a similar situation.
I will hold you accountable for your efforts! I will always make sure you are providing your best approach and will use teachable moments to challenge or recognize proper approach to everything that is taking place, not just when an error is made. You will always be expected to be in the best position possible when the ball crosses the plate and you will always expect the ball to be hit or thrown to you on every play.
I never want to question you effort and If I do, you will know it and will be expected to put forth the effort that the other teammates are putting forth. You will never question my effort. You will see a passion for teaching and development that engages you in wearing our uniform. You will see that we are better prepared than every team we face or it is my fault. I will never let up or concede a lack of effort or an improper approach to not be corrected.
At our practice this weekend we had teams practicing next to us and I could hear the coach yelling that is 5 push ups for every error they made. What? We will never motivate by fear, I say if you made the error make sure did not leave the throw short but throw it in the parking lot and break a car windshield! We reward effort and build confidence while creating good teammates who do not want to let their team nor the program down.
We have the most sophisticated Athlete Management System and player development process in the United States and we document everything that is going on. Each athlete is keeping their daily journey and it is being reviewed by someone who is knowledgeable and passionate about making sure each athletes has the best opportunity to reach their full potential. We will ask each player to complete a Daily Athletic Performance Survey, complete customized muscular endurance programming, upload video and documents involving your athletic and academic journey.
It is my program but it is your team and your facility. We will be using a very suitable facility for a cost of $50 a month to the athletes families who can use it any time they wish as long as they are a part of the program. It cost $20 per practice and $75 per weekend to play with us. You have to buy your uniforms which total about $150. You pay as you go, no upfront investment needed. Our National Team participation costs $295 per event.
We are a family, a group of families all with the same common goals and aspirations who want the best for each player in the program. We are not expecting our kids to play in the Major Leagues but we want them to dream that they can. Most all of our players will play in college. Not all in big name Division I programs but we will have a couple do that. Most all of our players are high in academic performance and are very well rounded.
Stars and Stripes Sports is a National Brand that has provide developmental experiences all over the United States, Cuba and the Dominican Republic for over 10 years. We have had over 10,000 families participate in our programs and who have learned “Competitive Adaptability”. I want to be able to throw anyone of our kids out of an airplane and wherever they land, I want them to be able to play for any coach, be prepared to show skill and technique necessary to play any position they are asked to play and to be a good teammate to any players on their team.
I am not sure why you play for the team you are playing for and I hope you are being challenged and are on that team for all the right reasons. I hope you, in your heart, know you are providing them with the very best developmental opportunity possible. I hope each player will be given the opportunity to fail and not fear repercussions that impact their quality of life and love for the game. Last , I hope you would never put your child in a situation that endangers their health or childhood for the sake of competition and winning a trophy!
Kelly Ahrens is a professional coach and athlete engineer from Columbia, South Carolina. He provides professional services to individuals and organizations across the United States and has been deeply rooted in sports testing and development. Stars and Stripes Sports companies are well established in proving the ability to track and develop athletes based upon their individual challenges. You can contact Kelly at KellyAhrens@StarsandStripesSports.com
Learn more about what families think about their participation with Stars and Stripes Sports.