ARE YOU READY TO COMPETE?
First and foremost, the Braves National approach is all about competing. Playing for the Braves is a very challenging and rewarding experience. Players must tryout to make the team. Choosing to tryout is our first indication that a player is competitive. Then if they make the team they must constantly compete for playing time and positions. And it’s not just their teammates they are competing against, it’s also any other talented player in the country who might decide someday he wants to tryout for the Braves.
How does the emphasis on competition benefit a player?
- First, it has a way of rapidly sorting players into their natural positions on the baseball field. The earlier a player discovers his natural position, the more time he has to master it. By our definition, a player’s natural position is the one his talent and skills allow him to defend against all comers. If a player can’t win playing time at a position or innings on the mound as a pitcher for the Braves, there’s not much chance he will do so at the next level of baseball.
- Another benefit is motivation to excel. There is no flat ground on the Braves. There is no where to rest. It’s a steady climb all the way to top.
- To beat out the thousands of other players around the country with same goal as you, you will want and need a supporting cast of highly competent players around you. Competition builds competence.
- No player, coach or parent can talk a college coach into a scholarship offer or a pro team into a draft pick. Sooner or later, a player is going to have to compete if he wants the rewards and there’s no better place to start competing than right here!
The approach benefits the team too. Our players compete hard on the field. They never give up and they don’t mind getting dirty and sweaty or even shedding a little blood in order to get the job done. Our reputation for producing tough, hard nosed players is a key attraction for scouts. It’s not unusual to have dozens of scouts watching our teams play in national events.
Division 1/Draftable skills must be evident to play for the Braves and an unflappable demeanor is an absolute pre-requisite to play in the highly competitive environments we visit. Among the attributes we look for in our players are game speed, physical and mental preparedness and toughness, high intelligence, baseball savvy and superior playmaking skills. Offensively, we require outstanding bunting and baserunning skills and the ability to move runners. We expect players to know the situation and use the count in their favor. Players with the ability to hit with power to the opposite field are highly prized.
Pitching is perhaps the most crucial element to succeed on the national level. The ability to command the fastball and have touch on the change up cannot be overstated. We expect a high strike to ball ratio. The training we give our pitchers in the heat of battle is unparalleled and has led others to describe our teams as “Pitching University.”
Our approach is not the only way to get to the next level of baseball, but our track record indicates that it is certainly a proven way.