Dates for 2014 Winter Skills Clinic Announced

Win Within will again be moving indoors this winter to conduct our Winter Skills Clinic.  

Win Within believes that the winter months are a time to focus on the fundamentals in preparation for the spring season. We will be teaching the mechanics of the swing using the "Tribe Stance", proper throwing mechanics to promote arm health, footwork and technique for infielders and outfielders, and agility work to improve athleticism.

Clinics will be held once a week on Sunday or Monday for all of January and February from 6-8pm in Martin Gym at St. Albans (3001 Wisconsin Avenue Northwest, Washington, D.C., DC 20016).

January Dates
Sunday the 5th
Sunday the 12th
Monday the 20th (Martin Luther King Day Weekend)
Sunday the 26th

February Dates
Sunday the 2nd
Sunday the 9th
Monday the 17th (Presidents Day Weekend) 
Sunday the 23rd

Click here to register

Catching Clinic Announced for Week of July 22-26

Win Within will be hosting a clinic specifically designed for Catchers ages 7-14.

We will focus on receiving, throwing, and blocking as well as stressing the mental aspects of the most important defensive position on the field.

There will also be flexibility and conditioning training that is specific to the catching position.

Players will leave with a sharpened skill set, but also a number of drills and exercises that can be done on their own to continue their development.

The clinic will run Tuesday to Thursday July 23-25 from 5pm to 6:30pm and will cost $140 for the three sessions.

Please send your Catcher with his own gear.  If he does not have his own, please let us know and we will make the proper accommodations.  

Feel free to pass this along to any baseball enthusiast.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch.


WWB Gets Some Good Press...

Sure the article was written by a WWB parent, but that doesn't diminish the truth of the message! 

Read it here! 

Wait, Am I  That Baseball Dad?

How baseball encourages bad parenting—and how you can support your kids on the diamond without driving them crazy.

By John Dickerson  

For most of my son’s baseball game, the man in the red folding chair sitting behind me had been just a voice on the hill.  Now he was my enemy. His son was pitching. Mine was batting. When my son fouled off the first pitch, the father was gleeful. When the second pitch was called a ball, he questioned the umpire. After a called strike, he roared: “He can’t hit you.” Impressive—he was trying to intimidate a 10-year-old batter. I wanted my son to get a hit to shut him up, or maybe a line drive foul to do so more directly. In the end, my son lined out to the shortstop.

In the heat of competition, I was ready to make that guy’s folding chair into a bowtie for him. He was an ass. But on the drive to 7-Eleven for the traditional post-game Slurpee, I had a creeping revelation. What if I was that guy?

After all, I was pretty invested in my own son’s game. If I hadn’t been, red-chair dad wouldn’t have irritated me so. I started to catalog my own sins. I had cheered hard when my son threw a key strike; the dad of the kid at the plate probably thought I was a jerk. When my son was at bat, sometimes I yelled “good eye” to compliment him for not swinging at an obvious ball. But sometimes I did this for the benefit of the umpire, who had called a ball bouncing off the plate a strike. When an umpire called a boy safe at second who was out by a distance that could be seen from space, I yelled “What?” so loudly that everyone stopped to look at me. Was I becoming the dreaded Baseball Dad?


Surely not. I know the type. They lurk behind the backstop spitting instructions between each pitch. I don’t do that. They yell coaching tips to kids who aren’t their own. They appear in the dugout between innings with advice. Or they sanction their kids. “Move your ass,” yelled one dad when his youngster walked out to center field. At another game, a mother berated her son for blowing a play at third. Then, after the exfoliation, she yelled “Now shake it off.” As a father on our team pointed out, “She was the one putting it on!”

You can see these parents coming. There is a loose correlation between the quality of swag and the behavior. When the visiting 10-year-old travel team rolls their matching bags on to the field and their uniforms have their names on the back, that’s the first sign things are going to get intense. The five-person coaching staff barking like drill sergeants is another tipoff. The parents backing this operation are so invested that no subpar play is going to be tolerated. They are there to administer rebukes. At one game the parents arrived in unison like an invading army. They established a perimeter around the backstop and deployed their folding chairs, sunshades, coolers, and playpen for the siblings. All had shirts and hats emblazoned with the team logos. Some wore their child’s number.  On our team, the parents only had matching copies of the Sunday New York Times.

So, yes I’m not that bad, but there is something in the nature of baseball itself that can help drive parents to madness. As reader John Barry put it nicely: “The ratio of potential conflict/dispute to action/movement in baseball is extremely high. Each pitch is potentially disputable; as are throws to first base; stolen bases; tag-outs; fair ball/foul balls. And everyone in the stands is focused on that one potentially disputable action.” The Catholic Church has no papal decree so complicated and misapplied as the infield fly rule.

It’s also a game that encourages you to yell at the umpires. That’s part of the fun of being a spectator. We do it at Nats Park, so why not at the local diamond as well? It’s hard not to chatter as an adult the way you did as a kid—the constant talk that kept you from being bored during the game’s pauses when you were a player. This means you’re running your mouth in a way that can be dangerous. (Also, it’s a fact: Many umpires need eyewear and should be encouraged to learn the benefits of routine ophthalmologist visits.)

Most of all, though, baseball draws parents to emotional excess because it lets you do what normal parenting doesn’t: cheer out loud for your child when they are under pressure and something’s on the line. The great lesson of baseball is that even the great players strike out. The key to the game, as in life, is to endure failure, adapt, and through grit hit more than you miss.  It is a joy to be able to participate in this concentrated sneak instillation of the lessons of life, because most of the time you won’t be there. You can’t show up at the SAT to root for your child.  After they strike out with a girl or a boy you can’t appear and show them in front of everyone that you support them no matter what happens.

Excessive behavior is embarrassing to your child, it’s embarrassing to yourself, and it teaches your child all the wrong lessons about sportsmanship, character and grace. But even if you’re not risking those outcomes, there is a challenge to finding the line between unconditional love and intensity. Even if you stop short of acting like the horrible parent, there’s a finer line to walk.  You don’t want to smother the experience for them with too much engagement. It’s their game—just as it’s their life. Know when to butt out. Jason Larocque, a baseball coach who runs the Win Within program in Washington, D.C., tells the story of his Dad who was there for his every game but never encroached. “He did it right,” says Larocque. “He was a former high school and college baseball coach who never once made a comment during my games, spoke to my coaches, or forced me to practice despite his wealth of knowledge.”

Now I don’t know if I can never make a comment during games, but I can dial it back a bit. And I have picked up some great pieces of advice from other parents. Don’t quiz kids about the game immediately after it’s over. It puts too much on them when they’re still processing the experience or finally taking a break from the pressure of it. Let them bring it up.

And if you do talk about the game, put a limit to it. One parent never talks about the game once he and his daughter have left the field. I can’t handle that, so I try to squeeze it in between 7-Eleven and home. Once we’re out of the car, I’m done talking. It’s up to the kids to bring up their sports after that.

My favorite advice is from a piece published on about horrible Little League parents. Great college athletes were asked what their parents said that made them feel great and that amplified their joy during and after a game. The overwhelming response: "I love to watch you play." It’s true: I do love to watch him play. Perhaps that’s the best brake on overdoing it. I wouldn’t want to send any other message that gets in the way of that one.



We are a different type of organization because we only hire role models. Their baseball knowledge is excellent, but we really want to find young coaches who know how to teach sportsmanship, life lessons, and positive motivation. Period. We believe life lessons are more important than anything else the game can provide. If you agree with this philosophy - check us out!


We are all trying to serve the developmental needs of our players in an era of "travel ball." It is tempting indeed to play game after game, travelling all over creation, in service of getting our players game experience. While this can be good for the accomplished, polished player, it is indeed very difficult to develop talent and fundamental skill in such an atmosphere. Better yet, players need to practice on their own, repeatedly and with intense concentration. Even better, we should be practicing the right skills and movements according to our evaluated weaknesses and mechanical inefficiencies. This diagnostic piece of development can only really happen with an experienced instructor in a relaxed, private setting. Video analysis can also help to this end. Book a lesson today to get started on the right track, with a diagnosis and suggested routine for improvement. Inquire about our bulk lesson packages. We look forward to working with you!


Join us this upcoming weekend (4/7/2013) for our first session of the Big Diamond Club. It is a program dedicated to training and preparing 13U and 14U players ( a group commonly ignored) for the rigors of the "big diamond" for adult players. This can be a difficult transition for youth players.  The clinic is at St. Albans School field Sunday evenings from 4:00pm to 5:30pm at St. Albans baseball field for 8 consecutive weeks starting April 7. We hope to see you there. Register and pay on our new registration system!


13U and 14U Players Often Fall Through the Cracks!

As the weather improves and the days get longer, Win Within is beginning to make plans for the spring baseball season.  We are excited to announce the launch of our Big Diamond Club that will be held Sunday evenings from 4:00pm to 5:30pm at St. Albans baseball field for 8 consecutive weeks starting April 7.  This is for players ages 12-14 who will either soon be advancing to a regulation size field or are trying to get more comfortable with the bigger diamond.  The transition to 90' bases and a 60' pitching distance can be difficult for many players due to the longer throws, which changes the timing and pace of both the defense and offense.  Our aim is to aid in the development of your ballplayer, increase health and durability of the throwing arm, and help prepare him for his next level of baseball - whether it be rec, travel, or high school.

Local Favorite Nick Sussman named Co-Director

Win Within Baseball is pleased to announce the hiring of Nick Sussman as Co-Director of Win Within Baseball. Nick will oversee new programming development, coaching development, and the design of curriculum. Nick will also continue on with his role as coach of the 12u Tribe. It is already a happy new year for WWB and the Tribe!

Coach Nick Sussman's Bio

Nick Z Sussman, former assistant baseball coach at Pomona-Pitzer
College in Claremont, CA, worked with hitters, catchers, infielders,
and coached 3rd base for the past three years. The team won 83 games,
including a 2010 SCIAC conference championship, and spent many weeks
in the top 25, reaching as high as #7 in Division III. During the
past two summers, he was head coach and general manager of the
Rockville Storm of the MCBL, a local college wooden bat summer league.

He has been with Win Within Baseball for the past two years, and
enjoys teaching the game and imparting its values to young players.

Nick is a DC native, graduate of The Bullis School, Kenyon College,
and holds a MBA from Lynn University in Sports Administration.


January & February Indoor Clinics

January Indoor Clinic

Hosted by St. Albans Baseball Coaches & Players

5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

Ages 7-13 (boys & girls)

Martin Gym, St. Albans School

Sunday, January 6

Sunday, January 13

Monday, January 21 (MLK Jr. Holiday)

Sunday, January 27

Cost $120

Click here for January registration form.

February Indoor Clinic

Hosted by Win Within Baseball

5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

Ages 7-13 (boys & girls)

Martin Gym, St. Albans School

Sunday, February 3

Sunday, February 10

Monday, February 18 (Presidents' Day Holiday)

Sunday, February 24

Cost $120

Click here for February registration form.

Win Within now registering players 8-11 years old for our 2012 Fall Instructional Baseball Program (IBP). Please check out our registration form for details. Click on the link below.

Program highlights:
1. Coordinated to work with local little leagues.
2. Flexible Options - 1 day or two day per week options.
3. Work with our outstanding coaches in an intense practice/clinic environment.

Fall 2012 Instructional Baseball Program Flyer
A tremendous book about mission, self, discovery, and purpose.

Here is a telling graph presented in the book - I will let you make your own conclusions - but basic premise is that as time moves on, we start to focus on the WHAT's of an activity, group, or business; and not the WHY - the purpose driven, inspirational component of the thing.

For our players - they should always find joy in the game - and really start to appreciate it - once that joy leaves, it is time to look for a new activity.