How ABA got started
Advanced Baseball Academy was founded by Luke and Carla Town in 2011.
They had the idea that they could change the youth sports industry, baseball specifically, so they sat down and made a plan and got to work.
Coach Town had been coaching at an area High School and he noticed that athletes coming into High School were not only lacking fundamental skills and knowledge of the game but they were really struggling with the mental side of confidence, self-esteem, and performance anxiety.
Knowing that there has to be a better way, they decided that they did not want to be just a club. They wanted to be a program that provided a positive learning environment that focused on the physical, mental, and emotional aspects that kids need to not only navigate elite sports but to use those acquired skills in life as well.
From the humble beginnings in “The Barn”, to the state of the art indoor facility with multiple fields for their teams to train, ABA has grown to be one of the most well respected programs in the Midwest and is recognized from coast to coast.
Our Why: To Transform Lives!
Our philosophy at Advanced Baseball Academy is based on a transformational style of coaching. We focus on the process and development of our players. The program’s focus is not based on winning alone but on player and team development.
By focusing on fundamental skill set, our program is geared towards player and team development in the game of baseball and life skills needed to succeed. Many players have goals of playing high school, college, and professional baseball. Coaches and Scouts will only care about the skills that you are able to perform on the day they are watching. Those skills are physical, mental, and emotional.
So with that said, let’s get into some of the heart and soul behind our philosophy.
Why choose Aba?
We are a Transformational NOT Transactional Program
Coaches are considered the second most influential adult in the lives of children to pre-adult. They have the ability to mold an athletes mind, not only on the court or field, but also in other areas of their lives. Let’s first define the difference between the two, very different, coaching styles.
The Transactional Coach has a mindset of win at all cost, focus is on results, are stat driven, what can you do for me?, if you can’t help me win – I don’t need you, and they think of the present moment or season. There’s an old saying, “Players will take on the personality of the coach.” Well, if the coach doesn’t handle adversity, failure, and losing well, then the players don’t handle it well either.
When you hear the phrase “old school coach”, the first thing that comes to mind is the coach screaming at the top of his lungs at his team for errors, the 30 minute post-game tirade, regardless of how they played. A transactional coach pushes so hard that they cause the player to lose the love for the game, they play in fear of consequences if mistakes are made. Coaches like this are the type that are constantly recruiting the best players to take someone else’s spot on the team. Transactional coaches cause a tremendous amount of anxiety, performance anxiety, perfectionism, and depression, and are the main cause (sometimes) for an athlete to stop playing the game.
Transformational Coaches have the mindset of player development first, they are process driven, they don’t lose their mind at a mistake, they recognize those moments as growth. They think long term: growth of the mind and body. They don’t care about the stats and they grade success completely different. They handle adversity differently and don’t see losing or mistakes as failures.
These types of coaches care about the player off the field, they encourage the athletes to love the sport by having fun. This coach doesn’t control every aspect of the game, they let the kids play. They manage the game, not ‘coach’ during the game. They are never looking to replace their players with better players but focus on making the players they have better. Transformational coaches try to lower players’ anxiety and help them to play fearless rather than fearful.
Coach Town started this transition as a transformational coach back in 2006. Advanced Baseball Academy was molded with a transformational coaching style after reading the book Inside Out Coaching by Joe Ehrmann. Our mission is to positively influence athletes physically, mentally, and emotionally.
The Four Pillars
Our focus is on player development for long term growth. We not only focus on the physical skill set of our athletes, we also put a strong emphasis on the mental and emotional health of our players. Helping our players reach their full potential, achieve their dreams, and having long term success in this sport is not a one size fits all approach. Each player has different athletic abilities and are at different levels. At ABA we use the four pillars below to achieve those goals.
Tangibles: These are the things that are measured that have to do with skill set: throwing, velocity, exit velo, speed, etc.
- Private lessons: Personalized and individual programs offered.
- IMPACT ARM: Throwing velocity program focusing on arm health.
- IMPACT PITCHER: The art of pitching is more than just throwing strikes.
- IMPACT STRENGTH: Creating baseball strength and athleticism
Intangibles: These are things that are not measured such as baseball I.Q. which enables players to play the game at a higher level.
- Winter training along with Class Room sessions: focusing on field training using the “ABA Way” to increase each athlete’s baseball I.Q. This is essential to their development and mental understanding of the game.
Character: Character matters. We strive for all of our athletes to become IMPACT athletes. When college coaches and professional scouts call Coach Town to inquire about an athlete, they are not asking about skill set, they can see that. They are asking about the athlete’s character. Topics such as work ethic, leadership, integrity, team chemistry, personality, and much more.
- IMPACT: Teaching our athletes the IMPACT acronym to perform without fear.
- BOLD: Brave On Life’s Decisions is our winter training class that follows each weeks skill training.
- The IMPACT SPORTS MIND: One-on-one sessions with Sports Psychologist, Dr. Ali Scruggs, for athletes who struggle with fear, performance anxiety, low self-esteem and more.
Academics: One of the primary lessons that baseball athletes must understand is how vital academics play in the athlete’s chances to advance to the college ranks. The majority of a player’s scholarship is based on academics. Coaches do not want athletes who will be ineligible to make the squad.