Player skills development is a top priority. We offer the best coaching, training, facilities and competition for our players. Our goals are to prepare each player for a successful high school and select season, and develop the skills for a successful transition to college play.
We also recognize that skills development is a two-way street and seek a certain type and caliber of athlete. At FCA Baseball, we seek athletes who:
- Possess an exemplary work ethic and a passion to continually improve,
- Are coachable,
- Prioritize their commitments and manage their time to make baseball a priority,
- Are serious about their academics,
- Are fierce competitors with a strong desire to win,
- Seek to play high school and college baseball,
- Display exemplary sportsmanship and respect for others,
- Want baseball to be fun!
It starts with outstanding coaches.
We assemble a coaching staff for each team that can cover all aspects of player skills development. Our coaches share knowledge across age groups and provide a similar approach to our instruction. We seek coaches who have: 1) the knowledge, skills and experience to be regarded as outstanding instructors, 2) the humility to admit what they don’t know and seek help from other coaches, and 3) a passion for learning and becoming a better coach. Our coaches include former collegiate and MLB players, high school coaches, FCA alumni and fathers who are highly regarded in our community. The one thing they have in common is a deep knowledge of the tools and techniques for improving players’ skills.
We partner with Rijo Athletics for professional instruction.
Rijo Athletics is the top organization in the Pacific Northwest for training high school athletes who have gone on to play college and professional baseball. Jose Rijo-Berger is a Washington FCA Baseball co-founder, and he has a passion for our program and a vested interest in our success. His premier facility includes five batting cages, two Pro Batter automated pitching machines, Hit Trax, a full gym, speed and agility equipment, indoor and outdoor pitching lanes, an outdoor turf field, and the best professional staff in the Northwest. Tour the facility at the Rijo Athletics website: www.rijoathletics.com.
Skills development includes baseball IQ.
We teach our players how to play the game correctly with a premium on baseball strategy. We often win games because we outsmart opponents. Whether it’s situational bunting/hitting, pitch selection, intuitive and aggressive base running, timely defensive plays, etc., our coaches and players are well equipped to get the final out or the winning run across the plate. We also expect our players to communicate with each other on the field—you won’t hear our coaches yelling across the diamond who should catch a fly ball or take the relay.
Individual work is a must for player development.
Team practices alone are not enough to get players ready for the high school season and definitely won’t prepare them for college. We encourage our players to set goals and put together plans for individual skills development. These plans include offensive and defensive repetitions, strength and fitness improvements, one-on-one work with our coaches, and professional training at Rijo’s or another excellent professional instruction organization in our community.
Balancing practices vs. games.
Too often, clubs focus on maximizing the number of games and tournaments, letting practices go by the wayside. And then players, coaches and parents become frustrated with continued fielding errors, poor on-field communication, limited quality at bats, etc.—issues that could have been reduced by scheduling more practices. Given our focus on player development, FCA balances the right number of practices and games for each age level and team.
Our younger players learn from our older players.
Younger players are encouraged to participate in older team’s practices. Our 18U coaching staff and players welcome our younger players to join right in during practices and be part of the dugout experience during games. Perhaps some of the best motivation for player improvement and development comes when our younger players try to keep up with the 18s.
Playtime and game experience is key to player development.
We go to great lengths to get the right mix of players so that we can maximize playtime. Generally, the team roster size equals the age level. At 18U, rosters are typically larger (18-20+ players for the healthy programs) to accommodate graduations, college camps, college boards testing, and a heavy game load. We will not load up on 10 outfielders and let our players battle it out for who will start. We like our players competing against the other team, not their teammates. If you are on our team, you will play.
Developing the right skills reduces the risk of injury.
Baseball can be a long season leaving players susceptible to overuse injuries. We reduce our players’ risk of injuries by educating and working with them on nutrition, strength, conditioning, proper mechanics and the need for time off. In addition we adhere to the American Sports Medicine Institute guidelines for player/age pitch counts and rest days.