VIERA, Fla., June 1, 2020 – The Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), the largest multi-sport organization in the country, are bringing their unique “Players Way” brand of instruction online.
The organizations joined forces last year to create an innovative partnership to expand baseball by improving development of the amateur and youth markets.
The first-of-its-kind national sports collaboration, “Players Way”, is a much-needed addition to the youth baseball landscape. It emphasizes the highest quality of player development pathways and will equip, challenge and inspire our youth and the next generation of ball players. Young amateur athletes, coaches and parents will be able to engage directly with current and former baseball and softball players and learn directly from the game’s most knowledgeable and experienced professionals.
“This partnership unites our Major League players and former professional players with the amateur baseball community on a far more fundamental and substantive level than ever before,” MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark said. “It creates an exciting and unique platform for our members to work with the next generation of young players and share their inside knowledge about the game and how it can and should be played.”
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the “Players Way” programming this spring and summer will be moving online. The Players Way website will be populated with fundamental baseball and fastpitch softball tips as well as exercises, stretching and drills that can be done inside the home or outside in a yard.
The Players Way curriculum also addresses the mental side of baseball – game strategy, techniques for preparation, focus, and in-game adjustment, as well as advice about nutrition, exercise, playing other sports, and the importance of an off-season. Its programs are age- and skill-specific and available in multiple languages.
“Our new alliance with the MLBPA will draw on the vast experience of Major League Baseball players to stress proper development within the game of baseball both on and off the field. That development starts with America’s youth,” said Don DeDonatis III, the Chief Executive Officer of USSSA. “The vision is based on a more well-rounded young individual that has a deeper understanding of how the game is played, which over time can change the path of amateur sports for the better.”
By focusing on young players just getting into the game, the “Players Way” will provide holistic programs that address skill development, training, and the dedication needed to succeed at baseball as well as life outside of the game. As the partnership evolves, opportunities for players of all ages and ability levels will become available.
“We are grateful to the MLBPA for allowing us to tap into the invaluable expertise of its membership base, and for making these professional players accessible to USSSA state organizations all over the country,” DeDonatis added.