Program Communication - June 15, 2019

Valor Baseball Community,

After an incredible Discovery trip to the Dominican Republic where the love of the brotherhood was found everywhere (to read more about the trip, click here), I got to come back to Valor and start our skill sessions. Those sessions are off to a great start already, and I wanted to explain more of the purpose of our summer calendar.

First, every season should be viewed as an opportunity to improve. We should never sacrifice a season to just play the game. As high school athletes, we should be seeking to get physically stronger and run faster every season of the year. The goal is to spend 4 hours in the weight room and 4 hours focused on running/speed dynamics. Whether this is in Valor Performance, or in another reputable performance program, the goal for this summer season is to be stronger and to run faster at the end of the season. If we don't, we spent athletic equity we can't afford to spend as a developing athlete.

Second, there is progress to be gained in hitting and throwing the ball harder, and in the skills of the game. We put skill sessions on the calendar to supplement the vast number of games played in the summertime. While we certainly need some games after the weather this spring, we have to grow in hitting and throwing the ball harder, while refining our game skills.

Our skill sessions are designed for all players, seniors through freshmen, to come out to the field and get their work in. We want to facilitate an environment where players can pursue mastery of their baseball skills. If you look at the attached map, players will have the option to use those designated areas to enhance areas of strength and improve their areas of weakness. Players should come to the field with a plan of action. Instead of passively doing what coaches tell them to do, they should come with a plan in mind. During the skill sessions, they should take some risks. Imitate the greats. Seek to learn new things. Look for progress not perfection. Make some mistakes and get out of your comfort zone. Partner up with someone and create a unique improvement plan together. This will create opportunities for freedom and joy to be experienced in the game on a level they have not yet experienced.

Valor Skills Map.jpg

To aid in the plans the players create for skill sessions, we have a resource for our players to use -Valor Baseball University (password: valorbaseball22). This website breaks down aspects of the game where the players can begin to assess themselves and improve. There are drill videos and text to explain how our coaches will coach those parts of the game. By no means does VBU represent the only way to play, but it gives our players a framework to use to improve and grow. It's a collection of some of the best information I've gathered through 20 years of coaching. With it being a website, I can add and revise the site to improve it constantly. Recommendations are encouraged!

Coaches will be available all throughout the summer at these sessions and beyond. The coaches absolutely love these players and being a part of their improvement process is something that gives us joy. We look forward to facilitating improvement throughout the summer and building brotherhood through improving one another!

Love,

Keith Wahl
Assistant Athletic Director, Head Baseball & Softball Coach
Valor Christian High School
Influence through Excellence
3775 Grace Blvd.
Highlands Ranch, CO 80126
(303) 471-3000 school, (720) 838-4047 cell
www.valorchristian.com

Program Communication - May 31, 2019

Dear Valor Baseball Community,

To begin, I’m so excited to be back at Valor and to return to the program as the head coach. What a blessing it is to continue to build our brotherhood and speak incredible life into each and every player in our program. We have such a great journey in store for all of you and I look forward to engaging each of you in the adventure. I have some notes and thoughts to begin the summer, and wanted to provide those before we head off to the Dominican Republic on Monday!

Why We Love Club Baseball - As I’m heading down to watch the first part of the Pathway Games down in Albuquerque this weekend, I was thinking about why we love the influence of club baseball in the high school culture. As we start the 2019-20 school year, we have a list of 85 baseball players in our program. There would be no way for us to provide high-level game opportunities to every kid who desired it. Because of the clubs, we have the opportunity to come alongside our families and partner in providing them with a great overall baseball experience where everyone can pursue their baseball dreams and aspirations. I have a chance to go see our players throughout the summer and encourage their journey. As written in a proverb from the 1500s, “Many hands make for light work.” We’re thankful for the clubs in our area and for the work that they do. Make sure to send me your summer schedule so I can come out to watch you play!

Individual Meetings - Upon our return from the Dominican, I will begin meeting with every player individually this summer to chart a course for the coming year. We will have these meetings throughout the year and will serve as the motivational force behind each player’s development. This will be an in-depth meeting where I will engage the players spiritually through applying the teachings of Jesus to the game of baseball, and outline objective strengths and opportunities for growth for the player. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone individually upon our return and be looking for more communication around that in mid-June!

Performance Program, Importance of Getting Stronger and Faster - This spring was filled with a common phrase, “We’re so close.” It was true. We were 11-11 going into the playoffs, and seven of those games were decided by a total of 14 runs. Easy math, right? Just two runs per game. If we are able to flip 4-5 of those games, our record would be 15-7 or 16-6 and we’re hosting in the playoffs. If we flip all seven we’re 18-4 and potentially the #1 seed heading into the playoffs. What’s going to be the key to us flipping those results? It’s getting stronger and faster. It’s doing the work in strength and speed that other people don’t want to do. What if I told you that this past year, in a year where we were making the jump to 5A, that our team was the least powerful and slowest in program history? It’s true. It’s time to get serious about making that jump and the best part is that it’s in our control. Let’s do it. Let’s show incredible dedication to getting stronger and faster. The calendar for June and July is attached here and provides an outline for time to spent in this area. Four hours of strength work per week, four hours of speed work per week, and skill development opportunities outside of game play (more on those when I return). Let’s let the work in the weight room fuel our passion on the field!

Program Verse - Our program verse since the school’s inception has been Matthew 23:12, “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Over time we’ve seen this to be true, and Coach Bonn moving into the position of Athletic Director is one of the most beautiful examples of this. It is my hope that our community will continue to humble themselves to coaching, to feedback, and to the teachings of Jesus. When we do, God will exalt us in His time and in His way. It’s a beautiful path to walk and I want to encourage all of us to follow Him on that road!

I love each of you and I love being your coach. I look forward to seeing all of you this summer.

Love,

Keith Wahl
Assistant Athletic Director, Head Baseball & Softball Coach
Valor Christian High School
Influence through Excellence
3775 Grace Blvd.
Highlands Ranch, CO 80126
(303) 471-3000 school, (720) 838-4047 cell
www.valorchristian.com