All posts by Lauren Witt

Fruits of the Spirit: Love

You might have heard the Bible verse where Jesus tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves. This can be easy to do when our neighbors are our friends, but it’s so much harder to do when they are people who aren’t “cool,” people who are mean to you, or even our opponents on the field.

Jesus was the perfect example of someone who loved those who were hard to love — tax collectors (Luke 19), adulterers (John 7), and even those who killed him (Luke 23).

There are so many ways that we can show God’s love through our interactions with teammates, opponents, coaches, and umpires. We can tell our teammates “Good job!” when they get a hit or make an out.  We can listen to our coaches as they teach us to get better at fielding.  We can congratulate our opponents on a well-played game. We can thank our umpires for donating their time.

How will you show God’s love to those around you this week?

TRY IT AT HOME THIS WEEK: View the Love Fruits of the Spirit handout to see some ways you can try this at home with your kids or on the field with your players.

Jr. RBI Opening Day 2019

Jr. RBI Opening Day 2019
Saturday, June 1st at For the City Center

Waiting to meet their coaches at Jr. RBI Opening Day!

Wondering what’s next and when things are going to start?  

Join us at next Saturday’s Jr. RBI Opening Day at The For the City Center (find your check-in time below). At Opening Day you will meet your coaches, learn what team you are on, get practice location and time, and have the opportunity to purchase discounted belts, pants, and socks for your child.  
Please review important details below.

Jr. RBI Opening Day Details 
Meet your coaches and kick off the 2019 Jr. RBI Summer League with RBI Austin! 

DATE: NEXT Saturday, June 1st

TIME:

  • 10am – 11:30am (check-in begins 10am) — Group 1: 12U Softball9U Coach Pitch Softball, and T-Ball 
  • 12pm – 1:30pm (check-in begins at 12pm) — Group 2: 12U Baseball10U Baseball, and 8U Coach Pitch Baseball

To make the check-in process quicker, we are hosting two check-in times based on division as shown above. Players will only be able to meet their coaches by attending their assigned check-in time.

LOCATION: The For the City Center (500 East St. Johns Avenue, Austin, TX 78752)

Questions? Call us at (512) 381-7137 or email info@rbiaustin.org

Coach Cecil going over some logistics with his new players at Jr. RBI Opening Day!

Can’t wait for this season with you and your family!

Supporters hard at work to prepare RBI Austin for upcoming year

What your work in the off-season is making possible

In the world of sports, we know that a lot of work happens behind-the-scenes in order for the game to be played. You are part of this behind-the-scenes, hard work that makes life-changing relationships possible for our 1,312 RBI Austin kids. 

Your amazing generosity during our year-end giving and at our annual benefit Now at Bat has set RBI Austin up for success in 2019. 

Check out three very tangible ways that your support over the past few months is allowing RBI Austin kids to be part of the something life-giving. 

Increased longevity of relationships

Because of your support, we are able to continue providing programs for our 1,312 kids. This is HUGE since we believe that positive, consistent relationships in a child’s life are so powerful. This means more coaches and kids are returning, spending time together, and are being given the opportunity for their relationship to deepen. 

Softball program expansion

Because of your support, our softball program has taken huge strides in growing and deepening these past couple of years. We launched our first softball player development academy, and 2019 will be the first year when we are able to offer a league for 18U softball! 

Increased volunteer investment

There’s no doubt about it, we are a volunteer-led organization. Without our 518 volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to serve our 1,312 RBI Austin kids. Because of your support, we are able to increase our investment in volunteers through things like strategic coach and mentor trainings, program boards and committees, and volunteer socials.

Donors, supporters, and partners, we are so grateful for you!

Why Intern with RBI Austin?

Why Intern with RBI Austin?

Humility. Program Management. Leadership. Time Management. Serving like Jesus. Delegation. Newly Found Interests. God’s Character. Marketing Tools. Conflict Resolution. Communication Skills. 

These are just a few of the hard and soft skills that our previous summer interns have shared that they gained from their time with RBI Austin. 

If you are looking for an opportunity to gain hands-on, real-world experience in sports management, nonprofit management, and/or communications and marketing, we’d love for you to consider applying for one of our summer internships. Read below to hear a few takeaways from some of our past interns and also to see about application details!

From our past interns

PROGRAM MANAGEMENT: I learned a lot about how much effort and work has to happen behind the scenes to make an organization run. I had no idea how much it took to run a summer league this size. I now feel like I’m better prepared for other roles in life — not just in the workplace — because of the time management skills and people skills I had to learn to use during my summer internship.

TIME MANAGEMENT: With all of the different tasks and responsibilities during my management internship, I learned a lot about time management and also how to work with other people.

GOD’S CHARACTER: I’ve always considered myself a Christian, but through some of the spiritual development opportunities available during my internship, I actually learned more about who Jesus is. I learned that God is not a God in some far off land, but He is real and present.

NEWLY FOUND INTERESTS: I learned new skills related to my major that I didn’t even know that I liked. As a communications intern, I had the opportunity to be in charge of some photography and content collection this summer. I didn’t really realize how much I enjoyed it until getting to practice and having it as one of my responsibilities.

MARKETING TOOLS: During my communications/marketing internship, I learned some significant marketing tools and systems that will help me moving forward in my school work and in future internship or job opportunities — tools that help making branded graphics, schedule social postings, and creating blog schedules.

ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY: A major takeaway that I gained during my RBI Austin internship was the importance of accepting responsibility. There were situations that arose where someone on our team dropped a ball or where a parent or coach was unhappy. Through my supervisor, I was taught that people respond much better to a mistake being made if someone takes responsibility for it. 

SERVING LIKE JESUS: I learned to serve like Jesus calls us to serve…with humility — Some of the summer responsibilities were not the most glamorous or exciting. But in order to make the summer program happen and to fulfill my responsibilities as part of the RBI Austin team, I had to suck it up and get it done. Jesus served those around him with humility and I really do think this is an invaluable thing I learned this summer — to serve those around me with humility.

DELEGATION: I really did feel like I was part of a team with the other RBI Austin interns, staff, and volunteer leaders. With this, I learned how to lean on my team and to delegate. All the tasks assigned to me where not necessarily mine to execute, but they were mine to get done, either myself or through delegation. I think this is huge in learning how to function in a professional work environment moving forward.

MORE THAN A RESUME BUILDER: I went into this summer thinking that this would mainly be another thing to add on my resume. However, with the amount of responsibility I was given, it was impossible to not grow in ways well beyond what I imagined. It was impossible not to fail and it was impossible not to learn. It wasn’t just another thing to add to my resume. It provided real, hands-on experience to make me a better future employee. 

Application Details

More details about our internship program, including internship descriptions and application steps, please visit www.rbiaustin.org/internships/. Our application deadline is Friday, March 15th.

If you have any questions, please email lauren.witt@rbiaustin.org.

Registration Open: 2019 RBI Austin High School Summer Leagues

REGISTRATION OPEN

RBI Austin Baseball + Softball High School Summer Leagues

As High School baseball and softball seasons are starting to get into full swing, RBI Austin is officially opening registration for our RBI Baseball and Softball High School Summer Leagues (Ages 13-18)!

REGISTER TODAY

Players will get the opportunity to play local competitive games around the city of Austin.  Teams will have 1 practice and 1 game night (doubleheader) per week.

The fee to play for the summer is $60 for players who attend an RBI School and $200 for those who do NOT attend one of the RBI Schools.

If you have any additional questions or would like more information, please feel free to reach out me (Michael.galvan@rbiaustin.org).


2019 RBI Baseball + Softball High School Summer League Details

  • What: RBI Baseball Summer League (15U & 18U) and RBI Softball Summer League (15U & 18U)
  • Who: Players ages 13 – 18 (age as of April 30th). Please note that registration for Jr. RBI (ages 4-12) will open in April.
  • Where: Fields throughout Austin
  • When: May 13th – July 21st – Two (2) nights a week including: one team practice and one weeknight doubleheader
  • Player Fee: $60 per player (from RBI schools)* Cost for players from other schools is $200. To apply for financial assistance, complete the financial assistance application here.
  • How: Click here to register.

We look forward to another great RBI Season this summer and can’t wait to see you at the ballpark!

The first kid to call me “coach”

He was the first kid who called me “coach” when I stepped on to the field to serve with RBI Austin.

Meet Harold and Ian — These two kicked off their new mentoring relationship in September, after spending a summer together on the Coach Pitch Marlins. 

Harold shares a little bit about Ian, his mentee, and why he chose to become an RBI Austin Next Level Coach. 

Ian is really passionate. He is all over it in celebrating when our team does something good. 

Similarly, when he makes a mistake, he is really hard on himself. 

I thought that committing to being a Next Level Coach and stay in his life beyond the summer season was something that would provide consistency for Ian. And over time, I may be able to help him develop a little more composure and how to navigate his feelings as he grows. 

Whether it develops into a baseball career or something completely different, I hope that in our interactions he develops in his character — some composure and how to handle his emotions and feelings. 

Hopefully from our interactions and relationships, he will get a clearer perspective on how to handle those moments and feelings. And in those moments, pointing back to “what would Jesus do…” 

I hope he has that kind of a response to things.

Turning challenging things into learning opportunities.

Hopefully in our interactions, I am a role model to him and set an example for him. And that in turn helps him be more successful in whatever he ends up pursuing — on or off the field. 

As our baseball and softball program have been growing, we want to increase opportunities for coaches and players to build deep, consistent relationships even when the summer is over. 

One opportunity is through our new initiative Next Level Coaching — where a coach commits to walking alongside one of their players for the next 12 months. 

Pursuing even when it’s hard

Pursuing, Even When It’s Hard

 

Jessica and Mariah were matched two years ago and their relationship is stronger and deeper than ever!

In November 2016, Jessica and Mariah were matched through RBI Austin’s mentoring program. A year later, they’d built some rapport and moved past the initial, be-on-your-best-behavior stage. 

Being one of nine siblings with a father who had been incarcerated, Mariah comes from a full house with many inconsistencies.

Jessica came to find that while Mariah was quiet and reserved, she carried a hard, cautious attitude and could pack a powerful punch with her words. 

Last fall, when her father was released from prison and returned back home, she was on a particularly steady streak of being rude and disrespectful. 

I knew she was experiencing some hard things at home with her dad and in school with her friends, so I was trying to remember that these actions were a result of a deeper hurt and because of some inconsistency in crucial relationships,” shared Jessica.

One day, after many unsuccessful attempts to redirect Mariah’s hurtful behavior, Jessica’s patience ran out and she told Mariah, “We can’t hang out anymore today. You can call me when you think you are ready to be kind and want to hang out again.

A few days later, Jessica came across a passage in the Bible that reminded her about how Jesus pursues us.

I started thinking, I mess up all the time and Jesus still pursues me! Part of my role in loving Mariah like Jesus is that I get to pursue her again and again,” Jessica recounted.

Two years after their match date, Jessica and Mariah’s relationship is stronger and deeper. They are now regularly meeting with another RBI Austin mentor-mentee pair to study the Bible together. 

One of the ways Mariah loves studying the Bible is by drawing what she’s learned.

It has been so encouraging to see how excited the girls are to read the Bible,” Jessica shared. “It is really cool to see these two girls become friends and to be excited to learn about the Word of God together.

Thanks to your support, Mariah has a godly woman investing in her life year-round.

 

Relationships Over Programs: Why in the World (Series)?!

Relationships Over Programs:
Why in the World (Series)?!

After spraining his ankle three days before the RBI Southwest Regional, Oscar Zamorano feared that his spot on the RBI Austin 18U Regional team was in jeopardy.

If he wasn’t on the regional roster and RBI Austin advanced, he’d be ineligible for the MLB RBI World Series.

Oscar had been loyal to the team all summer long, faithfully showing up to practices and games on time, and always supporting his teammates.

Instead of replacing Oscar with someone who could compete that weekend, the coaches decided to keep Oscar on the roster.

Why in the world would they do that during such a competitive tournament?

After not having pitched in almost three weeks, Oscar threw 3 1/3 innings of no-hit baseball before giving way to a reliever during RBI Austin’s first game at the RBI World Series against Arizona RBI. 


Oscar, a first-generation American citizen from Del Valle, is intelligent, hardworking, and a little on the quiet side. 

Sometimes feeling caught in between two worlds — his family speaks Spanish at home, while Oscar speaks English everywhere else.

Oscar’s family did not have the resources to afford an expensive, high-level select baseball program, but after being discovered in RBI’s summer league in 2017, he was chosen to participate in RBI’s Fall Player Development Academy.

This following spring in his senior season, Oscar was named a 1st-Team All-District Pitcher.

He was then chosen to represent RBI Austin in the RBI Southwest Regional, where he would compete against Houston Astros RBI, Texas Rangers RBI, and New Orleans RBI.

Over the course of the summer, Oscar established himself as one of the top pitchers on the RBI Austin regional team and even received his first offer to play at a junior college!

Since both of Oscar’s parents work Monday to Friday and were sometimes unable to get off work, RBI Austin Coach Mark Price would pick him up in Del Valle, and together they’d drive to the team’s pre-regional warmup tournaments in Waco and San Antonio.

“At first I thought Oscar was just a quieter kid, which in some ways he is, but as the miles wore on, I learned about Oscar’s bicultural daily life and how that impacts his demeanor and relationships.

We also talked about the generational differences in country music (Del Valle is out in the country…) and how two-stepping is a fun, natural way to strike up a conversation with a girl,” shared Coach Mark.

Coach Mark meets with the umpires and Arizona RBI coach before the first World Series game at Target Field. 


You don’t get these kind of opportunities to know someone — to be let into someone’s life — by caring first and foremost about a baseball program or about winning a game. 

Conversations about pitching techniques and batting stances are helpful on the field, but they alone don’t produce trust, rapport, or depth in a relationship.

These opportunities come in the unplanned, out-of-the-way drives up and down I-35, in the airplane rides to Minnesota, in the extra spaces when coaches go out of their way to spend time with their players and to ask them questions.

In the conversations about two-stepping, financial burdens, cultural disparity, country music, language barriers, insecurities, and dating — this is where trust is built, where relationships are made, where rapport is established, and where young men get to look up to older men for advice, wisdom, and guidance. 

In choosing to invest in a player beyond just what he can produce for your team, in caring about the character of a young man — this is where kids are engaged and developed into game-changers in their community.

Because of Coach Mark, Oscar was shown that perseverance, dedication, selflessness, teamwork, and sacrifice are an imperative complement to skill, strength, and technique. 

2019 Now at Bat Host Committee

BIG NEWS!

We have some stellar individuals joining RBI Austin’s
Now at Bat Host Committee!

We are thrilled to announce our 2019 Now at Bat Host Committee!

These men and women are champions of RBI Austin’s 1,312 kids and expectant to see our youth lead the transformation of their communities!

They believe in our kids, our organization, and our mission, and are playing a vital role in ensuring RBI Austin’s continued success through Now at Bat.

View 2019 Now at Bat Details

Have any questions about Now at Bat?! Want to get involved in this year’s event? Interested in sponsorship opportunitiesContact Amanda Terry at amanda.terry@rbiaustin.org or (512) 537-7105.

This is one of our favorite nights of the year, and we’d love for you to be a part of it. 

View 2019 Now at Bat Sponsorship Opportunities

 

We hope to see you on January 24, 2019 at the JW Marriott!