SPOTLIGHT: 12U Baseball Astros

RBI Austin Spotlight: 12U Baseball Astros

This week, we’re jumping into the 12U Baseball Astros’ dugout! Meet Bruce, Travis, and Christina.

Bruce Gusman

Q: With this being your first season with RBI Austin, what do you hope to learn this season from your coach or teammates?

Bruce: I hope to learn about the different positions and specifically I want to learn and get better in the outfield.

Q: Who has influenced you the most in your life?

Bruce: The biggest influence in my life is my mom because she is always encouraging and supportive even when they lose games.

Q: What’s the best part about playing baseball/softball? What do you look forward to about playing for your RBI team?

Bruce: I love getting to meet new friends through RBI and learning more about the game of baseball.

Travis Gauntt 

Q: With this being your first RBI Austin season coaching, why did you decide to coach this year?

Travis: I grew up in baseball family & played baseball growing up so I love the sport. Additionally, I just moved to Austin and am finishing up my MBA at Texas so I had some free time to coach.

Q: Who has influenced your life the most?

Travis: My dad was the greatest influence in my life. He was an incredible role model, played baseball and was able to coach me. He is an incredible man professionally, personally, spiritually. He has helped shape who I am today.

Q: What’s the best part about coaching? Is there anything in particular that you look forward to during the week about getting to coach?

Travis: My favorite thing about coaching is that I get to make a difference in these kids’ lives and give back to them. I especially enjoy practices because that’s where I get to coach and teach and get to know the kids.

Christina Gonzalez 

Q: Why did you decide to enroll your child in RBI baseball/softball this summer? What do you hope they will learn besides baseball/softball skills?

Christina: Bruce’s friend from school told him about RBI and he came home and pulled it up on the internet and asked me to register him for the RBI summer league.

Q: What is your favorite part about having your kids participate in RBI?

Christina: RBI is so good for the boys and they really enjoy it so far. I love how organized RBI is. Everything is run smoothly, and I haven’t had any issues yet. I love that the boys get to make new friends and that he has good influences in his life.

SPOTLIGHT: 16U RBI Softball Rangers

RBI Austin Spotlight: 16U Softball Rangers

Our RBI Austin Spotlights are back!

Every week during the summer season, we spotlight a player, coach, and parent in our summer league. Spotlight players exemplify sportsmanship, character, hustle, and coachability. Spotlight coaches are consistent, prepared, humble, and spirited. Spotlight parents are encouraging, supportive, present, and devoted.

Our spotlights this week represent what RBI is all about. We seek to go beyond the field to develop and transform the kids in our program so that they can be the change in their communities. We are pleased to announce our spotlights for this week below:

Juliana Lopez
15 yrs old
16U Softball Rangers
1st year with RBI Austin

Q: With this being your first season with RBI Austin, what do you hope to learn this season from your coach or teammates?

Juliana: “I’m a new player. I just want to get better as a player, and with the extra practices and games, I feel like I can achieve that.”

Q: Who has influenced you the most in your life?

Juliana: “The person who has influenced me most is my dad because he is always there for me. Always at every game, pushing me to do my best.”

Q: What’s the best part about playing baseball/softball? What do you look forward to about playing for your RBI team?

Juliana: “What I look forward to each week is getting better as an individual and as a team. It is a team effort so if we work hard together then we can take on any win.”

Mariah Alderman

16U Softball Rangers Coach
1st year with RBI Austin

Q: With this being your first RBI Austin season coaching, why did you decide to coach this year?

Mariah: “I am a new coach, and I decided to coach because I love softball and I love Jesus.”

Q: Who has influenced your life the most?

Mariah: “My young life leader from high school, Hillary Brenner.”

Q: What’s the best part about coaching? Is there anything in particular that you look forward to during the week about getting to coach?

Mariah: “Softball is just great to be around. It’s an all-around thing, because softball includes girls. I miss playing it so much, and it’s fun to see the girls get to live their glory days.”

 

Jerry Lopez

Father of Juliana Lopez
16U Softball Rangers
1st year with RBI Austin

Q: Why did you decide to enroll your child in RBI baseball/softball this summer? What do you hope they will learn besides baseball/softball skills?

Jerry: “We got the info from her coach at Akins high school, and she’s [Juliana] the one who told me about it so she [Juliana] wanted to come play this summer, to keep her skills and get ready for next year. Basically, I hope she learns friendship and teamwork because she needs a little more of that. And hopefully, the skills she’s learning here are making her a better player.  RBI builds them up and gets them ready for the next level.”

Q: What is your favorite part about having your kids participate in RBI?

Jerry: “My favorite part is to see her have fun out here with all the girls and you know, pick up her teammates and all that. Friendship is a major key.”

RBI Austin Uniform Shop — 6/9

RBI Austin Uniform Shop

Still need to purchase pants, belts, and socks for your player? The RBI Austin Uniform Shop will be open THIS Saturday, June 9th. See details below:

WHEN: Saturday, June 9th from 9am-12pm

WHERE: The For the City Center (500 E. St. Johns Ave, Austin, TX 78752) in the Ridgetop Room

WHAT: RBI Austin Uniform Shop where you can purchase pants, belts, and socks for your favorite RBI Austin player. Prices are below:

  • Pants ($10)
  • Belts ($5)
  • Socks ($5)
  • All Three Combo ($15)
  • RBI Austin Parent T-Shirt ($10)

Players will receive a team jersey and cap from their coaches at their first game. However, children are responsible for providing their own pants, belts, and socks.

 

 

RBI Austin Parent Workshops

RBI Austin Parent Workshops

This Saturday, you are invited to our RBI Austin Parent Workshop (see flyer for more information) led by the Positive Coaching Alliance! It will be from 10am-Noon at The For the City Center.

Before and after the workshop, our RBI Uniform Shop will be open for anyone who would like to purchase pants, belts, socks, or parent t-shirts.  By attending the Parent Workshop, you can purchase an RBI Austin parent t-shirt for 50% off ($5 instead of $10)!

We also have a second workshop / uniform shop date scheduled for June 14th. See below for all the details.


WHAT: RBI Austin Parent Workshop & Uniform Shop

WHERE: The For the City Center (500 E. St. Johns Ave., Austin, TX 78752) in the Ridgetop room

WHEN:

  • OPTION 1
    THIS Saturday, June 9th from 10am-12pm (Uniform Shop opens at 9am)
  • OPTION 2
    NEXT Thursday, June 14th from 6:30pm-8:30pm (Uniform Shop opens at 5:30pm)

HOW: RSVP at https://rbiaustin.wufoo.com/forms/positive-coaching-alliance-workshop/

BONUS: Attend one of these workshops and get 50% off of our RBI Austin parent t-shirt (Original Cost: $10, You Pay $5).


RBI Austin Uniform Shop

Still need to purchase your player’s belts, pants, and socks? The RBI Austin Uniform Shop will be open on Saturday, June 9th from 9am-12pm in the same room as this workshop.

At the Parent Workshop, we will focus on player and parent development through:

  • Learn how to help your athletes get the most from the youth sports experience
  • Learn how to establish and maintain a positive competitive environment inside youth sports
  • Develop skills to manage failure on and off the field
  • Understand how to help your athlete be the best version of themselves and compete with integrity

We hope to see you there!

Meet your team at Jr. RBI Opening Day 6/2

Jr. RBI Opening Day – Meet Your Team!

Saturday, June 2nd at The For the City Center

Did you register your child for the 2018 Jr. RBI Summer League?! 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 + team, get practice location and time, and have the opportunity to purchase belts, pants, and socks for your child. 

There will also be food and entertainment because we’re celebrating the kickoff to the 2018 Jr. RBI Summer League!

Please review important details below.

Jr. RBI Opening Day Details
Meet your coaches/team and enjoy food, fun, and festivities to kick off the 2018 Jr. RBI Summer League!

DATE: NEXT Saturday, June 2nd

TIME:

  • 10:00 – 11:30am (check in at 10:00) — Group 1: 12U Softball, 9U Coach Pitch Softball, and T-Ball
  • 12:00 – 1:30pm (check in at 12:00) — Group 2: 12U Baseball, 10U 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/teams by attending their assigned 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.

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

Final Chance to Pay In Person

Final Chance to Pay In Person
THIS Wednesday and Thursday

Because of Sunday’s rainout, we are offering two final chances to pay for the 2018 RBI Austin Summer League this Wednesday, May 23rd and Thursday, May 24th.

You can complete payment in one of two ways:

  • Pay online by logging into your account at https://rbiaustin.leagueapps.com/login
  • Pay in person at one of the onsite payment days below:
    • Wednesday, May 23rd from 5pm-8pm at the RBI Austin Office, 313 E. Anderson Lane, Bldg 3, Suite 100, Austin, TX 78752.
    • Thursday, May 24th from 5pm-8pm at Mabson Field, 2816 E 12th St, Austin, TX 78702.

In order to guarantee your child’s spot on a team, you will need to complete your payment either online or at one of these two onsite payment days.

If you have any questions, please email info@rbiaustin.org or call 512.381.7137.

RBI Austin Baseball Players Awarded for Successful High School Season

RBI Austin Baseball Players Awarded for Successful High School Season

Congratulations to some of our RBI Austin 18U Fall Academy Team players for their successful school season. We couldn’t be more proud that these young men are a part of our program.

Awards don’t define our success, but these guys are great ball players, even better people, and they each worked hard to earn these accolades.

  • Luis Adame, Lanier HS, 25-5A 1st Team All-District Pitcher
  • Sam DiCarlo, LBJ/LASA HS, 25-5A 1st Team All-District Pitcher
  • Walker Kohler, LBJ/LASA HS, 25-5A 1st Team All-District Catcher
  • Harrison Lee, LBJ/LASA HS, 25-5A 1st Team All-District SS
  • Victor Mendoza, Austin HS, 25-5A Newcomer of the Year
  • Nate Moore, LBJ/LASA HS, 25-5A 2nd Team All-District OF
  • Oscar Zamorano, Del Valle HS, 14-6A 1st Team All-District Pitcher

We’re looking forward to see what the upcoming summer season has in store for them.

Countercultural Pursuit: Q&A with JJ Garza

Q&A with JJ Garza

In the world of youth sports, it seems a little countercultural to chase down your players.

If the player wants to be there, then it’s his or her responsibility to get to practice, arrive to games on time, to be prepared and engaged.

Right?

Meet JJ Garza, one of our veteran RBI Austin coaches, who has pursued his players even when it’s been hard. See how JJ and his family have engaged the families of their T-Ball Rockies team, embodied the mission + culture of RBI Austin, and how it’s impacted everyone involved.

Q: Is there one player or family in particular that comes to your mind who you’ve specifically and intentionally had to pursue and who you’ve seen feel more a part of RBI/your team because of this? Can you tell us about your relationship?

We first met Sergio Melendez in the summer of 2016.  I say “we” because my wife and kids were an integral part in building a relationship with Sergio and his family.  

Sergio was a very shy four year old.  I noticed him coming out of his shell with a little attention and praise during practice.  I came to find out he was the only boy in a family full of girls.  RBI was his first experience in a team environment.  We asked our daughter Emma to show him the ropes a little.  Soon both of my kids were engaging Sergio more in conversation.   Throughout the season you could see his confidence grow along with his smile. We witnessed his effort and engagement in the game increase.

My wife, Danette, was wonderful in engaging Nikki, Sergio’s mother. The following season, Nikki registered her daughter, Sophia, with RBI and joined our team. Sophia was a tiny little thing experiencing the same engagement-issues as her big brother.  It was wonderful to see how Sophia was quickly accepted and brought into the fold.

Nikki and her kids have attended my kid’s birthday parties and other events with my family.  My kids get excited when they see Sergio, their friend. 

Q: What are some challenges you’ve faced in coaching with RBI?

I had no coaching experience when I started with RBI.  I signed up to be assistant coach; to observe and learn.  To this day, I don’t know how I ended up with my own team.  Nonetheless, I am happy it worked out the way it did.  It forced me to learn and grow, not only with baseball, but as a communicator, specifically with young kids.

Q: How has your mentality or approach had to change or adjust since coaching with RBI? 

I was “drills” driven in the beginning.  I thought that repetition was the most important thing in coaching.  But, I quickly learned that 4-6 yr old’s attention span is extremely short.  So, I had to incorporate some FUN drills and not call them “drills”.  Bottom line, I had to learn to make practice and games fun for the kids.  I needed to be reminded that it is just a “game.”

Q: Has it been worth it? Why? 

I’m going on my 4th year coaching now.  Every year, it seems I prepare sooner and sooner to the start of the new league year.  I’m reading, watching videos, attended group discussion on how to positively use baseball as a venue to impact young lives.  

It has been worth it. 

I’ve received so much back, more than I put in I think.  I’ve grown so much in coaching but most of all as a father to my own kids.  The skills I’ve learned with RBI are not only applicable in coaching baseball, but have been beneficial skills as a father as well.

It’s been a fun ride.

 

We’d love to hear your RBI story! How did you get involved with us? Why have you been involved? Stories of hope and encouragement? Stories of seeing the Lord change hearts? Stories about how your time with RBI has shaped or changed you?

The Lord has given us all a story, and we want to hear how He’s used RBI — no matter how small of a part — in yours!

Share your RBI Austin story!

Top Five Immediate Needs

This Spring’s Top Five Immediate Needs

As a donor, your partnership holistically contributes to RBI Austin spanning departments, programs, or projects. You have a unique perspective into our organization that others may not, and we’re grateful for the ways in which you support the various facets of RBI Austin.

We currently have a number of immediate needs across various departments of our organization.  

  1. Summer Volunteers
    We need summer coaches, mentors, umpires, scorekeepers, sound system operators, and concession stand assistants. Another practical way to help with is need is to provide an introduction to your church so we can announce RBI volunteer opportunities at a service.
  2. Referral to a concerete company willing to provide us a deal
    We are planning to install a new batting cage at one of our fields!
  3. Referral to a scoreboard company willing to provide us a deal
    We are hoping to install some new scoreboards!
  4. Storage Space
    We are seeking 500 – 1,000 sq ft of storage space for RBI equipment. Ideally this space will be located in proximity to 183/35 intersection
  5. Team Sponsors 
    We have 2018 Jr. RBI Team Sponsorships available. This is a great opportunity get your corporation, employer, or personal business connected to what is happening on the ball field this summer. View 2018 Jr. RBI Team Sponsorship information.

If you have possible leads for any of the above, please email amanda.terry@rbiaustin.org.

Why RBI Austin? Q&A with Curtis Thigpen

Q&A with Curtis Thigpen

The city that I love, the game that I love, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Meet Curtis Thigpen and his family. The Thigpens have been faithful donors and champions for RBI Austin over the past 8 years. Hear how Curtis describes what we do and what it means to him.

  • Share with us a little bit about yourself (hometown, college, careers, family).
    I’m from Forney, Texas and attended the University of Texas.  I’ve been married to Natalie for 9 years and we have two daughters, Landon (7) and Elin (5).
  • When and why did you first give to RBI Austin?
    I’m not positive when exactly I first gave to RBI Austin. It was probably in 2010 through either a monetary or an equipment donation.
    I do know I decided to give to RBI Austin because it was a program created to engage with and help develop underprivileged kids in Austin (the city that I love) through the game of baseball (the game that I love) with an approach that is rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
    There couldn’t be an organization that better aligns with my personal interests!!
  • Why have you continued to give to RBI Austin?
    I’d like to think that this is a mission that I would have continually given to regardless of the “success” that RBI has had over the last 8+ years.
    First, I’ll say that I consider RBI Austin to be an extremely successful organization not by the amazing year-over-year growth of players and money raised, but by the fact that the mission, passion, and heartbeat of the leaders of RBI Austin has not changed since inception. That is a big part of why I continue to give.  Plenty of organizations grow quickly, but very few maintain the level of quality like RBI Austin has.

  • How would you describe our mission? What does it mean to you?
    Engaging with, caring for, and helping support and develop kids, parents, coaches, and volunteers through the game of baseball. Organized sports, in this case baseball and softball, can provide amazing life experiences and can open up so many doors for everyone involved.It’s such a privilege to help provide an opportunity to those who wouldn’t ordinarily have one.
  • What’s your favorite thing about Austin? 
    My favorite thing about Austin is how well-rounded of a city it is…maybe the most well-rounded in the country!  No matter what you are into or what you enjoy, you can likely find it here!  

 

We’d love to hear your RBI story! How did you get involved with us? Why have you been involved? Stories of hope and encouragement? Stories of seeing the Lord change hearts? Stories about how your time with RBI has shaped or changed you?

The Lord has given us all a story, and we want to hear how He’s used RBI — no matter how small of a part — in yours!

Share your RBI Austin story!