Category Archives: Player of the Week

SPOTLIGHT: T-Ball Mets

SPOTLIGHT: T-Ball Mets

We’re wrapping up our Summer 2018 RBI Austin Spotlights with the mighty T-Ball Mets!

 

Jaelynn Hernandez
6 years old
TBALL Mets
2nd year with RBI Austin

Q: What’s your favorite thing about playing softball?
JaelynnTrying my best and learning how to hit the ball better.

Q: What do you hope to learn this summer?
JaelynnTo use my legs more. And to get better at throwing and hitting. I want to hit the ball hard because [I think about bullies and people who litter.]

Q: Who is one of your favorite people in your life?
JaelynnMy mom. And my uncle who helped me at home. We played catch out front!


Jessica Hernandez
Mother of Jaelynn
TBALL Mets
2nd year with RBI Austin

Q: How did you hear about RBI?
JessicaThrough her school. They had a spring carnival and had a booth set up and that’s how we learned about it. I had never heard about RBI at all and she’s my oldest, and because I never played sports, I said to do this! But, she liked it when we got her going and she played with RBI to start off with and then played fall ball, spring ball, and now she’s back again.

Q: How’s your experience with RBI been so far?
JessicaI like it! Everyone is real friendly and it’s really diverse. I like that she gets to play with people that are like her and everyone is really welcoming. It’s a good atmosphere all around.

Q: Who was the biggest influence on your life?
JessicaMy mom. It’s just me, my mom, and my brother. Family is like the thing that’s most important lesson that she’s taught us. She was adopted so she doesn’t have family. Family and that no matter what you do you can always go to her and tell her things without feeling that judgement or disappointment.

Q: Why do you think it’s important to be on a team sport?
JessicaI think it helps you care about others and care about feelings. I think that it shows a kid how to empathize and I think that’s what kids need to learn. It teaches self-worth and just basic social skills. How to treat others, how to work as one,  and how to work towards a goal as one team.


David Ciccocioppo
TBALL Mets Coach
5th year RBI Austin

Q: How did you hear about RBI?
DavidI think I heard about it through MLB. And then we moved to the East Side about seven years ago.

Q: What made you decide to coach?
DavidI really love the game. I played all growing up. I like the mission of RBI, I like the idea of giving the opportunity to inner city kids and the kids who don’t have the money for all the fancy equipment and all the select teams and all that kind of stuff. It gives them an old school way of coming out to the field and just playing. It’s competitive but it’s not like we’re training these guys to be major leaguers. It’s teaching them about competition, sportsmanship, teamwork, all that good stuff. And if my boys are going to be playing I have to be a coach because I can’t just sit back and watch them.

Q: What’s one thing you hope your t-ballers learn this summer?
DavidI want them to learn that this is a fun game. And I want them to feel it so that they come back next year.

Q: Who is one of the biggest influences on your life?
DavidI had this coach when I was in 4thgrade in Washington D.C. There was a Little League and my house was right there. There was a man named Doug Rice, I think he was married, but he was my coach from 4th– 8thgrade and I remember him being very motivational but he never had to yell. He was just one of those people who you want to make happy and want to please. He carried himself in a certain way that you wanted to make him proud.

Q: How do you think baseball, or any sport, betters a player #BeyondTheField?
DavidIt’s the whole idea of teamwork and sportsmanship. Dealing with losses and failures. Feeling the joys that come with successes. Those are all things that you experience in the real world when you get older. When you grow up and get a job, you have to deal with losing and winning and working with people. I like the idea that in baseball, everybody gets a turn at bat. That’s your one moment to shine but it’s still in the context of a team sport. You’re doing your part to help the team win, even though it’s hyper focused on you. You have this moment now where you can have a success or a failure, but it affects the whole team as well.

SPOTLIGHT: 8U Coach Pitch Cardinals

SPOTLIGHT: 8U Coach Pitch Baseball Cardinals

Do we have any other parents or grandparents out there that leave your kiddo’s game hoarse?! We love hearing about parents + grandparents cheering on their children from the stands while coaches are seeing change + development + growth happening in the dugout, on the field, and beyond! 

Meet Lucas, his coach David, and grandmother Julia from the 8U Coach Pitch Baseball Cardinals.

Lucas Rodriguez – 8U Coach Pitch Baseball

8 Years Old
2nd Year with RBI Austin
8U CP Cardinals

 

Q:Is this your first year with RBI Austin?

Lucas: No, it’s my fourth. I’ve been playing baseball for RBI for two years.

 

Q: How did you hear about RBI?

Lucas: My grandma.

 

Q: Why did you want to play baseball out of all sports?

Lucas: I’m not sure.

 

Q: But you like it though?

Lucas: Correct.

 

Q:What is something you hope to learn this season?

Lucas: I’m not sure yet…

 

Q: Is there a position you want to get better at though?

Lucas: Catcher. I played it once and I liked it! I would want to get better at second and pitcher though.

 

Q: Why do you think it’s important to play on a team sport?

Lucas: Because you have a team and it doesn’t feel super good to not be on a team.

 

Q: Why do you like having your teammates?

Lucas: They help me get better!

 

Q: What is something you always look forward to when playing baseball?

Lucas: Games. You can play different positions and you can get points, but at practice you don’t get points.

Q:What’s your favorite baseball team?

Lucas: The Astros.

 

 

Coach David Brahmall

8U CP Cardinals

2nd Year RBI Austin coach

 

Q: How did you hear about RBI?

David: So I moved to Austin about five years ago, and I played baseball growing up. I had always been interested in volunteering and coaching baseball. I had some good friends at work that had coached for RBI and I had always wanted to do it and it sounded interesting but it never worked out until last year.

Q: What brought you back this year to coach again?

David: My co-coach Alex and I coached last year and we had a really good time with the kids — teaching them, helping them to engage, develop, and transform. Last year,  over half our team had never seen a baseball before. We had to teach them how to throw, how to run, how to get excited, and how to love the game. It was amazing to see our team, who at the beginning of the season was getting crushed, end the season winning a game in the playoffs. It was just amazing to see their skills develop and their attitude and determination change, not just in the game but beyond the field. Hopefully that translates to life, seeing that made me want to come back. We had four or five kids from last year, like Lucas, come back so we want to continue to serve them. Just to be able to do that again with more kids and be able to mentor them during the baseball season.

Q: Who is one of the biggest influences on your life?

David: I would say my dad. As far as baseball goes. He loved baseball, played baseball growing up, taught me baseball.  While my wife and I don’t have kids yet, I hope to teach them baseball at some point. Right now, I’m just hoping to teach other kids. But yeah, my dad for sports and life in general. I feel like he always taught me to have to power to succeed and to drive and to also encourage and help other people. He’s been a big influence on me in a lot of ways.

 

Julia Castillo

Grandmother of Lucas Rodriguez
2nd Year with RBI Austin
8U CP Cardinals

 

Q: What is one reason why you feel that a team sport is important?

Julia: I think its because of friendship and learning it’s not just about you. And working well with others. Learning that it’s “We did it, we did it together”, I think is awesome. Coaches like Coach David bring a lot to helping these kids promote each other and cheer each other on and be good sports to the other team. I like it when I see one of the teammates or Lucas high-five another kid coming off of the plate whether they hit the ball or didn’t.

Q: How do you think baseball or sports in general help #BeyondTheField?

Julia: Everywhere you go and everywhere you work you’re going to be working with a group to achieve something. Watching kids learn to do that and to respect each other and look past faults and difficulties and still be good sports about everything is really a life skill. It’s a skill you need when you go to work and for the rest of your life.

 

Q: What’s your favorite thing about having Lucas play baseball?

Julia: I come from Oklahoma and we only do baseball. Coming and watching these kids every game is amazing, watching them in the field is amazing, watching them achieve something and grow in self-confidence is [just amazing]. I leave here hoarse every game, I have no voice after every game.

SPOTLIGHT: 12U Softball Mariners

RBI Austin Spotlight: 12U Softball Mariners

You know what time it is!

Meet this week’s spotlights: Sydney, Grant, and Lynn from the 12U Softball Mariners!

Sydney Floyd

12 yrs old
12U Softball Mariners
1st Year with RBI Austin

Q: How long have you been playing with RBI Austin?

Sydney: This is my first year with RBI. It is my third year playing softball though.

Q: How did you hear about RBI?

Sydney: We were looking for a sports program, so we looked one up and found RBI.

Q: What do you hope to learn this year?

Sydney: Fielding the ball better and hitting better. That’s what I’m working on right now, along with making new friends.

Q: What position do you like the most and why?

Sydney: I played outfield my first two years, but I like first base and catcher the most. I guess I like them because you get the ball more and you are more involved in the game.

Q: Who is one person that’s influenced your life the most?

Sydney: I don’t know, probably my parents. They just say to go for what you want and to do your best no matter what.

Q: Why do you think its important to be on a team sport and have teammates?

Sydney: So you can get to know people better and just make more friends.

 

Grant Herring

12U Softball Mariners Coach
2nd year with RBI Austin

Q: How long have you been coaching for RBI?

Grant: This is my second year coaching.

Q: What made you decide to coach last year?

Grant: Nothing really. I saw it online and wanted to get involved. I liked the mission once I saw the mission and it appealed to me really well. I had a lot of free time and a lot of knowledge about the sport, so that had something to do with it.

Q: What made you coach again this year?

Grant: A lot of my girls’ parents reached out to me and asked if I was coaching again because they wanted to be playing with me again, so I recruited a couple of my friends and we decided to team up and go at it.

Q: What is one thing that your girls that you’re coaching this year will learn?

Grant: I’d say teamwork and hustle. Eve when you’re older, you still need to understand to work as a team, you can’t do everything by yourself.

Q: Who is one of the biggest influences in your life?

Grant: I’d say my parents for sure. They raised me to be the man that I am and to treat everybody with respect.

Q: What is one way that you think RBI’s mission through softball better the player beyond the field?

Grant: Teamwork and hustle. That’s a lot of it for playing baseball and going into the workforce. It teaches the players life skills.

Lynn Floyd

Father of Sydney Floyd
12U Softball Mariners
1st year with RBI Austin

Q: How did you hear about RBI?

Lynn: We have some friends at the church we attend whose kids have participated and have told us about it. So we did some research online and found that we loved the mission of RBI baseball and its intentions.

Q: What is one thing you hope that Sydney will learn this season?

Lynn: I think with anything whether it’s baseball or some other activity, just whatever do have fun, but do things with excellence. Like if it’s a team sport, you know, do the best you can because it’s not just about you, but your team. You want to play well personally but you also want to play well to help your team.

Q: How has your experience with RBI been so far?

Lynn: Although it’s still early in the season, I am impressed with the way things are run. There’s intentionality in the coaching, very positive, and everybody gets a chance to play and gets their turn. The values of the organization are very much expressed through everything that’s done out here from the umpires to the coaches to the parents, so it definitely has impressed us.

Q: What is one of the biggest influences on your life?

Lynn: As a person of faith, God is the biggest influencer on my life. Apart from him, I can do nothing. Apart from him, I can’t be an effective parent. There’s been a lot of people throughout my life, my grandfather made a huge impact, youth leaders growing up in my life, were thankfully able to intersect my life with theirs at just the right time. Definitely people in my family and then also youth leaders, you know people in my teenage years that allowed me to get to know them at an important time in my life.

Q: What is one reason why you think it is important to play a team sport?

Lynn: Well, obviously it helps build a person’s character. You’re not only looking to your own interests but to the interests of others, I think a team is not just about a sport here but it’s also about preparing for other things in life. The things that kids learn here can be taken out into the real world.

SPOTLIGHT: 10U Baseball Cubs

RBI Austin Spotlight: 10U Baseball Cubs

You know what time it is!

Meet this week’s spotlights: Blaise, Ricky, and Travis from the 10U Baseball Cubs!

Travis and Blaise have been a part of the RBI Austin family for 3 years now and have experienced the “comradery” that the game of baseball provides.

Coach Ricky mentions that the kids are what made him come back for his 2nd summer coaching. See more below!

Blaise Kizer

9 yrs old
10U Baseball Cubs
3rd Year with RBI Austin

Q: How long have you been playing with RBI Austin?

Blaise: This is my 3rd year! I started playing when I was in t-ball.

Q: What keeps you coming back?

Blaise: I like the game of baseball, it makes me happy. Every year I get to learn more and get better and better.

Q: What do you hope to learn this year?

Blaise: I want to get better at catching and hopefully hit more balls.

Q: What is something that you learned from your coach or teammates?

Blaise: I learned to hit, catch, and to always have fun!

Q: Who is one person that’s influenced your life the most?

Blaise: My coaches and parents. My parents always take me to baseball, and my coaches are always pushing me to be better.

Q: Why do you think its important to be on a team sport?

Blaise: I think it’s important so that you can make friends and have fun.

Ricky Epps

10U Baseball Cubs Coach
2nd year with RBI Austin

Q: How long have you been coaching for RBI?

Ricky: This is my second year coaching. I returned this year because I love the kids. They make my life a little bit better. They bring joy in my life a lot. When I’m stressed out they make me more happy.

Q: What made you decide to coach last year?

Ricky: I had a lot of opportunities when I was younger to play, so I don’t want to waste my talent. I want to teach these young boys how to play baseball. I played when I was younger, and my dad played major league baseball for the Cincinnati Reds.

Q: Who is the biggest influence on your life?

Ricky: My wife and my kids. They are the ones who make me enjoy life in the morning. I was never a morning person until I married my wife. They make my life perfect.

Q: What is the best part about coaching the 10U Cubs?

Ricky: They are coachable. They listen. They learn. It’s “yes sir/no sir” on the field. They are very disciplined and show up to practice and games. We don’t have to do a lot of yelling at these kids. We aren’t lacking much. I coached six of these kids last year, so I decided to coach 10U baseball this season to stick with them.

Q: How do think baseball betters the player #BeyondtheField?

Ricky: Baseball teaches discipline and respect. It teaches you how to grow. It teaches you the world of life. Sometimes you fail, sometimes you don’t fail. Some things are going to be easy, and some things are going to be hard.

Travis Kizer

Father of Blaise Kizer
10U Baseball Cubs
3rd year with RBI Austin

Q: Since you are a returning RBI Austin parent, what keeps you enrolling Blaise?

Travis: He keeps wanting to play and he has played with several of the RBI kids for years.

Q: What is one thing you hope Blaise will learn, whether it is baseball skills or non-baseball skills?

Travis: I hope that he continues to keep playing well, and I hope that the team keeps building and getting to know each other better so that they have that comradery.

Q: What is your favorite thing about having Blaise play baseball?

Travis: I love watching him play and I love that he loves it!

Q: Why do you think it’s important about having team sports?

Travis: It builds comradery and a unique community. Even as a whole, RBI Austin has a baseball community. I recognize players and parents on several other teams.

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.”

Meet the Team: T-Ball Royals

Meet the Team: T-Ball Royals

Player: Kiyan

  • TEAM: T-Ball Royals
  • TIME with RBI: First season
  • SCHOOL: Lee Lewis Campbell Elementary
  • CAREER DREAMS: What do you want to be when you grow up? A Disney actor
  • LOVE OF THE GAME: What’s your favorite part about playing baseball? It’s awesome!
  • FAVORITE POSITION: Center field
  • FAVORITE PLAYER: Who is your favorite baseball player? The girl, Mo’ne Davis
     

 Parent: Amanda

  • RBI KIDS: One son, Kiyan.
  • TIME with RBI: This is our first season.
  • PERSONAL VALUE: What do you think Kiyan gains the most from being involved with RBI off of the ball field? The friendships and teamwork. 
  • BASEBALL PARENT: What’s the hardest part about being a baseball parent? The heat!
  • FAVORITE PART OF THE GAME: What is your favorite part of the game of baseball? Watching the kids play. They’re so cute!

 

Coach: Allie

  • TIME with RBI:This is my second year coaching with RBI! 
  • FAVORITE RBI MEMORY: Seeing some of our smallest players develop into kids that can throw, hit, and run super confidently.
  • PARENTS and PLAYERS: What do you think families and players gain the most from being involved with RBI? Community, friendship and just learning how to play sports. You learn a lot through team sports and parents get to grow as they get to watch their kids and learn from them. It can be very encouraging.
  • FAVORITE BASEBALL MEMORY: What’s your favorite baseball memory? One of our kids who was going to be placed on a different team this summer, ended up being placed with us again. He’s been hitting home-runs for us left and right. It’s incredible to be able to see the amount of confidence he’s gained and just how much he has grown since last year.

Meet the Team: 8U Coach Pitch Royals

Meet the Team: 8U Baseball Royals

Player: Beckett

  • TEAM: 8U Baseball Royals
  • TIME with RBI: Third season
  • SCHOOL: Laurel Mountain Elementary
  • CAREER DREAMS: What do you want to be when you grow up? An inventor. I would invent a hover car and they’re going to come in bright colors.
  • LOVE OF THE GAME: What’s your favorite part about playing baseball? Being able to play with my friends
  • FAVORITE POSITION: Catcher
  • FAVORITE PLAYER: Who is your favorite baseball player? I don’t know. I don’t really like baseball. My favorite team is the Express so my favorite player is probably Spike. I’ve been to his dog house 25 times.
     

Parent: Alyssa

  • RBI KIDS: One son, Beckett.
  • TIME with RBI: This is our third season.
  • PERSONAL VALUE: What do you think Beckett gains the most from being involved with RBI off of the ball field? Sportsmanship, being part of a team, and being part of something bigger than himself. He also gets to cheer on his teammates.
  • PROUD PARENT: When is a time you were most proud of Beckett? I’m most proud of him when I see him being compassionate to other people. He’s very aware of all the homeless people on the side of the road. He wants to know all about them and help them. Any time he thinks of other people first, I’m proud of him.
  • BASEBALL PARENT: What’s the hardest part about being a baseball parent?It’s a time commitment. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but people are working and living all over the city so it’s definitely a big time commitment. Well worth it, though. 
  • GAMEDAY MUST-HAVE: What is something you have to have with you when you are watching a game? Every game I bring a squirt bottle and I spray all the players to keep them cool. It’s very popular.

 

Coach: Brian

  • TIME with RBI:This is my 5th year involved with RBI but my first year with coach pitch. Beckett is my son so I’ve just moved up through age groups as he’s gotten older.
  • BACKGROUND: Did you play sports growing up? I played sports, but I was from a really small town and we didn’t have a lot of money so I didn’t play baseball. I played soccer, basketball and some softball and I always enjoyed it.
  • LEARNING FROM THE KIDS: What’s something you’ve learned from Beckett? Resilience and keeping focused. He has cystic fibrosis so putting on weight and muscle and everything about sports is hard for him. We try to push him towards sports to help him with that, but it’s always a struggle. When he was struggling to get a hit last season, he was really determined. He said he wanted to go out and practice 20 minutes a day every day until he got a hit. Getting to cheer him on is awesome.
  • PARENTS and PLAYERS: What do you think families and players gain the most from being involved with RBI? I think RBI is a family. We talk about cheering on each other, and I think it brings out a commonality. All of these parents drive so far and put in so much time and effort so getting all of the players together is really special. A couple games ago a few of our players said they were glad their coaches didn’t yell at them so we try to always be positive and encouraging for our players, even when we’re correcting them.
  • PROGRAM VALUE: What do you think you gain from being involved with RBI? The relationships with the players and seeing them all growing up from season to season. Seeing them remembering the value of teamwork and knowing that they always have people around them who they can lean on.

Meet the Team: 10U Baseball Royals

Meet the Team: 10U Baseball Royals

Player: Marlin

  • TEAM: 10U Baseball Royals
  • TIME with RBI: First season
  • SCHOOL: Menchaca Elementary. I was in 5th grade, about to go to 6th.
  • CAREER DREAMS: What do you want to be when you grow up? Probably a doctor or something.
  • LOVE OF THE GAME: What’s your favorite part about playing baseball? Just having fun, yeah.
  • FAVORITE POSITION: Pitcher. But I play other positions.
  • FAVORITE PLAYER: Who is your favorite baseball player? Of course, Babe Ruth. 

Parent: Tommy

  • RBI KIDS: One son, Marlin.
  • TIME with RBI: This is our first season.
  • PERSONAL VALUE: What do you think Marlin gains the most from being involved with RBI off of the ball field? He’s learned camaraderie and developed some friendships and some basic skill sets like discipline. 
  • PROGRAM VALUE: As a parent, what do you like most about being involved with RBI? I like how RBI is set up. This is our first year, and I think it’s a great organization with what y’all are doing with the mentorship — and of course the home runs!
  • BASEBALL PARENT: What’s the hardest part about being a baseball parent? The heat! The summer heat!
  • GAMEDAY MUST-HAVE: What is something you have to have with you when you are watching a game? I always have to have my smartphone for the snap shots!

Coach: Kyle

  • TIME with RBI: This is my fourth season with RBI.
  • BACKGROUND: Did you play sports growing up?Yes. I played football, basketball, baseball, soccer growing up.
  • FAVORITE RBI MEMORY: Do you have a favorite RBI memory so far? Probably two years ago, we were on this same field for the 3rd place game and it went into extra innings. One of our kids hit the game winning home run — his name was Angel.
  • PARENTS and PLAYERS: What do you think families and players gain the most from being involved with RBI? RBI Austin is a great, positive, encouraging environment. RBI Austin is very beginner-friendly for baseball, but players also have many good, positive influences from the coaches and volunteer staff. It’s a good place to come in the summer.
  • PROGRAM VALUE: What do you think you gain from being involved with RBI? If I ever leave Austin — no matter what I was doing work-wise — I will look back on my time with RBI and that’ll be what I miss the most. It’s very rewarding. It’s a lot of time, but it’s time well spent. I’ve gotten to know these kids for 4 years and it’s great.

Meet the Team: 12U Softball Aggies Team Spotlight

Meet the Team: 12U Softball Aggies

Player: Samantha

  • TEAM: 12U Softball Aggies
  • TIME with RBI: First season
  • SCHOOL: Wayside Elementary
  • CAREER DREAMS: What do you want to be when you grow up? A softball player. I’d play centerfield.
  • TEAMMATES: Who’s your best friend on the team? Brittany. She’s my best friend because she’s nice.
  • FAVORITE POSITION: Outfield. It’s my favorite because that’s where most of the balls go.
  • BEST ADVICE: What is something that you’ve learned from your coach? When I get out, I shouldn’t cry because there is still a lot more softball to go.

Parent: Tommy

  • RBI KIDS: Two daughters, Samantha and Hayley.
  • TIME with RBI: This is actually our first season with RBI. I coached for 4-5 years and this is the first year I’ve been more of a parent than a coach.
  • PROGRAM VALUE: What do you think Samantha and Hayley gain the most from being involved with RBI? They’ve learned and developed a lot. They still take the game a little too seriously, so I have to remind them to have fun and go out there and be a kid. They need to remember to mentally and physically rest. So RBI has really given them a chance to have fun.
  • PROUD PARENT: When is a time when you were most proud of your daughters? Just academics in general. They’re A and B students. They work hard on the field and they’re good at transitioning that into the classroom. They’re quick to do their homework as soon as they get home because they know they have to make good grades to play. Their teachers all tell me that they’re leaders in the classroom so I’m really proud of that.
  • BEING A SOFTBALL PARENT: What is the hardest part about being a softball parent? The hardest part is when they lose because you have to help pick the girls up. They try so hard and sometimes they get down on themselves. I remind them that even when they leave it all on the field, they’re not always going to win. They’re still learning, so I have to tell them that and remind them that winning isn’t everything.

Coach: Kyle

  • TIME with RBI: This is my first season with RBI.
  • BACKGROUND: Did you play sports growing up?I played baseball, football, track, and basketball. I’ve always had the best coaches and I felt called to coaching. So far I’ve coached junior high sports, and when I heard about RBI through the Austin Stone I was eager to get involved.
  • FAVORITE RBI MEMORY: Do you have a favorite RBI memory so far? Last week we played against the Bears, and I’m pretty sure they were the #1 seed. We took them out with only 6 players. Our girls worked really hard for it and it was a huge jump from the 2nd week to the 3rd week.
  • PARENTS and PLAYERS: What do you think families and players gain the most from being involved with RBI? I’d say they can come here knowing that we love their child more than we love winning the game. When we show up, we’re here to make sure their child gets better physically, spiritually, and mentally and that’s more important than winning.
  • PROGRAM VALUE: What do you think you gain from being involved with RBI?I’ve gained so much. I’ve learned how to communicate with kids and how to be patient. I’ve never been great with words, but when you coach girls, you learn you have to affirm them and tell them good job. I’m learning to be more gentle and tactful in the way that I coach.