Category Archives: RBI News

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.

Summer Volunteer Roles

Summer Volunteer Roles

You’ve heard it before, “Teamwork makes the dream work.”

This couldn’t be more true for RBI Austin’s summer leagues.

As we’ve grown from 118 kids to more than 1,171 kids, so has our need for gameday volunteers.

So whether you are behind the scenes assisting with gameday logistics, helping keep score on the sidelines, or in the thick of the action with the kids in the dugout, our summer volunteers are invaluable.

If you’ve been on the fence about serving and wondering just exactly what our various volunteer opportunities look like, check out of summer volunteer roles below.

HEAD COACH

A day in the life: You’re leading the charge for your RBI Austin team. You’re working with your assistant coaches to make sure that practices have a plan, that kids are having fun, and that families are engaged and invited into the team. Typically, head coaches have been involved with RBI Austin before and/or are familiar with RBI Austin’s mission + culture.

Time commitment: 1-2 games a week plus one practice a week

ASSISTANT COACH

A day in the life: You’re helping your head coach run the show. This can entail corralling kids, running drills at practice, being in charge of the batting lineup in the dugout. Head coaches cannot coach a team alone, and you play an essential, supportive role in the experience that RBI Austin players and parents have during the summertime. No baseball or softball experience is required, and we will make sure you get trained to do your role well.

Time commitment: 1-2 games a week plus one practice a week

SCOREKEEPER

A day in the life: Do you prefer to be more on the sidelines with a little less commitment than coaching? Scorekeepers help us make sure that games are running smoothly and being documented. You will be posted up behind home plate watching the game, keeping the “book”, and enjoying some summer sun at the ballpark. No experience is required, and we will make sure you get trained to do your role well.

Time commitment: We ask that Scorekeeping volunteers serve at least 5 games during the summer!

UMPIRE

A day in the life:  You keep our games moving — literally. Umpires will be trained in specific divisions and will be provided with all of the rules, regulations, and information they need to make sure that RBI Austin games are running smoothly and according to league rules.

Time commitment: We ask that Umpires serve at least 5 games during the summer!

SOUND/ATMOSPHERE  

A day in the life: You’re responsible for bringing the gameday environment! Who doesn’t love the ballpark atmosphere with music and hearing players being announced as they walk up to the plate? Sound/atmosphere volunteers assist with queuing walk-up music and announcing players and teams.

Time commitment: We ask that Sound/atmosphere volunteers serve at least 5 games during the summer!

FIELD MAINTENANCE  

A day in the life: A lot goes on behind the scenes to ensure that our RBI Austin kids have playable fields during the summer season. You’re responsible for helping maintain field quality that gives our players a sense of pride in where they get to play. Typically field maintenance tasks include clearing weeds from the infield dirt, building the mound, clearing trash, mowing, and edging.

Time commitment: As needed throughout the summer!

Attend a volunteer orientation

Ready to learn more? Attend one of our upcoming volunteer orientations:

RBI Austin Mission + Culture


RBI Austin Mission + Culture

If you’ve been around RBI Austin for any length of time, you know that  we love the games of baseball and softball, but there is so much more to our programs than that, and it starts our volunteers.

MISSION

RBI Austin’s mission is to engage and develop inner-city Austin youth athletically, academically, and spiritually, empowering them to lead the transformation of their communities.

We are committed to the development of the whole child. Along with physical development, personal and spiritual growth are critical to the development and transformation of young leaders. If our programs only focused on developing better ball players, we’d be missing the mark.

So, how does this play out? How do you help lead and cultivate a culture where our RBI Austin kids develop and ultimately feel empowered to transform their communities?

Below are three key elements to RBI Austin’s culture.

ONE: Pursue your players.

When a player doesn’t have a ride, find someone on the team to give them a ride or give them a ride yourself.  When a player no shows and you can’t get a hold of them, go knock on the family’s door!  Yes, go knock on their door.  Do everything you can to create an environment where that kid can be a part of your team.  That’s how we do it at RBI Austin.  We believe pursuing our RBI kids like this not only sets RBI Austin apart from almost any other league around, but it also reflects Jesus Christ’s love and pursuit for each one of us.

TWO: Invite parents to have a stake in your team.

For RBI Austin to achieve its mission, it is necessary for parents to be highly involved in our teams.  In the past seven years, RBI Austin has grown from 1 team to over 80 teams.  Parent involvement has been essential to this growth. Invite parents on your team to become coaches, team moms, and scorekeepers. If they don’t know how to do one of these roles, then teach them. Not all parents will accept your offer, but some will!

THREE: Balance excellence and fun.

We want excellence. We also want fun. We want to compete to win. But we want to recognize we’re here for a much higher purpose. As RBI coaches, we come to practice and games well-prepared to lead our teams with well-thought-out practice plans, lineups, and game strategies. As RBI coaches, we also come to the field seeking to make that time the most fun part of the day for our RBI kids. With excellent coaching and fun coaching, we inspire our RBI kids to live out who God has created them to be, and we keep our kids coming back year after year.

We focus on building a culture of community through baseball, softball, mentoring, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. We come alongside kids and families. We are FOR their development, growth, and transformation — both on the ball field and off.

Courage and Pride: You’re giving these gifts

  A fresh haircut, a new suit jacket, hours of practicing his speech – none of these stopped the nerves from coming on Thursday morning.
Watch Leighton & Booker’s video

“He was terrified. We didn’t know for sure how many people he would be speaking in front of, but I just kept encouraging him, ‘You can do it.’

So, when I saw my 12-year-old son on that stage talking to a ballroom filled with people, I teared up.

I can honestly say that was one of the moments I’ve been most proud of Leighton. 

He was nervous the day of the event, but he had Booker’s support, Matt’s support, and my support. He did something he was scared of doing because he believes his story is important.”

Willie Mae, Leighton’s mom, reflected on the pride she had in her son as he presented during the 2018 Now at Bat program in front of 815 guests.

This is just one example of how service like yours is impacting East Austin families — giving a boy courage and a mother pride in her son.

Spending time with your RBI Austin kids can and will change lives.

Because of involvement like yours, someone is there to teach Leighton how to pick out a suit, how to practice public speaking, how to do things that push him out of his comfort zone.

More importantly, a positive, adult role model is speaking the love and grace of Jesus Christ into Leighton — motivating him and us to love others sacrificially.

Watch Leighton & Booker’s video

Who Coaches the Fatherless?

Who Coaches the Fatherless?

When most youth sports coaches are dads coaching their own kids, who coaches the teams of kids who don’t have a father in the home?  With your help, RBI Austin is going to bat for these kids to provide year-round mentoring and coaching to kids who do not have a father in the home: View video

Nationally, 85% percent of youth sports coaches are dads coaching their own kids.

But what happens in a community where 73% of kids are fatherless? Who coaches those kids?

It’s a different ball game in inner-city Austin.

We’re here at the Booker T. Washington housing complex in East Austin where 73% of kids are fatherless and less than 10% of these kids play organized sports.

But with your help RBI Austin is seeking to change that. With your help RBI Austin is going to bat for these kids.

Through one-to-one mentor relationships and RBI baseball and softball teams, a growing number of Booker T. kids have coaches in their lives and also can reap the lifelong benefits of playing youth sports.

Interested in learning more about our mentoring program or volunteer opportunities to be a part of a team that is going to bat for these kids? If you have any questions or want to get involved, send us an email! We’d love to hear from you.

Combatting the Odds

“What’s one of the most encouraging things about seeing RBI Austin grow?”

I’m asked this question often, and to give an answer, I want you to meet my friend Bryan and his mentee Landon, who just celebrated their two-year mentor/mentee anniversary on November 5th.

As the child of an incarcerated father, Landon is six times more likely to be expelled or suspended from school than other children.

And as a black male, Landon has a one in three chance of going to prison in his lifetime.

Our prayer is that Landon will overcome those odds.

RBI mentoring and baseball are slowly transforming Landon — tempering anger, building self-esteem, and growing in the ability to maintain positive relationships.

RBI Austin has provided Landon a consistent, year-round mentor whom we’ve seen God use to point Landon to the truth that there is One who will never leave him, never walk out, never stop showing up. 

Along with his mentor, baseball is a mechanism we’ve seen God use to shake Landon’s leadership skills to the surface. 

“We gradually introduced him to baseball, and I think he surprised himself. You could see self-esteem building up in him because he challenged himself to do something he hadn’t done before. I don’t think he’s had an opportunity to display his leadership characteristics, and baseball helped him tap into those characteristics that he didn’t realize he had,” shared Bryan, Landon’s mentor.

Thanks to your support, Landon is not the only RBI Austin kid engaged in a transformative, year-round relationship.

Through our mentor match program and baseball/softball programs, 142 of our 1,171 RBI Austin kids (12%) are engaged in a year-round relationship with an RBI coach or mentor. But that still leaves the majority of our RBI Austin kids who direly need a consistent relationship like Landon has with Bryan.

How you can help combat the odds:

  1. Please join me in praying for the Lord to DOUBLE the number of RBI Austin kids engaged in a year-round coach/mentor relationship in 2018 from 142 to 284.
  2. Make a year-end gift to help us reach our goal! As of today, $31,220 of our $82,542 Going Going Give goal has been raised – thank you!! We still need $51,322 and would love your help in meeting our goal.

Thank you for believing in RBI Austin, in Landon, and in our 1,170 other RBI Austin kids.

We’re grateful to have you on our team,

Matt Price
Founder & Director, RBI Austin

P.S. If you haven’t done so already, I invite you to make a year-end gift by December 31st through one of the giving links below.

RBI Austin: Taking Back Youth Sports

Taking Back Youth Sports

How do trends in private lessons price out low-income youth from sports? Watch the video below to see how RBI Austin is stepping up to the plate to provide quality, competitive baseball and softball for inner-city Austin youth.

A growing trend in youth sports is private instruction to take a player’s game to the next level.

But here’s a curveball, unfortunately private lessons typically cost $50 – $100/hour or several hundred dollars per month.

It’s a different ball game for inner-city Austin youth.

This extra several hundred dollars a month prices out youth from low-income families.

RBI Austin is stepping up to the plate.

At our RBI Austin 12U Baseball Academy, our 12U players are being trained twice a week by high-level instructors.  Our instructor list includes former college players, including a recently graduated Texas Longhorn baseball player!

We just might have some future Longhorn players on these teams.

Helping Us Go Deeper: LifeTrends

Helping us go deeper!

We’re able to dig deeper with the young men in our high school programs because of committed sponsors like LifeTrends. This summer our high school regional players were able to participate in high-level competition in New Orleans against some of the best RBI players in the country. This was due in large part to LifeTrends’ support and their commitment to engaging and developing future leaders through RBI Austin.

Meet the LifeTrends Team!

“David and I each grew up, went to college, and started our business in the Austin area. As we’ve watched the city grow and change, it made sense to partner with an organization that’s bringing together all the wonderful and diverse backgrounds that make up the city we love.” – Karen Joyner, co-founder, Head of Sales and Operations

 

More than numbers | The depth of your impact

More than numbers

Beyond simply growing in numbers, we desire to dig deeply with those involved in RBI Austin because we know that neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth (1 Cor. 3:7).

View our impact report

 

Whole Child Development

We are committed to the development of the whole child. Personal and spiritual growth are critical to the development and transformation of young leaders along with their physical and academic development.

If our programs only focused on developing better ball players, we’d be missing the mark.

Your involvement allows us to engage and develop inner-city Austin youth athletically, academically, and spiritually, empowering them to lead the transformation of their communities.

View our impact report

Programs with depth

We have a growing number of programs in place where kids and volunteers get to dig deeper and grow spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

Your support enables us to sustain gospel-based, relational programs like our league and academy teams, our player discipleship program Bible studies, our monthly mentoring fun nights, our mentor enrichment events, and our mentoring program Bible studies.

View our impact report

 

Our Growth | Your Impact | 318 more kids engaged

We’re growing because of you!

Since RBI Austin began in 2011, we’ve seen the Lord faithfully grow our programs, our volunteers, our donors, and our impact.

Because of your help, RBI Austin continued to grow in 2017 and this is our largest year to date. We’ve served more kids, engaged more families, and teamed up with more volunteers and coaches than ever before.

View our impact report


More kids, teams, and volunteers!

The number of inner-city Austin youth participating in RBI Austin programs grew by 37% in 2017. That is 318 MORE kids engaged than the year before.

Because of you, 1,171 kids were involved in a program where the gospel is central and where volunteers, donors, and staff care about their athletic, academic, and spiritual development and transformation.


RBI Mentoring…still going strong!

When we began RBI Austin’s Mentoring Program in 2014, we had a vision to match every Oak Springs 4th grader with a caring mentor. Mentors who would commit to being matched with an East Austin 4th grader and invest in their lives through high school graduation.

Three years into the program, and we’ve had 84 caring mentors say “YES” to coming alongside a mentee and develop them into the future leaders of their communities.

Last year 28 mentees received a mentor, and because of your support, we’re able to sustain these gospel-based, relational programs.

View our impact report

THANK YOU!

RBI Austin exists to engage and develop inner-city Austin youth athletically, academically, and spiritually, empowering them to lead the transformation of their communities.