One year ago, on October 3, 2018, Tyler Adams’ family faced their worst nightmare when they were forced to say goodbye far too early to their 20-year-old beloved son and brother.
As a kid, Tyler was a stellar athlete, particularly as a baseball player for Thunder Baseball Academy. He began playing baseball at Thunder almost as soon as Thunder opened and became a constant presence both on the field and in the building. When he wasn’t on the field practicing, he could be found just hitting or taking private lessons with Coach Darron or Coach Tom.
During his many years at Thunder, Tyler was on “Lightning” and coached by Tom Dedin and Darron. He had a very close relationship with both coaches and looked up to both. Tyler was a catcher, primarily, although they discovered quickly that he was also a good pitcher, so he was always in the pitching rotation as well. However, as good as he was at catching and pitching, Darron always used to say, “You can’t teach a kid to swing a bat the way he does.”
Tyler was so fortunate to have so many great experiences at Thunder, with his coaches, his teammates, and with all the traveling we all did. He got to play all over, with the highlights for a young kid being his time playing on campuses like OU, TCU, and Kansas State.
At his core, Tyler had a huge heart. He was the first to step up if he knew of a friend in need, always putting others needs in front of his own. It only makes sense that we honor Tyler’s life and legacy through giving.
Both as an athlete and then just as fashion preference, Tyler consistently loved shoes, particularly Nikes, specifically high tops. On this, the first anniversary of his passing, we are celebrating Tyler’s life with an exciting new project.
A Precious Child has launched the “In Tyler’s Shoes” campaign which will help put shoes on the feet of deserving children in need. A Precious Child assists children and families facing difficult life challenges such as abuse and neglect, crisis situations and poverty.
We want to see everyone demonstrate Tyler-sized generosity and outfit as many communities out as we can with some shiny, new kicks. Help us celebrate Tyler’s life, his love for shoes, and his beautiful, generous spirit.
You can clink the link below and donate directly to the "In Tyler's Shoes" Campaign. Money collected will be used to buy new athletic shoes for children in need.
Or, if you would rather pick out and purchase a shiny new pair of shoes, feel free to do that as well. You can drop off your shoes at Thunder in the yellow bins in the lobby or at A Precious Child (7051 W 118th Avenue, Broomfield CO). Please note, if you would like a donation receipt for tax purposes, you will need to drop them off at A Precious Child.
Thank you all for your amazing support. We can't wait to see deserving kids in their beautiful new shoes. If you have any questions, please feel free to call or text Tracy Adams, Tyler’s mom, at (303) 995-4386. You can also follow us on "In Tyler’s Shoes" on Facebook.
Are you looking to improve your players throwing or pitching mechanics? Learn from some of the best in the business with the Thunder Academy Progressive Pitching and Throwing programs.
Players will be placed in groups of 5 at the youth level.
Each youth group will have one, 1-hour session assigned per week. You will have the same time, day and group members throughout the program.
18 week program
Nov 4 – Mar 27
New this year. The HS program will have the opportunity to “Drop In” on up to 3 days per week.
14 week program
Nov 5th - Feb 23rd
Note: No sessions week of Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s.
A highly successful program designed to develop pitcher’s skills to reach their full potential. Rapsodo Video Analysis will be used for high school players to review and teach players the mechanics of pitching. This teaching method will enable the player to see faults and then be taught what they are doing and how to make adjustments, which will increase the probability of player success. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday Tom Dedin, Jr. is the instructor for this program. Coach Dedin Jr. brings over 20 years of coaching experience, including Division 1 and Junior College levels. He is a master teacher of the mechanics of pitching. Professional pitchers and former Thunder Academy players, Kyle Leahy and Lucas Gilbreath will also be teaching sessions.
Click on the link for details on how to reserve a spot for your player.
If you are looking to help your player improve their hitting, the Progressive Hitting program may be your call to action.
A highly successful program designed to use Video Analysis to compare a hitter to Major League players, side by side. During the program, hitter flaws will be identified using video analysis. Feedback and practice drills from the analysis will enable the player to focus on correcting and improving their swing. Performance, power, and consistency should improve. Monthly video comparisons will be made. This technique is used by the Major League Baseball teams to produce significant improvement in hitting techniques.
Instructed by Coach Darron Cox, a 18 year professional baseball veteran, at both AAA and Major League levels. Coach Cox was a professional manager and hitting instructor for the Colorado Rockies organization as well. Former College coach Tom Dedin Jr and former Dartmouth College standout Kyle Holbrook will be instructing as well.
Thunder Academy is partnering with Thunder Baseball League to offer a Thunder Academy 9U Prospects Team and Thunder Academy Red/White Teams ages 10U-14U, for those families that want to get professional off season training and tournament ONLY team experience.
All the Academy Red teams coaches are finalized. The goal was to have all non-dad coaches, however, the Academy has selected coaches at 9/10’s dads that have been vetted to be unbiased. We will select the remainder Academy White coaches, once we confirm demand for these programs.
The objectives for the Thunder Academy Red (Majors)/White (Majors/AAA) teams are threefold:
1. Consistently compete at the highest level in the state and region.
2. Instruct and emphasize the life lessons that athletic competition presents for youth.
3. Prepare players to compete at the next level of competition by providing them with a foundation of fundamental skills that allow each child to maximize their natural ability.
See the links below for details of the Thunder Academy two programs:
In coordination with RMJBL, we will be moving our website to Dicks Sporting Goods - Blue Sombrero Team Sports Headquarters platform. This is much more modern platform that is provided free by our sponsor DSG. All the member areas voted late 2018 to migrate to this new platform for scheduling and league communication. If you would like to preview our new home page, it will be located at:
The page will be under construction for the next few weeks and we will be making dynamic changes periodically. We will be running both web sites until the end of 2019. We will be moving all the necessary folders and files over to the new site over time. Please provide any feedback regarding the site.
Registration and communication for 2019 fall ball will be on the current website at www.thunder-baseball.org . New coaches applications will be on this site, the fall 2019 teams, and game schedule.
All 2020 spring players will need to set up new family and player information, since we were not able to port the old information over from our current League Athletic/SI Sports database to Blue Sombrero. 2020 spring registration opens July 15, 2019 on our new platform.
As we begin our season, a reminder that your job as a baseball parent is to encourage your player and all the players on your team. It's recommended to tell your player that "you love to watch them play the game". Directly after the game, there is no need to talk about specific mistakes or things they could improve upon, rather take the time to enjoy a special meal or treat. These are special times and let them enjoy being kids. Let the coaches handle training tactical, fundamental and mental side of the game to your players. They will be in High School sports before you know it and the expectations of players from coaches are different.
Also, the dugout is a sacred place for players and coaches. Thunder Baseball League and Thunder Academy Dugout Policy: ONLY PLAYERS AND OFFICIALLY ROSTERED COACHES are allowed in the dugouts during games (this applies to all games, regular season, postseason, fall ball and any exhibition games) The only exception will be if a coach asks a parent to help or fill-in for a missing coach and/or specifically asks that a parent be in the dugout for a particular game. No siblings (unless serving as batboy/girl), friends, parents, grandparents, etc. are allowed in dugouts during games. This applies from pre-game warm-ups until the coach dismisses the players after the game. The only exception is in the case of a serious injury to a player.
The 2019 spring season will be here before you know it! The Academy teams finished their first week of training.
All Thunder Baseball League players can get extra work with individual private professional lessons. Players can invest in the Progressive Hitting and Progressive Pitching programs that are currently taking registrations. For more information, see Club News on the Thunder Baseball League website or contact Thunder Academy Office Manager
We are excited to present the attached “2019 TBL Annual Calendar” to help plan your season. Some dates and times are “subject to change”. Thunder Baseball League offers many different opportunities beyond league baseball games.
Exciting events like “Opening Day, Team Picture Day, Day at the Rockies, and Bats for a Cure Tournament” help build our Thunder Community. Talk to your team manager to ensure you don’t miss any important events.
Youth baseball parents have a difficult job. On top of making sure your child is dressed, fed and prepared, you get to sit in the stands while all of the pressure rests on your player.
However, there are several things that you can do that will not only help your child, but help your coach and the team. A team of parents who fulfill these 11 roles is most likely to have a drama-free season!
11 important ways that youth baseball parents can support their child, team and coach.
Volunteering is the first and most obvious way you can help your coach. It’s the most visible way you can contribute to the team.
Assistant Coach: Do you have experience as a baseball player or coach? If you have a desire to teach, this is a great option. But the motivation must be for you to help the entire team, not just your child.
This is something to consider for the experienced baseball parent. Instead of complaining on the sidelines, be part of the solution!
Scorekeeping: Your coach may need two or three scorekeepers. Some teams choose to have both a pencil and paper scorekeeper as well as a parent who manages the scoring virtually like with Gamechanger or iScore. Some teams may even need a parent keeping track of innings or pitches.
Some teams experiment with a defensive scorekeeper this season — that’s going to require yet another volunteer!
Fundraising: Travel baseball is expensive. Most teams have some sort of fundraising or process to recruit sponsors to help with the costs.
Of course, doing these things well requires some skill. A good fundraiser is an organizer and networker. If that’s you, let your coach know!
Team Manager and Culture Keeper: Maybe the most important role. Your coach needs someone who is a liaison between the parents and coach. This person is the buffer for complaints and helps with communication.
Additionally, a team parent is often the one who collects paperwork and makes sure everyone is paid up and eligible. These are responsibilities that, if taken on by the head coach, can add significant stress and distraction.
2. Provide Healthy, Timely Meals
Don’t be that parent who doesn’t feed your child prior to a game. And don’t be that parent who sends your child to the dugout with a bag of fast food prior to warmups.
We know that home cooked meals are a challenge during baseball season. However, it doesn’t need to be a gourmet meal. Your child needs fruits, vegetables, protein and water to supply the energy needed to get through a day of games.
Please, no fries. No soda. No candy.
Timeliness is important, too. A meal shouldn’t be consumed on the way to the game. Have something ready in between games, too!
3. Enforce a Curfew
Traveling is one of the fun experiences of tournament ball. However, it’s easy to fall into the trap of staying up too late prior to morning games.
Your coach has plenty to worry about. He doesn’t need to add tired kids to his list of concerns.
Understand the schedule, and establish a reasonable curfew for your child even if your coach does not.
4. Be Dependable
It’s not expected that you’ll make every practice. And exceptions can even be made for missing the occasional game. But please… Please be dependable.
Make attending practices — on time — a priority. Make getting to games — on time — a priority.
In fact, you can relieve a lot of coaching stress by not only arriving on time, but by getting there 10 or 15 minutes early.
Of course, you may have conflicts. But when you know of these conflicts, you need to tell your coach ahead of time so that he knows — and remind him a week and a few days ahead of time!
5. Stay Away From the Dugout!
This is a pet peeve of ours, and we think we speak for most coaches. When the game begins, let your child be.
We know this is tough. It’s tough for us, too, when we are attending our kids’ games as a spectator. And we admit that we occasionally violate this rule.
But this can be a major problem. You think you are helping, but it often isn’t the case.
Your child just made an error in the field. Or he did something wrong that you think needs to be corrected. Resist the urge and stay away.
Ultimately, your coach or his assistants are the ones who need to talk to your child during the game. They may have already, and you didn’t see it. But your involvement often makes things worse.
Your child wants to please you. Your presence at the dugout only reinforces that they messed up. This often leads to tears and more emotion than was there prior to you being at the dugout.
Additionally, your advice may not be consistent with what the coach is telling your child. So while you think you know the perfect thing to say in that situation, your encouragement may just cause more confusion.
6. Reinforce the Message
Understand the coach’s philosophy. Know the approach and strategies that he teaches. And support that approach.
Let’s say that your son swung at the first pitch late in a game when he was given the take sign. Support your coach by explaining that approach and why your child should follow it. Don’t completely oppose your coach by saying that he was right to swing in that situation.
You need to be an extension of your coach. Even in cases where you disagree, it’s important that the kids buy into the system. Conflicting messages only makes things more difficult.
Treat your player to ice cream, frozen yogurt, or even a frozen slurpee after a game. Avoid the temptation to discuss the baseball game in the car ride home. The best thing to say is "I love to watch you play". Players need to know you are sharing the experience good or bad.
7. Remain Positive
When the team is struggling, remain positive. Cheer louder. Encourage the players. Remain positive about the team when talking to your child.
Just as importantly, remain positive when your child is struggling. Don’t yell at them during a game after they make a mistake. Talk constructively with them about their struggles after the game.
These kids will be kids. They can be delicate emotionally. Your coach needs you to remain positive to keep them positive since the mental side of the game is so important.
8. Support ALL OF THE PLAYERS
It’s exciting when your child makes a big play. It always means a little bit more when it’s your child who is in the spotlight. But there are 10 other kids out there. Cheer them on!
This is where it becomes a baseball family. Don’t be on an island, only supporting your own child. And if players other than your child make mistakes, encourage them, too.
Treat these kids the way you want the other parents treating your own.
You may get frustrated with other players on the team. Avoid talking negatively about them in front of your child as they are bound to take that with them.
9. Show Appreciation
We don’t want to be a martyr here, but being a coach is hard. It’s stressful. It’s rare that everyone is happy. We don’t get paid. We lose sleep and our health can suffer.
Appreciate the sacrifices your coach makes!
Oftentimes parents will get together to get the coach or coaches a gift at the end of the season. That’s awesome and appreciated. But keep them in mind during the season, too.
No, that doesn’t mean you need to keep giving them gifts. Just appreciate all that they are going through. Reflect that in the way you talk to and about your coach.
10. Avoid the Drama
It’s funny. When a team is playing well, everything is right with the world. But as soon as things start going downhill for a youth baseball team, watch out!
Fingers are pointed. People start complaining. Arguments begin.
Don’t be part of this madness. It’s not helping. And really, it’s this drama that creates the cracks that inevitably lead to a team imploding.
11. Communicate Well
You won’t always agree with your coach. But when that happens, know how to handle it.
Don’t yell at a coach during a game. Don’t walk through the dugout and onto the field to ask why your son is on the bench. Don’t send a series of long emails at midnight after a game.
Yes, you might imagine that we’ve experienced all of these things. But our experiences are not unique. As great as the families have been during my years of coaching, these things happen to all coaches.
Don’t ever talk to a coach during a game about your child’s playing time. Seriously. Please, avoid this at all costs. You won’t get what you want, and in fact you may just get the opposite.
When emotions are high, emails are also a bad idea. It’s far too easy for tone and intentions to be miscommunicated. Emotional emails almost always make things worse.
Follow a 24-hour cool-down period. If you’re upset, don’t talk to the coach after the game. Think about it for the next 24 hours. You may even realize that whatever was bothering you isn’t a big deal after all.
If you still need to talk, set up a time to chat face-to-face with the coach. Do so calmly. Don’t be combative or confrontational. Again, understand the complexities that go with coaching and trying to keep everyone happy.