Mission Statement and Philosophy
Our goal is to develop the youth of Needham to play baseball at a more competitive level, while maintaining a focus on teamwork, player development, safety and positive self worth. While everyone likes to win, it should not be the ultimate goal at the expense of these areas of focus. We should judge our success by teams and players improving with each passing year. We plan to maintain 10U through 16U teams depending on interest by year.
Playing Time – At the 10U and 11U level, playing time should be relatively equal. Players should get the opportunity to play multiple positions regularly during the season. By the 12U level, everyone should still play at least half the game. Positions shouldn’t be fixed all year, but they will start to be more focused. On the 13U-14U level, everyone should still play at least half the game but positions become more fixed and specialized, particularly at the 14U age. At age 15U and above, players should expect to earn their playing time, yet it should still be meaningful, and positions are often fixed during the season. In playoffs, coaches may limit playing time more significantly as this is the time they should “play to win”, but nobody should ever sit an entire game.
Safety – Coaches must follow Pitch Smart age appropriate guidelines and catcher/pitcher conversion guidelines. Parents and coaches share responsibility for coordinating pitch counts between town and Rockets Baseball teams to ensure arm safety.
Team formation – Teams hold tryouts in June for ages 10-13U. Ages 14U and higher may hold tryouts but can invite players back based on coach feedback and may only need supplemental tryouts at these ages to fill open roster spots. Teams are selected by their respective coaches and the program director. The Rockets Baseball board director assists in the running of the tryout and the administrative process, including soliciting feedback for coaches to make player decisions. Teams typically are 13 players.
Pricing – The program goal is to make only a small surplus on average per player so it can put that money back into field development and maintenance. Lower prices = greater opportunities for all to participate in the program. Given our low pricing, refunds are not offered once a player has accepted their spot on a team.
Coaches – We try to hire and retain skilled coaches who can uphold our philosophy and be the magnets for our program. We value baseball skills as well as integrity and character so they can instill good values in our players. All coaches are required to meet background checks for the organization. Failure to adhere to our program philosophies is grounds for termination. At the end of each season coaches will be graded by parents/players on three scores – player development, adherence to the mission and philosophy of Rockets Baseball, and if the player would recommend Rockets Baseball to someone.
Feedback – players should be able to ask and receive feedback from coaches at any time about what they can do to improve and earn more playing time.
Program Director – The league employs a program director paid by the number of teams in the program. Said person will help hire, mentor and evaluate coaches in program. They will coordinate and run tryouts for teams, coordinate scheduling matters for leagues and field/umpire requests of the teams, identify and register teams for tournaments, and coordinate other logistics as needed.