Building Great (Coaching) Teams

Posted in Jeff's Thoughts on February 4, 2014 by H3Baseball

Coach Burton doing what he does best - watching and analyzing.

Building great teams.  It just occurred to me, but not for the first time, that I really enjoy the building process.  Today, I’ve been reminded of how fortunate I’ve been, in building a number of teams over the years, to coach alongside some outstanding men who’ve helped mold me into the coach I am today.  Those men have been instrumental in changing the lives of lots of ballplayers.

From my earliest days of coaching my son Luke’s teams, when I was fortunate enough to coach with Pat Ingram, Greg Allen, Jim Ryan, and my brother Jerry Burton, assembling and then being a part of a group of high quality, enthusiastic partners made for such a tremendous experience.  Over the years, as the team names have changed, many of those same guys that I met simply because I happened to have a son the same age as theirs have continued to be at my side (or rather, I have been at their side).  Over the years, the list continues to grow: Robert Northington, Greg Porter, Eric Vettel, Kevin Murray, Dave Carey, Kevin Seidel, Brian Kent, Rick Emery, Chris Marshall, JT Enoch, Mike Pausic…the names go on and on.

At Covenant, building our staff has been an awesome experience.  Starting with our AD Brooks Berry, and adding Keith Werman, Larry Mitchell, Billy Pollard, Steve Wilkins, Joe Koshansky, Jon Kessick, Trey Bickers, and Robert Word…that’s a lineup of coaches that rivals many college programs.  I am very fortunate that these men have decided to not only invest in the players and the school at Covenant, but that they were willing to invest with and in me.

To all who have shared the dugout with me over the years, I just want you to know that I am blessed to serve with you.  Thanks to you all.  -Jeff Burton


Mavericks Baseball Camp

Posted in Jeff's Thoughts on January 22, 2014 by H3Baseball
Baseball Friends,

We are excited to announce the dates of the Mavericks’ Baseball Camp with Billy Wagner at the Miller School. Last summer’s camp was huge a success and we hope you might consider being apart of this summer’s camp.  This is a unique baseball camp for rising 7th, 8th, and 9th graders. During morning sessions we work on all skill areas of the game with outstanding coaches and in the afternoons we play competitive. In addition, we bring in a speed and acceleration specialist to assist and teach the players to run faster.  In many ways, this is a great camp for preparing players for those college showcase camps down the road.  We only have 24 spots available, so hurry and get yours reserved. For this year, we will have a new field and 125 foot hitting barn!!

Camp Date: July 23-26


John Lewellen
Camp Director

H3 Baseball’s Youth Baseball Alliance…Guest Speaker UVA Baseball Coach Kevin McMullan

Posted in Jeff's Thoughts with tags , , , on January 15, 2014 by H3Baseball













H3 Baseball’s Youth Baseball Association (YBA) hosted the 3rd of 4 offseason meetings on Monday night (January 13).  Our guest speaker was UVA Associate Head Coach Kevin McMullan.  Coach Mac led a discussion on hitting, sharing wisdom he’s gained from over 20 years of coaching with IUP, St. John’s, ECU, the Atlanta Braves organization, and the last 11 years at UVA.  Twice named National Assistant Coach of the Year, Coach Mac has had an unbelievable impact on the lives of many aspiring baseball players, as well as the community in which he lives.  We so appreciate you Coach Mac for your investment in our local baseball community and who you are as a person.  We are lucky to have you in Charlottesville.  

Thanks to TEAMS Training Center for hosting our event.  Todd Proctor, Steve Wilkins and their staff are doing great things in our area.  I hope all who read this will take the time to go see their facility.

The 4th YBA meeting of the offseason will take place in early March.  Coach Ben D’Allesandro will talk about Coaching Ethics, a great reminder message as we all head into the 2014 baseball season.  We hope you will consider coming.  All coaches/all levels, all parents and players are welcome to attend. 




H3 Baseball Bunch Call for Middle and High School Age Mentors

Posted in Jeff's Thoughts on December 26, 2013 by H3Baseball

As many of you know, an organization (now 501c3) was created last Winter called H3 Baseball.  Our 1st program was something we called the H3 Baseball Bunch.  Simply put, it was an opportunity to pair up 5-8 year olds with a middle school to high school aged mentor through the game of baseball.  Selected 6-8 year olds went through a series of indoor/outdoor baseball clinics and selected middle school aged students committed to walk hand in hand with a specific “protege” for 5 months.  The mentors were asked to attend the clinics with the “buddies” as well as follow up with them at various points during the January-June program.  Contact could be done through phone calls, emails, handwritten letters, or attendance at events.  Our hope was that proteges would learn the game of baseball through the themes of “HEAD HEART HUSTLE” and “playing for something bigger than me” and that mentors would learn to invest in others at a time in their life when they are still under the care of their parent(s).  We were not aware of too many programs that taught/showed middle schoolers the direct value associated with living life for others rather than self.

Its now time to build our 2nd H3 Baseball Bunch.  H3 Baseball has hired former UVA Baseball player Keith Werman to run the 2014 version and rather than 25 participants and 25 mentors, we’ve decided to double the size for the coming year.  We are only a few shy of filling the 50 protege slots.  Its now time to identify 50 mentors.  Here’s what we are looking for 50 young people:

1) who have some familiarity with the game of baseball; you need not be an “expert” yet
2) who have a desire to invest in the life of a 5-8 year old for the first 1/2 of 2014
3) who have enough time to attend 4-5 clinics and the discipline to follow up periodically with your assigned protege; we recognize that you may miss some clinics; perfect attendance is preferred, but not required

Last year, some of our mentors were able to use this opportunity to fulfill the community service requirements of their schools.

So, most of you that are receiving this email either have a son/daughter that is in 7th-9th grade (older is fine; we just know life gets a little busier as you enter high school) and may want to participate; are in a position to know 7th-9th graders who may want to participate; or are community leaders who could potentially have some influence that could help our program.  We could use funding assistance, but please only consider this if what we are doing really appeals to you.  There are so many great causes in our community, many with more urgent needs than what we are doing.  Our goal for 2015 is to raise $25,000 which will go to funding:

1) 1st half of the year H3 Baseball Bunch
2) 2nd half of the year H3 Baseball Jamborees
3) Scholarships for those in need on year-round H3 Sandlot and Select Travel Baseball teams
4) a Central VA wide Youth Baseball Alliance (coaches from all over the area getting together to learn from the most respected minds living in our community)
5) hopefully a Summer Camp for area youth with emphasis on the underprivileged

Our clinic dates are scheduled for January 25, February 1, February 22, and March 8.  These are all Saturdays.  The first 3 dates will take place at the National Guard Armory on Avon Street between 12:30-3:00.  The 4th clinic will take place at The Covenant School’s baseball field off 5th Street Extended, likely in the late morning.Image

UVA Pitching Coach Karl Kuhn Speaking about Numbers

Posted in Jeff's Thoughts with tags , , , , on December 22, 2013 by H3Baseball

In November 2013, UVA Pitching Coach Karl Kuhn spoke to H3 Baseball’s Youth Baseball Alliance on numbers…meaning the physics behind throwing a baseball down a mound.

UVA Pitching Coach Karl Kuhn Speaking on TRAINING with HEAVY BALLS

Posted in Jeff's Thoughts with tags , , , , on December 22, 2013 by H3Baseball

In November 2013, UVA Pitching Coach Karl Kuhn spoke to H3 Baseball’s Youth Baseball Alliance on the latest phenomenon in pitcher training…the use of a heavy baseball program to increase velocity. Coach Kuhn encourages any post puberty player that wants to try such a program to find a qualified (trained) instructor.

UVA Pitching Coach Karl Kuhn Talking About Specialization

Posted in Jeff's Thoughts with tags , , , , on December 22, 2013 by H3Baseball

Filmed in November 2013 at H3 Baseball’s Youth Baseball Alliance, UVA Pitching Coach Karl Kuhn speaks about SPECIALIZATION.