Welcome to the Iron Catchers Academy!
Hello! My name is Trent Leimkuehler. I played at Jefferson College and then transferred to St. Louis University. After playing college I played professionally with the River City Rascals. I've been teaching younger players since I was playing in my high school career. I have a passion for teaching! I have been with Rawlings Training Center and Balls-n-Strikes for five years where I have taught private one-on-one lessons, and classes, and have coached teams.
The catching position is a difficult position to learn, but with the right process, you can become well-versed in how to manage the field.
Here's a brief description of the Iron Catchers Academy.
What is the Iron Catchers?
It's a class designed for the player who wants to learn and compete at the catching position. A player would join one of the academy sessions to better understand this difficult position. There are not many coaches who are going to spend a lot of time during their practice focusing on the catching position. Catchers in general have to do a lot of different things, they need a lot of attention. This is the purpose of the academy. It's for the player who has a burning desire to get better, the coach who wants his catchers to get better, and the parent who is looking to help their son or daughter find more success at the position.
Why would you choose the Iron Catchers?
The question becomes should I choose private one-on-one lessons or a class? I don't think this is a "this, or that," choice. I believe in learning you have a toolbox of resources to choose. You can understand hard concepts through written word, audio, and video in the non-physical setting. To learn in person you can have a one-on-one private session with the teacher and student, but you can have a group setting too. Both of these mediums are effective, but knowing which one to choose for a specific time frame can be difficult. This is more of an "and, this" environment. They should both be used by the player. It's what gets them the result. Which for me, is having confidence in performing on the field, managing the defense, and being a good teammate.
Private lessons are great when a player is struggling and needs to work on something specific. It's also great helping with getting a better understanding of fundamentals. In classes, it's great for competition, learning synergy, and seeing live demos of your own age group. For example, maybe you feel like you're doing a really good job, but then there's somebody else in that class that might be a little bit better. So maybe that's going to drive you to work a little bit harder. Maybe you get a little bit better work in that area. I think a class setting is where you can drive yourself to get better in conjunction with other kids, maybe you see an AAA-level player in your class, and you're maybe a mid-AA player. This might drive you.
So, I think it's something that, that can be good. The one-on-one lesson part of it I feel can work against you at times when it becomes stagnant to where you're doing the same thing over and over again. Where in a class you're going to be doing a few different things, seeing new faces, and you're working with other catchers who are going to indirectly help you.
How do you structure the class?
How I structure the class is 5-6 players per class. On the first day I see where the players are at a fundamental level. Each class can be different, so I want to know their personalities, their level of play, and their knowledge base of the catching position. I do this by seeing where their stance is, and seeing how they're getting themselves set. Then from here, I run through a little bit of everything from receiving to blocking to throwing. It gives me a good baseline.
Once I have a baseline, I want to focus on the area that's going to have the biggest impact on their game. In most cases, this is the receiving subject. Then from here, I move towards a deep focus on blocking and throwing to bags.
The classes are separated by age group 9U to 11U and then 12U to 14U. Each session has five classes that span over five weeks. We do this to allow players to work on the new skills they've learned in between each session. Having classes back-to-back days can be counterproductive at times. I want the players to engulf themselves in the subject they encountered each week.
After they leave those five weeks that they're ready to build on a more concrete foundation of skills.
How do I register?
To register you can call the front office at 636-394-2255. I run a couple of sessions throughout the year, so to get up to date information for this years Iron Catchers Academy please call the front office.