10 Reasons You Should Be A Charger
1. Development: Plain and simple, the #1 goal of the Indiana Chargers is player development. Within the framework of development, our #1 priority is and always will be arm-care/health. Although we believe teaching kids how to win is important, we value development over winning meaningless travel ball trophies, and consequently, we will never put a player’s career in jeopardy just to win a game. Over the past 10 years, 135+ players have gone on from our program to play college baseball, and four have gone on to play professional baseball (Full list - Chargers Alumni). These players all went on to play at the next level because they were talented players who worked hard and not because they wore our uniform. With that said, our program is intended to help motivated athletes develop their God-given talents and skills by giving them the best upper-level information and a training environment conducive to maximizing their skill sets.
2. Facilities: We have two great places for our players to train. One facility is located in Goshen and the other is in Fort Wayne. Our facility in Goshen is located inside of Eastlake Athletic Club, and our facility in Fort Wayne is at The Summit, an AWP facility. Both facilities have a wall dedicated to elite arm-care and velocity development, state of the art batting cages, and a fully-turfed with enough space to have an infield big enough to simulate a full HS infield.
In Goshen, our facility has four batting cages (90+ foot long with 20 foot high ceilings), and netting around the perimeter that will allow live batting practice and defensive work to take place indoors. In Fort Wayne, there are 3 drop down cages. When the cages are not being used the turf opens up into a beautiful open space for throwing and defensive work.
High School players will have 100+hours of upper-level training time included in their player fee (60+ hours for players on our younger teams). The Chargers facilities have an environment and culture where hard work is expected every time you enter the door. Bringing your best focus, attitude, and effort is a daily expectation and requirement.
3. Upper-Level Information: We believe strongly that the information we give our Charger players is upper-level information that will help you develop and teach you how to succeed as you play at higher levels in your career. Why are we confident of this? Our staff has more than 50 years of combined coaching experience, and we continue to invest time and money into continued learning by going to coaches conventions every year, talking with college and pro coaches, and researching endless amounts of information to make sure we are teaching what is on the cutting edge of what is being taught at the highest levels of the game.
4. Coaching Staff: Plain and simple, coaching is a high priority in the Chargers organization! When joining the Chargers as a player and family, you are joining an organization that puts as much emphasis on working with and supporting their coaching staff as they do their players. (Check out our 2017 Coaching Staff, here). At the 13u level and up, we do not have “dad” head coaches unless they fall into the category of having the necessary college level and Charger ball coaching experience we require in order to coach in our organization. We invest a lot of money into paying our coaches because we want motivated, knowledgeable coaches leading our players and our teams. Our coaches have all played at a high-level and have coached, or are currently coaching, at the college or high school level.
At the younger levels, we do still rely on “dad” coaches, but you can be assured that those dad coaches are totally bought into our philosophy and the way we do things or they will not be coaching for us. Our dad coaches must attend our workouts throughout the winter to learn what is being taught to the players and must pass a Charger certification so we can be confident they will follow all the protocol and philosophies of the organization. Once our younger teams can get outside in the spring, either Joel Mishler, Justin Barber, or Tony Gongaware attend several of the first outdoor practices to assist the coaches and make sure the fundamentals and game operations will be taught the Charger way.
5. Scout Day: Every year, at the beginning of the summer, our organization hosts our annual “Scout Day” where college coaches can come and get a look at our 16u & 17u teams through a pro style tryout. Scout Day is another benefit of being in our program and is included in the player fee. Over the past 6 years, we have averaged between 25-30 schools in attendance. Schools from all levels of collegiate baseball attend each year including some of the following schools: Indiana, Purdue, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Ohio State, Ball State, Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Toledo, Valparaiso, Xavier, IPFW, St. Joe College, Taylor, Huntington, Indiana Wesleyan, Huntington, Indiana Tech, and Vincennes…just to name a few. There are two important takeaways from this: One, college coaches trust our program. Second, think about how much money you would have to spend to get in front of those schools at their camps or other showcases???
6. Driveline Baseball: We are a partner facility of Driveline Baseball and are the only organization in the Midwest who has had hosted a Driveline Baseball event each of the past three years. If you are not familiar with Driveline, you can learn more about them at drivelinebaseball.com.
We invested a lot of money to bring out Driveline for a weekend camp for our players in the fall of 2014. After the camp, we fully implemented the Driveline Throwing Program and protocols. Since that time we have had nothing but great results. We have had 41 athletes over the past 3 & 1/2 years who have joined our 90/95/100+mph club.
To view our full training results from the last 3+ years check out our Training Results Data. We are excited to be on board with Driveline Baseball, and we are confident that the way we train athletes works and helps keeps them healthy.
7. John Mallee: Like most of what we teach, our philosophies come from those who teach the game at the highest levels. Take hitting for an example; Our hitting philosophy is not our own. We use the hitting philosophy of John Mallee, the hitting coach for the Chicago Cubs. Coach Mallee has been a good friend of our organization since our inception, and he has put on a hitting clinic in 7 of the past 10 years at our facility. His 6 absolutes of the big league swing make the complexity of swing mechanics easy to understand for anyone at any level. The drills we use are his and are designed to help our players get in great, athletic hitting positions consistently at the plate.
8. Competition: One of the many benefits of being a Charger is that you get to play against some of the best competition in the Midwest. Whether it’s through scheduled games with other quality organizations or through tournament play, our players get to hook it up against some of the best teams and players at their age level. At the high school level, our teams play in some of the best tournaments in the Midwest including some invite only events. Nothing helps development more than being tested and challenged during games by playing against great competition.
9. Emphasis on Academics & Community Service: We feel strongly about the importance of academics and community service. In fact, we decided to put our money where our mouth is on this. Every player in our organization has the opportunity to earn a $100 credit by earning honor roll worthy grades or by performing 10 hours of community service. With nearly 120 players in our program this past year, it amounts to a rather large amount of money; however, we know this is important. Grades and test scores play a huge role in the college recruiting process, and we want our players striving for excellence in all areas of life, not just on the baseball field.
10. Faith: The Indiana Chargers are a faith based organization. We will not be in your face about this, but we are not ashamed to say that we believe the Bible is God’s Word. Our faith and beliefs guide the decisions that we make in our organization on a daily basis. We strive to hire coaches who are good role models for our young men, and we will use the game of baseball as a vehicle to teach important life lessons, such as, character, integrity, and excellence.