Jackson Koeppl – First County Bank Athlete of the Month

Bobby Valentine’s First County Bank Athlete of the Month for June is nine year old Jackson Koeppl. Jackson first started playing baseball three years ago when he was six years old, and was almost immediately thrown a curveball. The COVID-19 pandemic put a pause on his spring 2020 New Canaan rec baseball season, but that did not stop him from continuing to practice and progress.

Jackson played constantly with his Dad in the backyard, doing anything from swinging a bat to long tossing. He was able to restart rec ball in the fall before joining 8U New Canaan Travel Baseball in spring 2021. As his commitment to baseball grew, Jackson wanted to go a step further and began training with BVSA this past January. His last six months can be summed up by his latest Spring Championship Game for his 9U New Canaan team.

Jackson came in to pitch in the 2nd inning with his team already down 4-0 to Danbury on their home field. Ten strikeouts later, he and his teammates were putting medals around their necks celebrating a 10-4 victory. Jackson pitched five innings and only allowed one baserunner, a sixth inning single. His final line read…

5 IP, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 H, 10 Ks, W

“His stuff is electric. He is in complete control mentally when he takes the mound, regardless of the results. He can be dominant or he can be hit hard, his body language and his mindset does not change at all. I have never seen someone so young and understand this game so well.” – Joe Wanderlingh, BVSA Instructor and New Canaan Coach

Not only does he help himself with his demeanor, but he wears off on the rest of the team. The excitement and joy on his face when he plays is truly contagious. He loves the game, his teammates, and helping his team any way he can.

Jackson is a soon to be fifth grader that really excels in the classroom. When he is not playing baseball, he is definitely playing some other sport like flag football, basketball, and skiing.

As if that wasn’t enough for him, he continues to challenge himself and take on new things like archery, ninja warrior obstacle courses, and chess. He loves rooting for a wide variety of different teams like the New York Yankees, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, and Florida Gators.

We here at BVSA want to congratulate Jackson once more for earning this honor of First County Bank Athlete of the Month for June. His progress in such a short amount of time is truly inspiring, and it is clear that this is just the beginning for Jackson. We are so excited to continue watching him grow and lead by example for everyone that takes the field with him!

The Overlooked Importance of In-Season Training

 

In-season training has long been a controversial topic for athletes and teams.

Many coaches have long believed that when their athletes are in-season, their sport should be their only focus. But as the season progresses, what happens?

The common issues of production output and injuries rear their head and cause problems to most of the roster. Therefore, in-season training has become a huge focus throughout the industry and can be seen prominently throughout most college and professional athletics.

This is why I have always been confused as to why High School and Youth athletics neglect to keep training throughout the season. Is it fear of being tired or sore from a workout? Fear of cutting into practice time? Or just lack of education?

At BVT LAB, we have made it a focus to educate our clients on the importance of keeping a consistent training schedule once the season starts.

Now, this schedule does look very different from our off-season programs. Our protocols are vastly different because we have to tailor our program to the stress and demands of the season. But, we make sure that our athletes train throughout the season to maintain and elevate their performance.

What are the main goals with in-season training?

 

1. Injury Prevention/ Maintain Mobility and Flexibility:

While all of our programming throughout the whole training process is always centered around injury prevention, our in-season protocols ask for even more attention to injury prevention. We do this with a multitude of exercises that help increase flexibility and mobility. We also pay extra attention to our CNS activation and corrective exercises so that athletes perform to their optimal performance levels on game day.

 

2. Maintain power and performance (maximal strength):

Skipping out on the weight room for the entirety of the season can have significant detrimental effects on an athlete’s strength levels. The stronger an athlete is, the more force they can produce. The more force they can produce, the faster they’ll run, the higher they’ll jump, and the harder they’ll hit.

The residual effects of a power phase (which most coaches should be putting their athletes through before the season ) are sometimes only 6-8 weeks after the athletes stop performing the phase. So it’s vital for athletes to continue training in order to maintain their power throughout the season.

Consider this: In the week leading up to Super Bowl LI, the New England Patriots were squatting 80% of their max. They were 20-plus weeks into their season by that point, but they knew how important their weight room work was to their continued success. For what it’s worth, the Patriots went on to win that game after overcoming a 25-point deficit.

 

3. Manage fatigue, limit muscle soreness, and improve recovery from games:

The main goal for all athletes during the season is day-to-day game performance. One major way to help with this is to manage the volume of both practice and training.

Most coaches are not going to move their practice times around to help manage athletes’ fatigue. This means it’s pivotal to limit the amount of fatigue that occurs in the weight room, while still trying to achieve the ultimate goal of keeping power production with the athletes. Focusing on strength and power rep ranges for the proper amount of sets will give athletes just the right amount of stimulus without creating fatigue or injuries.

Another problem that occurs during the season is muscle soreness and decreased range of motion. Two surefire ways to elicit soreness for athletes are excessive eccentric loading and introducing too many new exercises during the season.

We still want to control the weight, but focus should be more on the concentric strength component rather than attempting to overload the eccentric contraction. Too much volume can cause micro-traumas in the muscle that can result in additional soreness. New exercises can also bring about DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness) as athletes’ bodies trying to adapt to new stimuli.

 

Although all in-season programs depend on a multitude of factors such as scheduling, time commitment, sport, athletes needs, etc., we typically suggest that athletes still train 2-3 days a week to accomplish all the goals we have listed above.

In conclusion, if an athlete or team wants to be able to accomplish their ultimate goals of winning a championship and playing to the best of their abilities, it’s imperative that they train throughout the season

Kevin Bruggeman – First County Bank Athlete of the Month

Bobby Valentine’s First County Bank Athlete of the Month for May is Hofstra University’s starting catcher, Kevin Bruggeman.

“The kid has always been obsessed with putting in the work. The sacrifices and growth we’ve seen him make over the years combined with his instincts, natural talent and genuine love for the game are infectious. He’s constantly raising the bar for everyone around him. It’s no surprise that he just put himself in the NCAA and Hofstra baseball record books. Can’t wait to see what he does next!” – Anthony Conte, BVSA Director

What Anthony is referring to is the latest NCAA D1 Regional round of the 2022 College Baseball World Series. Hofstra made its way into the postseason for the first time ever after winning the 2022 CAA Championship, and faced off against the tenth nationally ranked team in the country, the University of North Carolina.

Bruggeman batted third and came up to hit in the top of the first with two outs and nobody on base. He took two close pitches just off the plate to put himself in a favorable 2-0 count. The next pitch made Hofstra history. Bruggeman’s home run was the first hit, run, RBI, and home run in Hofstra postseason history.

“It’s UNC, they weren’t going to do anything fancy 2-0, so I was just looking for a fastball.” – Bruggeman

Leading up to this moment, Bruggeman’s hard work and dedication were already being recognized. He was named to the All-American D1 Baseball Strength & Conditioning team. On the season, he hit .330 in conference play with 4 HR and 21 RBI, and finished tied for second on the team in hits (33).

Take it back a step further, Bruggeman was named captain during his junior and senior years at Trumbull High School. He was the first junior captain in Trumbull High School history!

Bruggeman’s ties to BVSA go back to the days of Fury, where he played since 2013. Beyond that, his mother Danielle Simoneau has been a softball coach at BVSA since its inception in the fall of 2006.

“Kevin exemplifies everything you want a player to be. He plays with passion, energy and a level above most around him. He plays with grit and determination and is looked up to by his teammates and opponents. He works at his craft like no other and it shows on the field. His efforts and production helped lead our team to multiple tournament championships and tremendous experiences for all of us. It seemed like whenever we needed a big hit or a big play, Kev delivered. He has a great appreciation for the game and although an intense competitor, there’s always a smile and a joy for the game.” – Frank Ramppen, BVSA Managing Partner

We here at BVSA want to congratulate Kevin once more on earning this honor of First County Bank Athlete of the Month for May. His drive and commitment to mastering his craft have put him in the Hofstra record books, and the best part of that is this is only the beginning… We cannot wait to see what he does next!

Cooper Gendason – First County Bank Athlete of the Month

Bobby Valentine’s First County Bank Athlete of the Month for April is Cooper Gendason. Cooper is finishing up 7th grade at New Canaan Country School, where he has attended since he was in kindergarten. He has competed in both baseball and soccer since he was four years old, and combine that with having three siblings, safe to say Cooper is used to competition.

“Cooper gets it. He wants to train regardless of the results in his games. He has been doing nothing but hitting home runs these last few weeks, and he is still here at BVSA working on his swing constantly. He is an incredible athlete, and an amazing role model for his little brother, Peyton. He is an absolute joy to have around the facility, and so exciting to watch grow into the ballplayer and leader he is turning into.” – Joe Wanderlingh, Baseball Instructor

Baseball started for Cooper playing through Stamford North Little League, playing for both house teams and all-star teams. He currently is blasting home runs for the New Canaan 12U travel team, and he is really looking forward to upcoming summer trips to Aberdeen, Maryland and Cooperstown, New York. He’s going to be looking to make that place Cooper’s town (sorry, too good not to use).

When he isn’t playing baseball, Cooper is on the soccer field. It started with the New Canaan travel team, and then he joined the Chelsea Piers Shoreline premier team two years ago. He mostly plays midfield.

Cooper roots for New York for the most part, being a fan of the first place New York Yankees and the playoff bound New York Rangers. The one exception is in the NFL, where he is the biggest Denver Broncos fan you will ever meet. As if the Yankees and Rangers weren’t enough excitement for him, he gets to look forward to the Russell Wilson era beginning in a few months.

We here at BVSA want to congratulate Cooper once more on earning this honor of First County Bank Athlete of the Month for April. His work ethic and commitment to the game are amazing to see, and we are so excited to watch him continue to grow both on and off the field!

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure – Injury Prevention at BVT

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Benjamin Franklin

 

The benefits of resistance training in both athletics and training within the general public has been well studied and documented for years. Improvements in power and performance, as well as increased muscle size are always things that come to mind when thinking about the benefits of resistance training, but resistance training also has direct correlations to reduction of injuries. 

Studies have reported that the direct effect of resistance training helps physiological adaptations seen consequent to resistance training on bone, connective tissue and muscle to provide enhanced protection against injury for individuals who participate in such training programs. 

Effects on Bone: 

The bone is living tissue. This means it has the ability to remodel and adapt to physical stresses imposed on it. 

Individuals that are physically active have been shown to have greater bone mineral density than those who are sedentary. In general those that are active reduce risk for osteoporosis, fracture, or other ailments related to bone deterioration. 

Studies have found that through resistance training these effects are amplified. Resistance training provides greater osteopenia effects, increasing beneficial bone strength that will help reduce stress fractures. 

Overall this means that as muscular strength improves so does bone strength. 

Effects on Connective Tissue: 

Connective tissue is the framework of the body. It consists of cells and fibers embedded in a gel-like material containing tissue fluids and various metabolites. 

The primary fiber of connective tissue is collagen. Studies have found that resistance training has a direct effect on connective tissue adaptations, in addition to increasing both the size and strength of ligaments and tendons. 

Increasing the size of the connective tissue is thought to be a result of an increase in collagen content within the connective tissues sheaths. One study comparing body builders to untrained individuals suggested that increase in collagen content is proportional to the increase in muscle. 

Body builders seem to have greater absolute collagen content, but relative values are similar to untrained controls. This means that increases in muscle mass are likely met by increases in the size and strength of the connective tissue. 

Effects on Muscle: 

It’s no surprise that as we age, a decrease in muscle mass (sarcopenia) occurs. This means a subsequent reduction in muscle strength results in a loss of functional ability and also an increased risk for falls and fractures. 

When looking at the aging adult population, resistant training programs have benefits for increase in both strength and muscle size just like athletic training programs do. The functional ability to maintain and improve the risk of injury is significantly reduced when resistance training. 

Resistance training has a huge role in reducing the risk for musculoskeletal injuries related to muscle imbalances, expressed as either agonist to antagonist ratios or as bilateral comparisons. Correction of these imbalances through resistance training is pivotal in reducing risk of muscular injury. 

Resistance training also has a positive effect on reducing lower back injuries by increasing strength in the lumbar extensors and lumbar vertebrae. This will shield your body from a multitude of muscular injuries that can occur with aging and sedentary lifestyles. 

In conclusion, resistance training is almost like the fountain of youth. 

As we age we lose the ability to produce power due to the decrease in muscle mass and bone density, which directly correlates to our connective tissue. 

Any individual that is in a properly progressed resistance training program will see drastic benefits in their everyday life performing functional movement patterns and the benefits of injury prevention. This means that.

Kylie O’Melia – First County Bank Athlete of the Month

Bobby Valentine’s First County Bank Athlete of the Month for March is ten-year-old Kylie O’Melia. Kylie is currently in 4th grade at Strawberry Hill School in Stamford, and entering just her second season of playing softball. Despite it being her first full year of playing, she was able to make the Stamford Stars 10u travel softball team. How was she able to do this??…

“She is the most dedicated 4th grader we have in the facility. She is working hard to be the best she can be. She pushes herself to do better with each lesson. When she is not training with me, she is working with her dad here twice a week. The best three words to describe her are driven, dedicated and determined!” – Danielle Simoneau, Softball Instructor

In addition to her dedication, she is extremely versatile. She can be found all over the infield, from pitcher, to both corners, or even behind the dish. She always has a positive attitude, a smile on her face, and when you hear someone screaming from the dugout cheering on her teammates, that is Kylie you hear.

On the rare occasions when she is not playing softball, you can find her playing basketball or doing boxing training. You read that right, do not mess with Kylie! She also did gymnastics for years when she was younger, so it has always been nonstop sports for Kylie.

Kylie is all for new challenges, whether on the field or in the classroom. Her favorite subjects are math and science, and wants to be a scientist when she is older. That is of course after her collegiate career playing softball for the UCLA Bruins.

We here at BVSA want to congratulate Kylie once more on earning this honor of First County Bank Athlete of the Month for March. Her dedication and commitment to so many activities at such a young age is absolutely remarkable, and we are so excited to watch her continue to grow both on and off the field!

Intention

intention

 

Intention. 

Webster defines intention as a determination to act in a certain way.

Bobby Valentine’s Training Lab, also known as BVT, is not about running through hoops and ladders or dodging in and out of cones.  We are about producing athletes through proper principles of science to elevate performance. 

As many strength coaches realize very quickly, there are a ton of hours spent with sets, reps, exercise selection, the load, etc…the list goes on and on.  But coaches realize that none of this matters unless you have total buy-in from your athletes.  This “buy-in” is one of the most difficult things to achieve in all of sports, whether that be in the weight room or on the field.   At BVT, the buy-in starts on day one.   We strive to hold an extremely high standard not just through our programming and exercises, but also in the way we mentally prepare our athletes.  How do we do this?  It’s simple.  We take extra time to focus on not just the physical approach, but the mental approach as well. 

Unfortunately, as simple as it seems, it is one of the most difficult things and can often be overlooked.  It’s about doing the little things right through sacrifice and discipline and an extreme attention to detail.  We ask all of our athletes to hold that within themselves to truly elevate their performance and take them to the next level. 

Lewis Caralla, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for Georgia Tech, says it best, “You don’t have to do anything that isn’t required for you, but you also don’t have to win.”  At BVT, we hold the same standard and believe this is what takes our athletes to the next level.  People become successful through discipline and that is how they achieve great things. What you do in the gym is what is reflected on the field.  

As coaches we commonly see two types of athletes. There are the compliant athletes, and then there are the competitive athletes. The compliant athletes come into the gym, put their bag down on the floor, look at his or her workout, then proceed to do the bare minimum and go through the motions the entire time. The competitive athlete comes in and does the same thing, but they mentally prepare.  They come up with a game plan and attack.  Every rep means something to them and you can see it through their intent. So how does a coaching staff get the competitive athlete everyday that puts intent into their workout?  

The BVT coaching staff does this through a few different methodologies. First, we make sure that our coaching staff is always supplying our athletes with the educational background as to why we do what we do.  As an athlete, if you do not understand the “why” behind what you’re doing, it’s extremely hard to put full intention into the act you’re trying to perform. An example of this can be something as easy as a Wall Drill exercise. From the outside looking in, it’s very simple to set up and perform. However, if the athlete is not educated on why we perform this, it can become repetitive and they won’t reap the benefits of the exercise. By taking the time to make it a learning experience, they understand the “why” and will put more effort into it resulting in a high-level of performance. 

Although measuring intent is difficult, we have found that following a few simple steps to mentally prepare our athletes for their workout helps as well. 

These steps include: 

  1. Preloading your workout mentally: What type of workout do I have today?  What does this require of me?  What will be challenging, and how will I fight that adversity? 
  2. Remember why you’re doing this type of work: What are my long term goals?  What are my short term goals?  What are my goals for today and how will I achieve them?  Why am I doing these exact exercises and how do they fit my goals? 
  3. How am I going to do this work?:   What will it take for me to achieve the questions above?  Will I be able to give enough effort and intent to achieve my goals, and if not how do I change that?  
  4. Put away your work:  Take a mental review everyday of your work.  Did I achieve what I set out to do?  Did I achieve my daily goals?  Did this chip away at the stone of my ultimate goals?  

At BVT, we’re constantly asking our athletes these questions. We’ve seen drastic improvements in performance when athletes take the time to mentally reflect through this process. When they mentally take charge of their actions, intent and attention to detail become second nature.

Attached here is a video of one of our athletes performing simple exercises.  What makes these exercises applicable is the passion and desire to get better combined with scientific principles that are proven to work. If you watch closely, you can see in the athlete’s intention how he asked the simple questions above in the steps. You can see through his aggression and violent intention in every step that he understands his ultimate goals.  He understands what type of work it’s going to get him there.  The purpose of the exercises and why we are doing them.  Most importantly he’s taken the time to improve on these exercises over time through mental reflection.  

Although not simple, this type of mental coaching applied to high-level athletic performance training can create the coveted “buy-in” that coaches work so hard to achieve.  At BVT, we pride ourselves in elevating performance physically and mentally. It’s these steps that separate us and our athletes from the rest of the pack.  

BVT coaching is about attention to detail, intentions in every step, combined with proper scientific principles in our training methodologies to elevate athletic performance.  

Sources

“Setting the Mind to Boost Athletic Performance.” TrainingPeaks, 3 Dec. 2021, https://www.trainingpeaks.com/coach-blog/setting-the-mind-to-boost-athletic-performance/.

Jack Conway – First County Bank Athlete of the Month

BVSA Athlete of the Month February 2022 - Jack Conway

Bobby Valentine’s First County Bank Athlete of the Month for February is eighteen-year-old, Jack Conway. Baseball is not just a game for Jack, it is a lifestyle. You would have to go back 16 years (when BVSA first opened their doors) to where Jack first fell in love with the sport. All the way back from the age of two, Jack was hooked.

Jack plays the game with great passion and tenacity, while at the same time, spending hours and hours analyzing statistics, history, and current and former players alike. You could call Jack a utility player, but only in the greatest form of the phrase. He is a utility player in the sense that he plays numerous positions, and plays them extremely well. He is the definition of versatile. He wants to learn about every position, and thrives on getting better and better at each and every one.

When Jack was twelve years old, he realized he had a great opportunity to play this game at a high level. Since then, it’s been full steam ahead, working relentlessly to accomplish his goals. Coach Anthony Conte had this to say; “Jack and I had our first session on June 6, 2014 and WOW has it been such a fun journey watching him grow into the young man he’s become! Jack is one of those athletes that comes in, listens, applies, and works his tail off to achieve his goals. He’s one of the few local athletes I know who wakes up before school to hit the gym so he can dominate the rest of the day! Fun to work with someone who knows how to work, compete and still be one of the kindest people in the room.”

Not only is Jack a work horse on the field and in the cages, but he also is a tremendous student at Darien High School, where he will finish this past semester with a 4.0 GPA. He is still considering all of his college opportunities, but the plan is to major in Business. Wherever he ends up, he is confident that baseball will be in his future plans.

As a mentor and a role model to so many kids in his community, from baseball to church and town organizations, Jack continues to share his knowledge of the game, and the lessons he has learned throughout this journey. Baseball is so much more than just a game or a sport to Jack, it is something that has helped mold him into the outstanding young man he is today.

We here at BVSA want to congratulate Jack once more on earning this honor of First County Bank Athlete of the Month for February. His dedication and commitment to the sport speaks volumes, but the life lessons and the impact he is able to make on so many kids is truly remarkable, and why we all choose to be a part of this great game. We are beyond excited to see where Jack goes from here!

The BVSA Experience: 16 Years of Excellence

Sports-Academy-connecticut

As Bobby Valentine’s Sports Academy enters its 16th year of training and educating young athletes in Fairfield County, we challenged ourselves to answer this question: what makes BVSA so special?

While our excellent team of coaches and expansive facility on Largo Drive in Stamford stand out among other baseball training facilities in the area, it all starts with the man whose name is on the front of our building. 

Bobby Valentine is recognized as one of the world’s brightest baseball minds, which has been developed over a storied history of playing and coaching baseball at the professional level. Bobby has interacted with and learned from many of baseball’s most iconic names at every level of the game throughout his career, yielding a plethora of knowledge that has helped shape the trajectory of professional athletes in both Major League Baseball and Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball League. 

In 2006, Bobby realized his dream to share this lifelong insight with the youth of his beloved hometown, opening the first Bobby Valentine’s Sports Academy on 72 Camp Ave in Stamford. As Bobby opened his own training academy, his mission was to ensure that only the best knowledge and skills were passed down to the community’s athletes.

That mission led to the creation of BVSA’s unique curriculum, derived straight from Bobby’s lifelong experiences around the game of baseball and faithfully passed down to everyone who has entered our building ever since.

The purpose of this curriculum is to provide professional-level instruction that is unified across our brand, and having this system in place has made BVSA successful in maintaining a high level of instruction over the past 16 years.

Every BVSA coach has been educated in this curriculum and delivering Bobby’s distinctive knowledge along to our students. This means any time you step into the BVSA facility, you’ll receive the same high-quality instruction, whether you are working with Bobby himself or the most recent coach added to our staff.

Rather than an environment where each coach instructs his or her individual students using their own teaching methods, BVSA has created a team of unified coaches, which has helped us retain the highest level of coaching throughout our many years in business.

Most recently, our team first mentality has allowed us to persist through the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re proud to announce that despite shutting our doors for 3 months during the early days of the pandemic, we were able to retain all of our staff members and have been able to emerge stronger than ever.

Having this strong curriculum at our core has allowed us to easily adapt our methods of instruction to match these times. In the event that one player’s coach is unavailable, another coach is able to step in and easily provide the same high-quality instruction with which our students are very familiar. 

Additionally, as Bobby Valentine’s archive of baseball knowledge continues to grow, our curriculum evolves to stay ahead of the times. Each person who comes through our building has contributed something special to our program, and we value the ability to integrate our coaches’ unique experiences into the teachings of our entire staff.

Our team is also well versed in using advanced motion tracking technology and metrics to reinforce the concepts we teach. In our facility today, you’ll already find slow-motion video, radar guns, hitting performance metrics, and motion feedback programs. 

As the number of digital performance programs grows, we are continuing to research a variety of new technologies and are excited to continue implementing these state-of-the-art systems into our instruction.

While our curriculum has evolved over the course of 16 years, and will continue evolving in the future, our mission to provide the young athletes of Stamford and our surrounding area with professional-level instruction has stayed tried and true since we first opened our doors in 2006.

As proven over 16 years, BVSA’s curriculum and team first mentality has helped bring the best out of thousands of young baseball and softball players, and with these aspects of training at our core, we’re prepared to continue pushing the bar of athletic instruction for many years to come.

Connor King – First County Bank Athlete of the Month

“Connor is one of the most exuberant and fun kids to be around in any setting at BVSA. From baseball to our All Sports Clinic, nobody is ready to learn while at the same time having a blast doing so more so than Connor. To top it all off, he has such an unique personality that sets him apart from his peers. He really is a pleasure to coach and be around, and there is definitely a bright future ahead!”
Justin Virgulak, BVSA Facility Director

 

Bobby Valentine’s First County Bank Athlete of the Month for January is nine-year-old Connor King. Connor is simply everywhere, constantly on the move. He started his 2021 playing for the BVSA Fury 9u team, and then continued into the summer with Darien Little League. He played for the Darien AA summer travel team in the Friendship League where he competed against teams throughout Fairfield County. Heading into 2022, he’ll be playing for the Darien Blue Hawks 9U-A team and he could not be more excited.

Connor throws lefty and hits both righty and lefty. You read that correctly. He is probably the first switch hitter in the history of little league. The craziest part about it is that when you watch him hit from the right side and then the left side, you would not be able to tell which side is his natural side. He is THAT good and THAT comfortable from both sides of the plate. He is definitely a must see at BVSA. When we asked him about how he got into switch hitting, he said one day he just simply mixed up his left and his right and accidentally started hitting the other way. If only it were that easy for the rest of us.

 

“Connor brings positive energy to every practice and game, and always puts in the maximum effort to improve. He has taken huge strides in all aspects of the game, especially with his must see switch-hitting ability.” 
Matt Diurno, Coach/Instructor

 

When Connor is not playing baseball, you can find him on the ice. He plays for the Connecticut Junior Rangers 2012 Elite team, competing against the best teams in the country all year round. If not on the ice, he is on the lacrosse field playing for 2Way and the Greenwich Warriors.

Across all three sports, Connor is known for his work ethic, his coachability, and his overall positive attitude. He prides himself on being a good teammate and a good playmaker, and his selflessness is remarkable to say the least, especially at such a young age.

 

“Connor gets it in a way I’ve never seen most high school players understand. What I mean by “it” is a couple of different things. He comes into BVSA wanting to improve in all aspects of the game, both as a player and as a teammate. He demonstrates to other nine year olds, as well as to his little brother, the near impossible balance of hard work, fun, and some messing around with friends and coaches, and then how to put all three together. He carries himself with such a high level of respect, kindness, and genuine happiness. He is always just smiling and happy to be a part of a game he so clearly loves.” 
Joe Wanderlingh, Instructor 

 

Connor’s favorite teams include the New York Yankees and the New York Rangers, and he particularly enjoys watching Aaron Judge take the field and Adam Fox on the ice. In the classroom, he loves reading and math. He somehow finds the time for hobbies on top of the three sports, and those hobbies include reading, fishing, and golf. When he grows up, his dream is to become a three sport professional athlete. If anyone can accomplish that, it is definitely Connor. 

We here at BVSA want to congratulate Connor once more on earning this honor of First County Bank Athlete of the Month for January. Both the commitment and the love for so many things at such a young age is impressive and flat out remarkable to say the least. Combine that with the respect and care Connor has for everyone, from his coaches, to teammates, to teachers, to his little brother, Chase, and it is safe to say we are beyond excited to watch Connor grow both on and off the field.