As we move into the winter months, we continue to take a look at the rise of travel ball in New England with many organizations moving indoors for a strength and conditioning phase. Our latest guest for The Base Path Podcast fits with that theme, as GBG Northeast Hawks director Joe Breen sheds some light on the topic.
Breen addressed criticisms that the price of travel baseball has made it only accessible to wealthy families and year-round baseball has resulted in more injuries.
“Nobody really looks enough at the individual programs or what each program is doing,” Breen said. “It doesn’t seem to have a ton of impact in other sports. There are club teams in pretty much every sport at this point. Baseball gets a tough rap just because there’s injury associated with it, and probably more so than other sports from overuse and things like that. But I think over the last five, six or seven years, there’s been a lot of things put in place to protect players like pitch counts. There’s more knowledge for coaches to understand how to prevent injury.”
Last year, the GBG Northeast Hawks opened a second facility in the Foxboro/Mansfield region. After operating out of the RBI Academy in Foxboro since the program’s inception in 2010, the Hawks spread their wings by expanding to another RBI Academy in Mansfield, Mass. That complex serves as a training ground for the program’s pitchers.
“We don’t recruit players, we attract players,” Breen said. “I think we try to put out a product, an environment, and a culture. Through marketing and our social media platforms, what you see on the field is we try to put out a product that is going to attract the players that we want in our program and the families we want in our program.”
Listen to the entire podcast with GBG Northeast Hawks director Joe Breen.
The New England Baseball Journal podcast is brought to you by the University of Nebraska High School.
For advertising opportunities, please contact [email protected].