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Minnesota Twins Training Academy

Minnesota Twins Training Academy
2014-2015 Edition

Please check back for information on 2014-2015 camps.

The Twins Training Academy offers pitching, hitting, infield and catching instruction in four-week training blocks. Unlike a traditional baseball camp, the Twins Training Academy is ongoing training designed to reach developmental goals over a series of sessions. Our training sessions are a great way to improve and master your skills in key areas of the game. Within each schedule block, players may pick any single discipline or combine more than one.

All aspects of training feature design input and the presence of SAOS; the orthopaedic physicians group of the Minnesota Twins. SAOS provide leading edge sports medical knowledge as well an advanced understanding of bio-mechanic training to Twins Training Academy.

The junior training sessions are for players ages 10-13 and focus on strong skill development - these sessions will set an excellent foundation for advanced training. The senior training sessions are for players ages 14-18 and feature more advanced instruction - these sessions will help make you an elite varsity player and possible college prospect.

Players train in small groups, benefitting from a small player to coach ratio and allowing for more one-on-one instruction. Small group instruction allows players to not only experience more time with the instructors, but also to watch and learn from fellow participants as well as develop friendships.

The Twins Training Academy provides unique training that you cannot receive anywhere else.


JUNIOR SESSIONS (Ages 10 - 13 years)

Pitching
Building blocks of pitching

  • Proper mechanics including arm and leg motions
  • Improve arm strength, control & confidence
  • Introduction of pitching fielding practice
  • Pitching health education & injury screening

Hitting
Solid hitting foundation

  • Receive fundamental and intermediate instruction
  • Learn proper hitting mechanics including tracking, loading, and striding
  • Improve hand-eye coordination and bat speed
  • Necessary repetitions to improve hitting skills

Infield
Learn gold-glove defense

  • Proper fielding stance and approach
  • Proper mechanics and footwork
  • Throw quickly and accurately
  • Develop confidence
  • Necessary repetitions to improve fielding skills

Catching
Fundamentals of catching

  • Develop catching skills
  • Proper set up
  • Proper throwing technique
  • Proper mechanics & footwork
  • Proper blocking form & skills


SENIOR SESSIONS (Ages 14-18 years)

PITCHING
Same drills and techniques of the Twins

  • Fine-tune mechanics, command & pitch patterns
  • Develop advanced strategy and pitch arsenal
  • Improve pick-offs & fielding
  • Increase shoulder/core strength
  • Pitching-related health education & Injury Screening

HITTING
Become an elite hitter

  • Fine-tune mechanics and pitch recognition
  • Learn to develop a hitting plan/approach
  • Increase bat speed and power
  • Learn to hit off-speed pitches and to all fields
  • High number of repetitions each session

INFIELD
Become an elite fielder

  • Develop a high level of confidence
  • Advanced mechanics and footwork
  • Increased speed and glove work
  • Improve double play turns
  • High number of repetitions each session

CATCHING
Become an elite catcher

  • Improve receiving skills
  • Improve mechanics & footwork
  • Improve blocking skills
  • Increase arm strength & transfer speed
  • Learn more about pitcher/catcher relationship
  • High number of repetitions



TRAINING ACADEMY DIRECTORS

Erik Lovdahl - Pitching Director

Erik Lovdahl has more than 20 years of experience coaching and instructing at the youth, high school and collegiate levels. He is a former professional pitcher and currently serves as a Twins batting practice pitcher and Director of Twins Training Camps. In his role with the Twins, Erik has worked with Twins Pitching Coach Rick Anderson and teaches many of the same techniques the Twins pitchers work on. He is the owner of Lovdahl Pitching Academy as well as the Gopher State Baseball League Pitching Director. Erik has trained countless players at all levels throughout the Upper Midwest.

“ Erik has been around baseball a long time. Patience, mechanics, repetition & conditioning are all important parts of teaching players how to play & respect the game. He has the knowledge, personality & experience to help players develop and he is the ideal director for the Twins pitching program. ” - Terry Ryan, Twins General Manager

Brian Raabe - Hitting and Defense Director

Brian Raabe is a former infielder for the Minnesota Twins and the Head Baseball Coach at Bethel University. Along with the Twins, Brian has also spent time with the Colorado Rockies, Seattle Mariners and Seibu Lions of the Japanese Pacific League. Brian was a six-time Minor League All-Star and 1996 AAA batting champion. He is also an alumnus of the University of Minnesota where he was a four-time letter winner, receiving All Big-Ten and All America honors in 1990. Brian is also the Play Ball! Minnesota Ambassador for the Twins Community Fund and long time clinic instructor.

“When I hear Brian talk about hitting, I think to myself that it could have been words out of my mouth. He knows hitting and how to teach coaches and players, I'm very impressed with how he teaches. ” - Harmon Killebrew, Twins legend

Mike Halloran - Lead Hitting & Infield Instructor (ISD)

Mike Halloran is the lead hitting and infield instructor at the Irish Sports Dome training location. He is a legendary high school coach and former Twin. Before the Twins, he played at the University of Minnesota. With the bulk of his coaching career spent at Eden Prairie, he retired with a 354-123-2 record featuring eight state appearances and two championships. He holds the rare distinction of having been both a coach and player on American Legion World Series championship teams.

Ben Richardson - Lead Catching Instructor

Ben Richardson is the lead catching instructor at all training locations. In 2013, Ben was a bullpen catcher for the Minnesota Twins where he showcased excellent skills handling major league pitchers. As a college player, he played for Des Moines Area Community College and Hamline University. Playing in more than 110 career games, he compiled an impressive 0.989 fielding percentage and threw out 33% of base stealers while handling talented pitching staffs. As an all MIAC selection in 2011, he was named the Hamline Most Valuable Player for the school's first ever MIAC championship team.

Curtis Simondet - Athletic Trainer

Curtis Simondet is an athletic trainer with Sports and Orthopaedic Specialists (SAOS) and the Twins. He has extensive experience working with professional and amateur athletes and has implemented several throwing-related protocols, including the SAOS Return to Pitch, and UCL management protocols. He has worked as a full time minor league athletic trainer in the Twins organization since 2010.