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MYSA visits Manteca Baseball Softball Academy

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EU senior Alicia Cook explains hip rotation in the batting cages.


POSTED February 22, 2009 5:18 a.m.
With the 2009 Spring Session starting today at the Manteca Baseball Softball Academy, Saturday was supposed to be the Grand Opening of the new MBSA facility located at 460 Industrial Park Drive.

But because MBSA owner and operator Greg Wilson, a Sierra High teacher and a 20-year coaching veteran, is coaching his daughter’s Under-12 Manteca Youth Softball Association team this spring, Wilson agreed to host a free hitting clinic for all MYSA coaches Saturday instead.

The Grand Opening will still go on as planned – Wilson said the timing will be right in a month or so when the sun comes out and Little Leaguers all across Manteca are in full swing.

Following an Open House from noon to 3 p.m., Wilson, alongside East Union head softball coach Brian Goulart and two-time All-American centerfielder Andrea Williams (Humboldt State), hosted the two-hour coaches clinic.

While the MYSA coaches, whose squads ranged in age from Under-8 to Under-14,  were introduced to MBSA’s unique classroom setting, two East Union softball players, Alicia Cook and Cassie Waggy, took time to impart a little wisdom on three MYSA players, Mia and Dominique Guevara and Melina Guevara-Lozano, in the batting cages.

The coaching clinic covered a range of topics, including no-stride and two-strike swinging, debunking the “squash the bug” theory, as well as grip, hip rotation, hand placement and a number of other basic and advanced hitting techniques.

Wilson’s classroom uses video technology extensively, not only to clearly define a proper swing, but more importantly, find the glitches in an improper swing.

“In both pitching and hitting, the entire motion happens in less than a second,” Wilson said. “A trained eye can see it in real time, but the video technology allows us to break down the motion.

“Often when something goes wrong in a pitch or a swing, the reason it went wrong was because of the step in the motion before it. With the video, we can back up a swing frame by frame and find out what caused the mistake.”

Once they were finished coaching up the youngsters, both Cook and Waggy took batting practice on film in the cages, then each of the three MYSA players followed suit.

After the filming, Cook, Waggy, Mia, Melina and Dominique were all able to see their swings on the big screen while Wilson and Goulart broke them down, step-by-step.

MBSA, which currently features 3,500 square feet at its Industrial Drive location, two batting cages, two mounds, and a wide and varied collection of baseball and softball instructional tools, will be expanding in the summer.

“We’re already too small,” Wilson said. “But we will deal with the growing pains now. The business is somewhat recession proof – parents are going to get rid of the gardener before they get rid of the kids’ hitting lessons.

“We live through our kids; we want them to succeed, and through sports is one of those ways.”

MBSA isn’t solely focused on hitting and pitching techniques. Wilson, who coaches both baseball and golf at Sierra, says that life lessons are also a part of the academy’s instruction.

“Competition, discipline, attitude, perseverance – I believe in all of those,” he said. “Work ethic is huge with me. We try to get the kids to incorporate some of those values in the lessons.”

The Spring Session is a 12-week program that concludes in May and encompasses hitting, fielding, throwing, catching and base running.

MBSA’s recently wrapped Velocity Improvement Program, which averaged a seven-plus mile-per-hour velocity improvement among its students, will head into its “in-season” phase as well, meaning that the pitchers will continue to practice the biorhythms of increased velocity, but without the high level of throwing.

“We had a student improve from 84 miles-per-hour to 91,” Wilson said. “We also had a student improve from 76 to 88. (VIP) is about teaching the body to handle the stresses of increased velocity. The in-season program is in place to make sure the students don’t lose their gains.”

To find out more about all the programs offered at the MBSA, visit

You can also reach the MBSA at (209) 482-5702.

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