Sunday, July 31, 2011

Following Mendez: East Coast Professional Showcase Day 1

If you are top ranked high school baseball player with Major League Baseball draft potential, you are in Lakeland, FL August 1-4 for the annual East Coast Professional Baseball Showcase.  It is an honor once again to be on the road with Atlanta's Own Mendez Elder.  Mendez is a four-year L.E.A.D. Ambassador and a senior at Henry W. Grady High School in Atlanta, GA.

Day 1 has been very relaxed.  He checked in at the Detroit Tigers Spring Training Complex and received his Houston Astros uniform and equipment followed by dinner and symposium.  Tomorrow will include batting practice and a 3:30PM game against the Arizona Diamondbacks Scout Team.

There will be over 500 NCAA and Major League Baseball scouts at this event that showcases the top high school baseball players east of the Mississippi River.  I have been fortunate over the years to have several of my clients at Diamond Directors here including 2008 1st pick overall selection Tim Beckham (Tampa Rays), Kyle Parker, 1st Round, Colorado Rockies; Charlie Culberson, 1st Round, San Francisco Giants; Xavier Avery, 2nd Round, Baltimore Orioles; Jay Austin, 2nd Round, Houston Astros; Telvin Nash, 3rd Round, Houston Astros to name a few.

Mendez is a special talent and should walk away from this showcase with several more scholarship offers.  He currently has offers from Alcorn State University and Savannah State University to name a couple.  He is fast twitch right hand hitter with a above average throwing arm from the catching position and the outfield.

He earned the right to attend this invitation only showcase after an outstanding showing at the Perfect Game National Showcase in Fort Myers in July.  In preparation for this showcase, we trained at my Diamond Directors Training Facility helping him to repeat his swing with efficiency.  He also maintained his strength at Rapid Performance.

There are so many people that have helped Mendez along the way as he achieves his dream of playing college baseball and it is an honor for me to be a part of his journey.  Click here to learn more about the East Coast Professional Showcase.  Baseball is alive in the inner city of Atlanta.  Among other things, Mendez's continued success is putting Atlanta Public School baseball back on the map.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Think "Encouragement"

Think "Encouragement"

By: Dr. David Jeremiah

...that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God.
Colossians 2:2

Recommended Reading
Colossians 2:1-3

Jonas Salk, the great scientist and discoverer of the vaccine against polio, understood how to think and work with confidence. He was once asked, "How does this outstanding achievement, which has effectively brought an end to the word ‘polio' in our vocabulary, cause you to view your 200 previous failures?"

"I have never had 200 failures in my whole life," he replied. "My family didn't think in terms of failure. They taught in terms of experiences and what could be learned. I just made my 201st discovery, and I couldn't have made it without learning from the previous 200 experiences."

Salk's example is illustrative to the Christian life. To support and encourage others we have to stay encouraged ourselves; and we have to learn to think, believe, and live with assurance and conviction. Based on the promises of God, we have every reason to be optimistic. It's the uplifting "can-do" attitude of a biblical encourager that stokes the flames of God's work in the lives of others.

Learn to think "encouragement."

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
Thomas Edison

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Two eyes aren't enough

How do poor students in Atlanta view success?  Do they see hope and a promising future the same way that my daughter does who will enter the Westminster School in the fall as a fifth grader?

I was born and raised in the inner city of Atlanta and had both parents in the house.  My parents worked really hard to provide everything that I needed but we still had our share of financial struggles.  I remember my mom always telling me that I could be anything that I wanted to be in life with hard work and hanging around the right people.

The right people that she talked to me about often times were my teachers at Grove Park Elementary School in the Atlanta Public School System.  Mrs. Jacobs, Mrs. Weems, Mr. Flynn, Mrs. Blue, Principal Jones and many others helped my family to raise me to become a good fearing servant of others.

God blessed me with two eyes but I was blessed to have great mentors around me that allowed me to use their eyes as well.  They provided a culture of accountability, excellence and achievement every day that I walked into the school.  Becoming successful was just as easy as breathing air as long as I followed their lead.

A promising future will be difficult to see with only two eyes.  I charge you today to find young adults that you can mentor and let them see life from your eyes.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Let's make OUR APS better today!

I can't wait for the new APS school year to start. The past two years have presented some challenges but I'm optimistic that 2011 will be great.  In the end, Atlanta's best assets include young bright minds of APS. As a city, our success or failure lies in the hands of the students. 

In 2011, my organization L.E.A.D. will continue to offer baseball as a year round program to APS middle and high school students.  Since 2007, 100% of our L.E.A.D. Ambassadors have graduated from high school and enrolled in college while 87% have received college baseball scholarships.

My wheels are turning everyday as I figure out what more can I do to help APS carry out it's mission and vision. I attended Grove Park Elementary School K-5 in the Atlanta Public School System. It was an awesome academic, social and exposure experience for me.  I am who I am today because of APS. 

I challenge you to do what you can to support APS through the school system or partnering organizations like L.E.A.D.  Let's make OUR APS better today!

Join the L.E.A.D. Tailgate Club today at L.E.A.D. Today...Change Tomorrow! 

Monday, July 4, 2011

We alive but we ain't living!

The Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776 granting the United States it's freedom from Great Britain.  This freedom didn't come without a fight. Many lives were lost to ensure that we all can live the American Dream. 

This is a day that I am also reminded of the sacrifices that were made by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to ensure equality in America.

Unfortunately, freedom isn't often appreciated until it is taking away. We are fighting a battle in the Middle East right now to maintain our peace of mind and liberties that were fought for by soldiers centuries ago. I wake up every morning wanting to be the best American that I can be. I want to serve others. I want to love others. I want to make sure that my time on this earth isn't done in vain. God has us all here 
on a mission. 

In the words of Cee-Lo Green, "We alive but we ain't living!". Take advantage of the freedoms that we have in America because someone gave up their life so that you can live.