E.A. Sports Today

Doyle School comes to Piedmont

One-day satellite school for renowned baseball academy to instruct youth players, coaches

By East Alabama Sports Today

Instructors from the renowned Doyle Baseball School will be in Piedmont Saturday bringing their unique approach to teaching the game to youth league softball and baseball players and coaches.

The one-day school will be held at the Piedmont Sports Complex. A Skills and Drills clinic for coaches will be held from 8-11 a.m., with the players hitting the field for a Spring Training Warmup from noon to 5 p.m. The players will be divided into four age groups – 6-8, 9-10, 11-12 and 13-and-older.

Piedmont PARD director Ken Doss said nearly two dozen players have pre-registered for the day at $45, but walkups are welcome ($65).

Despite the recent run of inclement weather that has played havoc with everybody’s baseball and softball schedules, Doss said the event will go regardless.

“We’re going to do it if we have to do it in canoes,” he said.

The Doyle School was founded by former major-league Denny Doyle and his twin brothers, Brian and Blake, in 1978. Each year the school trains thousands of coaches and players at the Detroit Tigers’ spring training facility in Lakeland, Fla., and numerous satellite schools with what it describes as cutting-edge instruction and drills.

The schools are about more than taking ground balls, batting practice and anecdotes from former pro players. In fact, many of their satellite instructors aren’t former big-league players at all, but former players with big-league passion for the game.

“We don’t bring big-name guys in,” said Rick Siebert, Doyle’s director of satellite schools. “They’re basically guys who have a passion for the kids and know how to teach our system.

“Just because you’ve played the game and what level it was doesn’t mean you can teach it. The success Doyle has had for 36 years is because of the teaching system and … the passion for the kids that our guys have. We can take a guy who maybe played the game through Little League and turn him into the best instructor in the country if he has that passion and he’s willing to give of his time and teach the system we’ve developed.”

And it’s their system of memorization, visualization and personalization that sets it apart from other schools. More than 70 former and current big-league players are among the more than 500,000 players they claim to have trained over the years.

“The bottom line is we get the kids to feel the right way (about playing the game),” Siebert said. “We have four components: How do we keep it fun? How do we keep it safe? How do we keep it simple? And how do we keep it consistent? The teaching system ties into that and it’s centered on getting the kids to feel the right way.

“It doesn’t matter what I know. The most important thing is what can I get the kids to feel and if I can get them to feel the right way.”

For more information on Saturday’s school call Doss at 926-8086.

According to the school’s schedule, another one-day event is scheduled for Heflin March 21.

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