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Max recently turned 12-years-old. He has been in the Baseball Rebellion pitching /hitting program for the last three years. Max plays for Evoshield Canes 12U team where he plays middle infield and is one of their starting pitchers. He attends Immaculata Middle School in Durham, NC and plans to go to Cardinal Gibbons High School. When he is not playing baseball he is tearing it up on the basketball court. Max is 2026 draft eligible, a straight-A student and hopes to attend UNC-Chapel Hill in the future.
The first time I met Max was when he walked into our now retired name ITSbaseball facility in Hillsborough NC. He was decked out UNC Tarheels gear and shaggy hair.
I was 30 at the time and Max was going to be 10-years-old. It was funny because during the whole evaluation he was telling me that he could throw 70 and throw it harder than me. For his age, Max did throw fairly hard. 50 mph was his hardest throw that day. Granted he just got up on the mound and chucked it at the target.
For just meeting him he made it seem like we knew each other for years. Almost like he was competing against me and I wasn't even throwing. At this point, I realized the confidence in Max was second to none. Needless to say, we accepted Max into the program instantly and got started trying to utilize his talents. Here is the video of his evaluation two years ago.
As we started to see Max more and more you can tell he was going to be something special. Watching him throw a baseball is much different than watching him run for the first time. Let's just say you could hear Max's footsteps on a construction site with every machine on.
His upper half was pretty solid to start with, however, his lower half needed a ton of work. If you are familiar with Baseball Rebellion, most people around the area can tell when you take lessons here. The rhythm of the windup and leg kick gives it away.
The video below shows how we utilized a mirror on the side of the pitcher's mound. We want kids to be able to see their heel as they are driving down the mound. In this rep by Max, he shows his heel a little soon. This creates false energy which makes him want to jump out of his delivery. Even though we made tremendous strides in just one year, we had much more work to do moving forward.
I mentioned in Max's bio at the beginning, he has recently turned 12 in early March. He plays for the 12U Evoshield Canes National Team where he pitches and starts at shortstop.
Whenever Max comes for a lesson nowadays it is mostly not a focus on body movements. We have to tweak somethings, but never a revamp of his mechanics. For example, In the video below we focused on creating speed down the mound. By driving the hips and then kicking out to increase velocity. This made him have a little more intent through the pitch which translated into 70mph on the radar gun.
The things we have to focus on with Max is how to stay out of his own head. He gets frustrated when he gives up hits and walks guys. When Max is on I would put him up against any 12-year-old in the country. Getting back in the game when he is struggling is the biggest things we talk about.
I love working with Max and seeing his family in the facility. Having the trust from not only mom and dad but grandma and grandpa as well. We are all on the same page on how to make Max the best he can possibly be. The ceiling for this kid is as high as they come. Every time I see him he wants to challenge me to a pull-up contest, or a push-up challenge.
The funny thing is he never gives up and actually bet me in a pull-up contest. His heart is crazy big, his personality is even bigger, and oh he is great a the game of baseball. Put those three together and you get a chance at being a future Big Leaguer. It's so fun to be part of young kids like Max's life and help them reach their dreams. Talent is not always the greatest tool of an athlete, but learning how to hone the simple skills I mention in this article gives a kid like Max a chance.