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Affiliate League: West Suburban Baseball Leage

Clarendon Hills Cardinals Travel Baseball Club

Program Details

Cardinal Development PhilosophyThe Cardinals organization is intently focused on player development by providing a high level of individualized training.  Our belief is that development occurs in practice throughout the off season and regular season as players receive equal reps, ideally thousands of reps over the course of the year, in weekly practices and individualized instruction.  The investment in Cardinals is about the quality of our training and a realization that development occurs through high quality, professionally delivered instruction and repetititions. Games reinforce what is learned but true development comes from working with our professional training staff.  Across the various age levels of the organization, we try to develop players in all positions including pitching.  As an individual player progresses and gets older & more mature, generalist skill development becomes more specialized and competitive focus increases.  From U-8 through U-12 we encourage participation in Little League and we try to base our schedules in ways that provides flexibility for dual participation.  Below are some specific Cardinal philosophies by age: 

8U – primary focus is on teaching skills and providing repetitions through practice with minimal game play.  

  • ​Teams will play in a limited set of games and potentially a tournament or two.
  • ​Equal playing time across all players and to provide kids opportunities at as many positions as possible.  
  • Coaches should manage the batting order so that over the course of the season all players have a similar number of at bats and equal opportunities to bat in the top, middle and bottom of the order

 9U – primary focus remains on basic skill development and repetitions, these teams will begin to play in a league and play in 35 or more games, including 4-5 tournaments. 

  • League play should be used for broad rotation across positions and batting order philosophies similar to the 8 year old program.
  • Tournaments are played at a more competitive level using the better pitchers and positioning your better hitters in the top half of the order, and better fielders at key positions. 
  • No player should sit more than two innings in any game. 
  • Tournament teams will likely dress only 10-11 players with players rotated out on either a voluntary or equitable basis.   

10U & 11U – At these levels, competitive play increases.  League games still have flexibility of rotation through position & lineup while tournament lineups evolve to position players in their primary & secondary positions.  Expect to play 35 or more games, including 4-5 tournaments.

  • ​Players begin to differentiate themselves into more middle (SS, 2B, CF) or corner (1B, 3B, RF, LF) players or catchers.  
  • We try to develop all players at this age in at least one infield and one outfield position, in addition to pitching.  
  • We try to start thinking in terms of a major (where kids play at least 40% of their time) and minor (where kids play at least 20% of their time) so they begin to read the ball off the bat, improve anticipation and the in game decision making of their position.  
  • Batting position becomes more consistent with faster less powerful players batting either early or late in the order, and more powerful players batting in the middle of the order.
  • League games are used for more generalized rotation and broader development, tournaments are coached more competitively with less positional rotation and a consistent batting order.  Tournament teams will likely dress only 10-11 players, with players rotated out on either a voluntary or equitable basis.

 12U – Competitive plays continues at this level with a focus on tournament play. Commitment level to practice and games increases.

  • ​While maintaining the major/minor concept, some players may begin to play 60% or more of their time at their major position.  
  • On our A teams, we will rotate players in league play but play tournaments competitively.  This may include 9 man batting orders or subbing bench players similar to high school or above play. 

 13U – At this level, the first year out of Little League, the focus turns to travel only and commitment levels increase.

  • ​A professional coach will be used for objectivity and development and the expectation as to commitment goes ups considerably. 
  • At this level teams will begin to have position a core set of a starters and reserves.  
  • Some players may only play 40-50% of a game while certain starters play 100%.  While the role of starter vs. reserve will likely evolve during the season, at any given time players will understand where they are.  
  • We may also offer certain players the option of being pitcher only players at a somewhat reduced cost.  Here these players may bat, but their only defensive focus will be pitching.  They will not be required to be at games where they are not expected to pitch.  
  • In other instances players who play a position and pitch, in games where they are scheduled to pitch, may find that they are only used to pitch that game and will not be placed into their normal defensive specialty.  
  • We will use a full batting order in league play, but tournaments will be matched to competition with a 9 or 10 man order being used where appropriate.

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Clarendon Hills Cardinals

7 Hamil Lane 
Clarendon Hills, Illinois 60514

Email Us: [email protected]
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