Official Book Reviews

Winning Baseball: The Coaches Companion for Beginner to Intermediate Play – by Trent Mongero

Through

the years, Youth baseball has gotten consistently more competitive; and

high stakes. Due in large part to professional teams scouting younger

and younger, the demand for foundational skills that lead to pro-level

play is higher than ever. The level of baseball in the country’s top

youth leagues are improving to the point that kids not trained for elite

skills simply cannot compete.

Parents

and coaches strive for the best baseball experience for their kids, but

instructional resources are so scattered, and schools of thought so

varied, that nothing short of a detailed nationwide search will separate

the elite coaching tips from the rudimentary (and even detrimental

)ones. But now, a groundbreaking new resource is available to ensure

high-quality, elite play for your specific league, team and child.

The

Coach’s Companion: Winning Baseball for Beginner to Intermediate is the

first volume of a new series by Trent Mongero; a breakout multi-media

resource that boasts the most complete and comprehensive coaching

/drilling guide for youth baseball at any level. With a powerful visual

component—a live-action demo DVD—Mongero’s Companion is unmatched in

high-quality, elite baseball instruction for youth. Coach’s Companion is

“no frills, no fluff,” just pure pro-level knowledge that coaches,

parents and players can implement in their practice regimens

immediately.

Literally

packed with content, Coach’s Companion contains not only the highest

number of quality tips per volume than all other coaching guides on the

market, it has the most number of illustrations, and is the only guide

with an accompanying DVD containing over four hours of demonstrations;

allowing players and coaches implement every skill immediately. With its

comprehensive hitting, fielding, and pitching program, Coach’s

Companion builds the foundations for a winning baseball experience,

providing the tools for young players to excel now and/or prepare for

the college or pro level.


By Steve Leone

Two days ago, we had the 2011 Opening Day parade for my son’s Little League.

Last

season, both my son and daughter played Little League ball – she was in

Girl’s Rookie/Coach Pitch and he was T-Ball in the Spring and then

Rookie/Coach Pitch Baseball later in the Fall.  It was their first year

of Little League.

In

2010, I was able to help out with both of their teams in an unofficial

capacity – assisting when needed at practices and coaching the bases

during Fall Ball.

This

season, only my son is playing Little League – again in Rookie/Coach

pitch. (He’s seven years old now.) And, I am officially a coach on his

team this season - having attended all the clinics and certification

classes that our league requires.

For

me, being a part of his team’s coaching staff in an honor and a thrill.

Related, I’ve been very interested in reviewing as many coaching and

training resources as I can these days – and was very pleased to have

recently checked out Trent Mongero’s Winning Baseball: For Beginner to

Intermediate Play

Trent

Mongero was a switch hitting shortstop at the University of North

Carolina at Wilmington (Division I).   While there, in 1989, he was

voted the CAA “All-Conference” shortstop and “Conference Player of the

Year.”  After college, he played a season in the Atlanta Braves farm

system.

Since

then, Trent has been coaching high school baseball for over 19 years

and currently is the head coach at North Hall High School in

Gainesville, Georgia.   Mongero is also currently an associate scout for

the Atlanta Braves.

In

addition to his high school coaching duties, in 2001, he was co-head

coach of the American Legion Post 10 squad that played for the North

Carolina State Championship. Also in the summer of 2001, Trent was part

of the Wilmington Sharks coaching staff. (The Sharks play in the Coastal

Plains League which is a summer league consisting of many top college

players in the country.) When Mongero was there in 2001, the Sharks won

the CPL Championship.

Trent

also instructs at some of the top college baseball camps – including

the University of South Carolina, the USA National Team and the

University of Mississippi (Ole Miss).

Mongero

has coached many players – including 12 athletes who have signed

professionally and more than 80 student-athletes who have furthered

their baseball careers at the collegiate level.

Trent Mongero breaks Winning Baseball: For Beginner to Intermediate Play into four sections:

  • Minimum Skill Expectations
  • Outside The Lines
  • Prepare To Coach
  • Travel and All-Star Teams

Within

“Minimum Skill Expectations” there are chapters for “T-Ball” (Ages

4-6), “Coach or Machine Pitch” (Ages 7-8), and “Player Pitch” baseball

(Ages 9-10).  In each chapter, Mongero details the fundamental offensive

and defensive skills for that level as well as providing information on

the mechanics that should be covered for that age group.  He also

covers how to coach game skills at each level.

I

found the information in each of these chapters to be top-notch and

extremely useful.  And, while the chapters included many excellent color

photos that aid the learning experience, this is a good spot to note

that Winning Baseball: For Beginner to Intermediate Play is not just a

“How To” soft-cover manual.  Along with the book comes a 4-hour

instructional DVD.  Between the text and photos in for each

instructional item, and the companion DVD, is everything you need to

know about teaching kids ages four to ten proper baseball skills

appropriate for their age.

However,

on top of that, within “Outside The Lines” there are chapters on

eliminating bad habits and keeping the game fun as well as highlighting

common hitting and pitching flaws (and how to correct them).  Also

within this section is a chapter on “The State of Youth Baseball” that I

feel is a must read for anyone coaching kids baseball when it comes to

dealing with the players and their parents.

In

“Prepare To Coach,” Mongero covers coaching qualifications and a guide

to run a baseball practice.  And, in “Travel and All-Star Teams,” he

covers everything associated to putting together such a team – in terms

of coaching, budgets, fundraising, procedures, etc. 

When

you factor everything that is covered in Trent Mongero’s Winning

Baseball: For Beginner to Intermediate Play, and the quality of the

information therein, and how it is supported with excellent photos and

instructional DVD, I highly recommend this book to everyone who is

involved in coaching youth baseball.  In addition, I feel that anyone

who has a child playing youth baseball would benefit greatly from this

product as well.  Lastly, if you’re a baseball fan, regardless if you

have any interest in youth baseball, Coach Mongero's book/DVD

combination may interest you.

As

a baseball fan, how many times have you heard about a pitcher “pushing

the ball” or “jumping out at the plate”?  Or, how many times have you

heard about a batter “not loading” or “not staying inside the

baseball”?  When hearing things like this, do you really know what they

mean?  If you read Winning Baseball: For Beginner to Intermediate

Play you will know what they mean – because those types of matters are

no different at the big league level than they are at the youth level.

Lastly,

to get a taste of what the Winning Baseball: For Beginner to

Intermediate Play DVD (which is included with this wonderful book) is

like, check out Mongero’s YouTube channel.  


I’ve

been getting more requests from publishers and publicists to review

books, so I’ll be posting “Book Brief” as often as I can. I can’t always

write full reviews for every book I receive, but I’d like to pass

information on to our readers and let people know about books I’m

looking at, especially because some of them are from small presses or

aren’t being reviewed in larger publications.

Coach’s Companion: Winning Baseball by

Trent Mongero is for coaches and parents who want to teach kids how to

play baseball. I am helping coach my son’s little league team for the

second time and was familar with some (but certainly not all) of the

techniques and drills the book contains. It seems like a good resource

for someone who wants to learn about coaching baseball. I showed the

book to our team’s head coach, who has way more experience at this than I

do (he coaches high school football as well), and he was impressed with

it. He’s familar with other books in the field, and said that Coach’s Companion was

superior to some others he’s seen. He noted that not all instructional

guides have color photos, and liked that the book showed more than one

angle on pitching grips. Coach’s Companion also comes with an instructional DVD.

Click on the cover of Book 1 (above) to purchase your personalized copy!  Help your child or team get better today!