Letter To the parents
Letter to Bomber Families:
Greetings to all parents. This is Michael Looper, your Board President for this year. I wanted to introduce myself to those who may not know me. I have a son, Ethan Looper, that plays on our 14u team and an older son, Braden Looper, who has now worked at PCA for about 4 years.
As we draw closer to the new year and our respective team seasons, I would like to give an update on the state of the Bomber organization. I am going to provide an overview as to how and why the fees are structured as they are, provide some detail as to what our fundraising initiatives pay for, and briefly talk about the long range goals of the Bombers organization.
To begin with, this year looks to be an exciting one for all Bomber Teams as we now, for the second year, have teams at levels 10U thru 15U. The bomber’s pre-season training is much stronger, dynamic, more in depth and intensive than ever for hitting, pitching, and catching. Coaching depth is solid this year, our schedules for tournaments looks to be stronger and for the first time, we will be sending our 12u team to the Cooperstown Baseball World Tournament this summer.
The ultimate goal each year is to have every team play competitive/wining baseball against some of the best teams in the region. To accomplish this goal, a number of other components must and are now taking place. Those components include quality coaching & training, indoor and outdoor practice facilities, proper equipment and uniforms and many more. These components are tremendous assets in developing our young players and their baseball IQ.
Winning is important and we want to be recognized as a top tier organization. This is achieved by moving the program forward, continuing to provide the highest level coaching available, provide effective training, develop strong schedules and maintain top notch facilities for instruction & practice. By continually striving to be better, our players will more fully realize their age potential and playing competitive baseball against other top tier programs throughout the mid-west as they are better prepared for high school and college programs.. You and your child can and should be proud to be a member of the Crystal Lake Bomber organization.
For many of us, some of the more appealing components of the being a member of the bomber family is the independent coaching and access to the PCA Facilities. Independent/impartial coaching, is a significant differentiator. Certainly for those families who have been able to take advantage of having access to the PCA facilities at no cost, the benefits are substantial. All Bomber players have access to PCA tunnels at no cost, all they need to do is to call ahead and schedule an available tunnel for that day to work on pitching, fielding, and hitting at no cost. Unfortunately, not all of us have been able to realize all the benefits of PCA’s facility to their fullest, but the independent coaching is something we all benefit from.
Finding capable, independent coaches certainly is challenging, but just as challenging is the ability to retain our coaches over a of a number of seasons. The fees we pay cover the cost of coaches and their assistants, their travel along with paying for the tournaments, uniforms, and regular season league games. When we look at the amount of hours our coaches and assistants put into the training, mentoring and coaching our kids, we are very fortunate that our fees are what they are.
The Bombers organization is driven to prepare its players to compete and win games and tournaments against the highest levels of competition. With that purpose in mind, each year the Bombers winter training program becomes more extensive. For example, this year our new hitting and pitching program has been introduced and is much more instructive and intensive than programs of previous years. Access to HitTrax has been a useful tool in assessing our player’s hitting such as exit velocity, hit angle, and so forth. Also, for additional coaching (1 on 1), the Bomber players get a significant reduction in the fees for individual instruction.
Long term goal:
A long term objective is to have our very own home fields for all Bombers teams, quality fields and facilities for our teams’ home games and for possible tournaments. The benefits of having facilities of our own are many, but keeping our team and travel expenses down is a major plus. We will be working this winter on planning and possibly implementing activities that will move the Bombers closer to this goal.
There is no doubt that travel sports of any kind can be very taxing, physically, emotionally and financially. We all invest a great deal of time, emotions and money to give our children the opportunity to play competitively, with the best possible preparation. There are many more expensive programs out there, but there is no perfect program- including the Bombers (the grass is always greener on the other side syndrome). There is always room for improvement and each year, our organization works to make the experience for each of our children a better one. My guess, is when you compare what we have as a Bomber verses other programs, (apples to apples) you will be even more confident of you and your child’s decision to be a part of the Bomber family.
What our fees and fundraising efforts pay for:
We are all well aware that a there is cost to everything. Here is a summary of what our fees and fundraising efforts help pay for:
More training time in March and April
Retaining / Hiring talented coaches
Training equipment (2 years ago Bombers purchased Atec pitching/flyball machine)
Training Programs like the hitting & pitching program now in place
Playing in competitive tournaments
Field equipment (last year Bombers purchased a Toro tractor for field maintenance).
Individual access to PCA facilities for practice at no cost
Uniforms and ancillary equipment
Reduced hitting and pitching instruction fees.
A breakdown of what portion of fees go to each of the following categories:
Category Percentage (approximates)
*Coaching (coaches & Assistants) and travel 33%
Misc. Fields, equipment, umpires 8%
Training expenses 25%
Note *: 10u and 11u have no coaching and travel fees in their budget and parent rates reflect this fact.