WYC 080 – Youth Baseball – David Klein talks Living a Legends Life

David Klein is the founder and Camp Director of the Menlo Park Legends Youth Summer camps – a premier collegiate summer baseball team and youth baseball camps in California. The Legends youth summer camp has nearly doubled in size every summer and the camp boasts over a 90% camper return rate. David and his staff have thousands of kids through the Legends camp program in 6 years and have been featured in a number of local blogs and newspapers. They also feature a youth academy and an exciting new podcast!

Twitter: @MenloDave

Facebook: /MenloParkLegends


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‘If you work hard and focus on the little things – good things will happen’

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • Early on he always taught kids to swing down on the baseball
  • Early on David did not spend very much time on the mental side of the game

Teaching Skills

  • Make a game and competition out of everything in practice
  • Be vocal, high-energy – and connect with the kids!

Mental Toughness/Achieving Peak Performance

  • Visualize your successes before they happen
  • Breathing- Breathing in oxygen into your lungs reduces cortisol levels/stress hormones
  • Have the kids develop a personal power statement – and have them create few words that represent that and write them somewhere (inside of their hats) to anchor on
  • Track Quality-at-bats instead of batting average

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

  • Positive reinforcement works better than negative disciplines
  • For your rules – establish them at the beginning of the season, not in the middle
  • David emphasizes ‘looking the part’ – looking well dressed and being organized as a team
  • Praise progress instead of purely praising results
  • Post-game talk: Spend a few minutes debriefing – what worked well today, what can we work on in practice, acknowledge kids helping the team and progressing. Don’t get too high or too low!

Connecting with and Impacting Kids

  • ‘If you work hard and focus on the little things – good things will happen’ – David took over a team that was 0-4 and he told them he believed in them and if they work hard good things will happen – they went on to win the league championship

The One that Got Away

  • David coached a team that was in a championship game and the umpires made the worst call he had ever seen – and his team went nuts – to the point the umpires called the game in the 8th inning. David learned that as the coach – you have to be in control no matter what- and you cannot let your players or coaches get out of control

Best stolen idea

  • From his Dad – ‘You can please all of  the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.’
  • Qualityatbats.com – from Steve Springer


  • Link: A Legends Life Podcast
  • Applying lessons from the diamond into a legendary life off the field – includes interviews with many former big-leaguers

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