Zoned Sports Academy is holding two coaching seminars this month with an Olympic medalist and a New York Yankee preparing to teach participants the finer points of baseball and softball.
The first session will be held with Kevin Long, the hitting coach for the defending American League East Division Champion New York Yankees. There will be a coaching seminar Friday, and a hitting seminar and clinic on Saturday.
“Kevin Long is widely recognized as one of the premier hitting coaches in all of professional baseball,” said Brian Santaniello, manager at Zoned. “His hitting philosophy and methods, while extremely effective, are also extremely simple and basic. This makes it easy for kids of all ages to comprehend and implement.”
Friday’s session runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and costs $99, and there is still plenty of open slots. On Saturday, there will be a seminar from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., which is almost full, and another from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., which has more availability.
Saturday’s session costs $125.
Each participant will receive one-on-one training with Long, as well as an autograph and a t-shirt.
“Each kid will get at least 15 to 20 minutes of one-on-one time with Long, as well as one-on-one instruction from the rest of the Zoned coaching staff throughout the clinic,” Santaniello said.
In 2012, Santaniello said, they had about 100 boys attending the seminar.
Long has been the Yankees hitting coach since 2007, and signed a three-year contract extension after the 2010 season. Under his tutelage, in the 2009 World Series Championship season, the Yankees led Major League Baseball in runs, hits, home runs, RBIs, total based and more.
Then, on Jan. 19, there will be a college recruiting seminar, geared toward high school girls, with renowned Team USA softball player Jessica Mendoza, followed by a hitting seminar and clinic with her on Jan. 20.
The Jan. 19 seminar costs $75, and will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., while the $99 hitting seminar will run from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Jan. 20.
Santaniello said there is space available for both sessions, and there were about 65 girls participating in last year’s hitting seminar.
“For high school girls with aspirations of playing college softball, the recruiting seminar is extremely beneficial, as it will inform the girls on all the ins and outs of college recruiting, such as when to start contacting coaches, how to make a recruiting video, what the NCAA rules and regulations are [and more],” he said.
And the players seminar, Santaniello said, will be just as beneficial.
“Jessica works on every aspect of the game, from hitting and fielding, to speed and agility and the mental aspects of softball,” he said. “She’s full of energy and an awesome motivator and teacher.”
Mendoza was a four-time First Team All-American outfielder at Stanford University from 1999 to 2002, and helped lead Team USA to a gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games and a silver medal at the 2008 Olympic Games.
Currently, Mendoza is a member of the USSSA Pride, and led her team to the Cowles Cup Championship game twice, winning the title in 2010.
Santaniello said participants can register for the programs until the days of the events themselves.