The Dugout Dawgs baseball program is focused on development and not only challenges student-athletes to become better players, but also teaches a work ethic and responsibility level that transcend baseball. The goal is to produce players who, through baseball, learn life lessons and values they will utilize long after their playing days. The program is built on several pillars detailed below:
Success on the scoreboard comes when individual players develop their skills and collectively perform as a team utilizing those skills. So the focus at the Dugout is not on the scoreboard, but rather on developing the skills and approach that will help a player succeed at the high school and college levels. Players that have come through our program have traditionally gone on to succeed playing varsity high school and even college baseball. Many Dawgs alumni have gone on to play for prestigious Team Cape Cod, which has reached the Senior Babe Ruth World Series 14 times, including nine times since 2003 when the Dugout was founded. It also finished as the 2017 national runner-up in Ephrata, Washington.
The core of the program is to challenge each player to develop the work ethic and positive habits that lead to success on and off the field. The players are pushed by an experienced coaching staff to set and meet high standards. The coaches challenge the players mentally and physically so that they are able to respond and succeed under the pressures that may face them athletically and in life. We use baseball as the tool to teach kids to become better athletes, students and people.
All Dawgs teams play a competitive schedule and are taught the importance of competing at their highest level. Our teams often accept the challenge to play against older players as a means to raise our own level of competition.
Dugout Dawgs players are drilled in fundamentals that are taught and enforced at every level. The coaching staff’s love of the game filters down to the players. If players are having fun as they work on fundamentals, they will develop a similar lifelong love of the game and be more inclined to give the effort necessary to improve. Drills to improve fundamentals are designed to be enjoyable for the players. Baseball is a fun sport and the Dawgs have fun playing it.
The Dugout expects its student-athletes to take responsibility for their effort and performance and to understand that details matter. Dugout Dawgs are responsible for their own gear and arriving to games and practices on time with everything they need to have a successful day, including water. They learn that small details matter and play a role in their success – a lesson they will take with them when their Dawgs career concludes. Dawgs are expected to be in uniform, belts included, when they arrive at the field and to leave the field in their uniform. When they wear the Dawgs logo, they represent a successful program with a strong reputation in the baseball community. They should wear the uniform with a sense of pride and a responsibility to live up to the high standards set by those that wore it before them.
Preparing to succeed is an integral part of the program. The preparation necessary to perform at a high level can be compared to studying for a school exam. One cannot succeed at one’s highest ability level without the needed preparation. Our players work hard during rigorous outdoor practices, indoor hitting and pitching instruction at the Dugout’s baseball facility, and through offseason cross fit training. Our coaches ask players to carry a notebook to winter indoor practices so that they can take notes on instruction provided and refer to those notes at home or during any individual drills and workouts. Players are expected to listen, accept constructive feedback and be coachable. Sun Tsu’s Art of War states that every battle is won before it is fought. The Dugout Dawgs adhere to that philosophy. Being properly prepared not only improves a player’s performance, but it also helps him/her play with the confidence that he/she will succeed regardless of the situation or pending outcome of a game. Players who succeed in critical spots do so because they have prepared and have developed the confidence to do so. Players who fail to prepare properly typically lack the confidence to perform in pressure situations. Preparation prevents poor performance.
It’s only a mistake if a player doesn’t learn from it. The coaches expect the players to make mistakes, but they teach the players to accept responsibility for the mistake without excuses and to learn from the mistake to avoid repeating it.
The Dugout Dawgs coaches share their wealth of playing and coaching experience with Dawgs players. Most played collegiately and many coach high school varsity baseball on Cape Cod. The coaches are assigned to an age group and do not move up with any particular group so that Dawgs players have new coaches each year they participate in the program from 9u-15u. The coaches share and preach the same philosophies so that the players receive a consistent message throughout their Dawgs career, but they bring their own personalities to their team. Dawgs players learn to play for different personalities, which we believe prepares them to play for any style of coach at the high school or college level.
The Dugout has teams for kids ages 9-15 as well as a college prospect team. National Senior Babe Ruth Runner-up Team Cape Cod also trains at the Dugout Baseball Club in Hyannis, Mass.