Wilmington, NC – We are excited to announce the upcoming Be The Best Baseball and Softball Convention, taking place on January 13-15, 2023 at the Wilmington Convention Center. This is a unique opportunity for players, coaches, and industry experts from across the country to come together and learn from top coaches in the industry.
The Be The Best Convention is hosting its 50th-anniversary staple event, and we are honored to have several high-profile coaches presenting on a variety of professional development topics, including leadership, culture building, and branding. Speakers include UNCW‘s legendary baseball coach Mark Scalf (’92-’19), Carol Hutchins (Michigan Hall of Fame Head Coach 85-’22), and Tyler Gillum (Head Coach of the Savannah Bananas).
“I am a long-time fan of Be The Best and am excited to see old friends in a new home,” says Carol Hutchins. “It’s always a special weekend with a perfect balance of fun and learning. Wilmington is a great place for this convention!”
The Savannah Bananas baseball team, led by Head Coach Tyler Gillum, is also making waves in the industry with their innovative branding strategy. They have been praised for their unique approach to building a successful team and fan base, and attendees of Be The Best will have the opportunity to learn from their success.
Local businesses focused on growth will want to take advantage of this opportunity to learn from these notable speakers. And, as an added bonus, local businesses are also invited to take part in a business-centered Power Breakfast on Saturday, January 14th, 2023.
In addition to being an excellent opportunity for attendees to learn and grow, Be The Best will also be a boost for the Wilmington economy. Sports events like this have the ability to bring in significant tourism and support local businesses.
Sponsorship opportunities, and Power Breakfast tickets are available for local businesses and organizations looking to support Be The Best and be a part of this exciting event.
Students with a valid ID can get a reduced rate of just $10 admission using code: ‘student’. For those looking to volunteer or work the event, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, please visit our website at www.bethebest.com or call (910) 839-7131.
Wilmington, NC – Be The Best is excited to announce the addition of Mark Scalf, the all-time winningest coach at UNCW, to the speaker line-up at their annual baseball and softball coaches convention in Wilmington, NC from January 13-15, 2023.
Following the 2019 season in which UNCW baseball brought home a Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) championship and advanced to the NCAA Regionals, Mark Scalf gave up his spot at the helm.
Scalf’s storied career includes the coaching of 83 UNCW players who went on to play professionally, including first-round selection Brad Holt in 2008 who was drafted by the New York Mets. Under his tutelage, 134 players have earned All-CAA honors with five named as CAA Player-of-the-Year. He owns 941 career wins, nine CAA regular season titles, six CAA tournament championships and 10 trips to the NCAA Regionals.
“The number of wins is not what’s most important to a baseball coach,” Scalf says. “The real joy is in the lessons learned, the relationships formed and the gratification you get from seeing the men your players become. There’s nothing like it in the world.”
He will be forever immortalized with his induction into the Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame on May 7, 2023. The GWSHOF honors people who, by their excellence in the world of sport, have brought recognition and esteem to themselves and the Greater Wilmington area.
“Connections, camaraderie, and collaboration – this is exactly what community is all about,” says Wilmington Mayor, Bill Saffo. “We welcome Be The Best with open arms and look forward to coordinating efforts as we foster our common visions for Wilmington.”
Known for its interactive and casual format, Be The Best levels the playing field, giving attendees an opportunity to connect with the speakers that include college coaches, professional coaches, former Olympiads and sports specialists. Topics covered range from skills and drills to conquering the mind game and building your best brand. Coach Scalf will be a part of the Champions Q&A along with Carol Hutchins who is college softball’s winningest coach ever.
“We are beyond thrilled to have Coach Scalf join us at our annual convention. He’s an absolute icon, not only in the baseball world but in the community at large,” says Lindsay, co-owner of Be The Best. “He is accessible, knowledgeable and a truly engaging leader.”
For 50 years, Be The Best Baseball and Softball Convention has preserved the founding concept of providing an affordable, accessible convention created for coaches, by coaches.
Now powered by Alphas Alliance, a woman and minority owned and operated business, Be The Best will be held for the first time in Wilmington, NC from January 13-15, 2023.
Wilmington, NC – Be The Best announces the addition of baseball legend Trent Mongero to the speaker line-up at their annual baseball and softball coaches convention in Wilmington, NC on January 13-15, 2023.
Self-proclaimed as a blue-collar baseball coach, Mongero spent 30 years as a successful high school coach in North Carolina and Georgia, developing thousands of student-athletes along the way. A passionate believer in helping players reach their full potential both on and off the field, Mongero now serves as a mentor, author, clinician, camp director, national speaker and Sirus/ XM radio host.
“I’m truly excited to share my experiences at Be The Best,” Mongero says. “I’m thrilled that they’ve brought the convention to Wilmington for their 50th anniversary and that I can be a part of the celebration.”
Trent is a former UNCW baseball alumni and 1989 CAA Conference Player of the Year and was selected to UNCW’s All-Decade team. His son, Taber, is currently a senior shortstop for the program.
Known for its interactive and casual format, Be The Best levels the playing field, giving attendees an opportunity to connect with the speakers that include college coaches, professional coaches, former Olympiads and sports specialists. Topics covered range from skills and drills to conquering the mind game and building your best brand.
“Coach Mongero is the perfect fit for Be The Best,” says says Diego, co-owner of Be The Best. “He is a great coach and mentor and believes in bringing out the best in every person, which is precisely what we’re all about.”
Mongero joins a dynamic line-up of speakers at the convention and will deliver a captivating talk about the five common myths of infield play and instruction.
For 50 years, Be The Best Baseball and Softball Convention has preserved the founding concept of providing an affordable, accessible convention created for coaches, by coaches. Now powered by Alphas Alliance, a woman and minority-owned and operated business, Be The Best will be held for the first time in Wilmington, NC from January 13-15, 2023.
Wilmington, NC – With Be The Best and Title IX both celebrating 50th-year anniversaries, the annual convention has switched things up a bit and is heading to Wilmington, NC. Though the location has changed, Be The Best remains committed to bringing the best of the best to the speaker stage for a weekend of unforgettable conversations, connections, and learning experiences.
Over the course of the weekend, baseball and softball are equally represented with many speakers sharing insights and skills that are relevant to both sports.
The weekend kicks off Friday morning at 9 am with two veteran coaches discussing different ways of doing what’s always been done. Darren Fenster of the Boston Red Sox talks about how the cookie-cutter approach just may not be the way to go. And Doug Gillis, the Virginia Tech coach known for developing some of the country’s best softball pitchers, tackles the topic of how angles and power lines have been taught incorrectly for decades.
Throughout the morning, speakers cover everything from team offense and outfield ABCs to building champions and what makes a great competitor.
Friday afternoon is filled with the highly acclaimed Rap Sessions which are rapid-fire, shorter sessions, filled with invaluable information. Among many others, Patrick Anderson of the St. Louis Cardinals organization wreaks havoc on the base paths, and softball’s winningest coach, Carol Hutchins, fields Q&As. The importance of self-awareness is brought to light by sports research scientist, Cheryl McCormick, and Josh Bloomer, USC’s new hitting coach talks about what teams look for when it comes to recruiting.
Friday comes to an end with the ever-popular Coaches VIP Party, a time for everyone to kick back with a few drinks, make new friends, and have some fun.
Among scores of others, Saturday’s sessions bring one of softball’s most beloved coaches, John Tschida, to the stage covering throwing fundamentals; Savannah Bananas’ Tyler Gillum introduces infield throwing programs and progressions; UNCW softball’s recently retired coach, Kristy Norton, talks about building the ultimate championship team and former Olympian mindset coach, Joey Lye talks about coaching the female athlete.
Sunday wraps up with one of the sport’s most captivating baseball coaches, Jeremy Sheetinger talking about team culture and Andrew Bartman covering life off the field.
After a weekend spent with Be The Best in Wilmington, you’re pretty much guaranteed to emerge as a better player, parent, or coach. After all, there’s a reason this convention has been around for 50 years.
Click here for the full schedule and visit www.bethebest.com for more information and tickets.
Washington Nationals Organization
Baseball disasters come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it has to do with a missed sign. Sometimes a passed ball. And sometimes, a dropped kid. Mack Jenkins recalls with a touch of horror, his biggest coaching disaster, that had nothing to do with any of his players.
Once, when Mack was coaching third base, there was an on-field promotion with kids running the bases. One small child was having a hard time making it home, so being the good guy that he is, Mack picked him up. As he raced toward home plate, Mack tripped and fell, terrified kid in his arms.
But, the kid was fine. And, except for a bit of a bruised ego, Mack recovered, continuing to make a difference on the field and off, as he coached hundreds of players over the course of 30 years.
During the 1989 World Series, after retiring from playing professional ball himself, Mack was offered a job with the Cincinnati Reds. For the next 23 years, he made his way through the system, coaching all levels from Rookie Ball to AAA. He traveled the world – working in cities such as Billings, MT; Cedar Rapids, IA; Charleston, WV; Chattanooga, TN; and Louisville, KY, as well as stints in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. In 2012 he became the assistant pitching coach for the major league Reds, before becoming bullpen coach, then finally, pitching coach..
In 2019, he made the move to the Washington Nationals organization, working in Class A in Hagerstown, MD.
A valuable lesson learned throughout his baseball tenure is that failure is not fatal. Mack’s players learn early on that uncomfortable feedback is just part of the game for a professional athlete. They have to accept it, embrace it, and learn from it. His players know they have to show up every single day. With enthusiasm and energy, ready to compete fearlessly, no matter how they feel physically.
Mack does not compromise on certain beliefs. Preparation leads to performance. Enthusiasm is the mother of effort. Building relationships is crucial in driving talent and growth. Mack believes in challenging his players. Asking a player to make a dramatic change when necessary, expecting to be trusted, and not needing to be thanked when that pitching change ended up reenergizing an entire career.
Mack understands that the right team culture is key. That a good coach speaks well and knows how to say the same thing with different words. That the thirst for knowledge is never quenched. And, that sometimes, even the best of the best drop a ball.
Or, a kid.
Director of Coaching Development
Some coaches take a straight path while others zig zag their way into their niche. Andrew Bartman’s coaching history had many jumps and joys before landing at USA Baseball.
Andrew started young – as a high schooler he was already helping out at his old junior high school. By college, he was assisting a Legion team in Lincoln, IL, as well as serving as head coach of the Central Illinois Cannons travel team. After he graduated, he got his first stab at the collegiate level as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at a perennial powerhouse JUCO, Wabash Valley College in Illinois. While there, he worked with dozens of players who went on to play professional ball, with two making it to the big leagues.
After three years at WVC, Andrew headed home to take the job as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Lincoln College, where he had played himself for two years. Working for a former coach allowed him to learn lessons through a different lens as he coached and completed his Master’s degree.
Just as he had done as an undergraduate, Andrew transferred from Lincoln to his other alma mater, MacMurray College in Jacksonville, IL. As head coach, he was faced with a complete disaster, but was able to turn the culture around and in his first season, tripled the team’s win total from the previous year. The AD who hired him left two years later for Bethany College, an NAIA school in Kansas, and offered Andrew the job as Head Coach and Associate Athletics Director. Proudly, the baseball program performed over 5,000 hours of community service each year as well as qualifying for the KCAC tournament three out of four years.
After four years at Bethany, American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) offered him the Youth Division Liaison position. For the first time since starting his career, Andrew wasn’t living by a coach’s schedule which was a big boon for his family. While at ABCA, he worked with USA Baseball which is how he eventually morphed into his current position. As Director of Coaching Development at USA Baseball, Andrew coordinates over 150 free Community Coaching Clinics and has recently launched a Regional Clinic program as well.
Andrew is a big believer in giving back and has incorporated that philosophy into his team cultures throughout the years. He subscribes to the theory that giving back to one’s community is not only humbling, but allows players to gain a greater world view as they grow as people.
Along the way, Andrew has been influenced by Coach John Stoltzenburg, who taught him how to be firm, but available, and Coach Rob Fournier of Wabash Valley College, who made a national powerhouse out of nothing and continues to raise the bar every single year. Tony Thomas who taught him to care about the person and not just the player. And Kevin Vest, who guided him throughout his career in navigating the baseball coaching landscape.
While a coach has to be a good listener, motivator, and learner, Andrew Bartman realizes that being an effective communicator is just as important. If sharing stories, skills, and journeys can help change the life of just one player or coach, then regardless of runs and records, it’s a win.