Persistence is more important than talent.....There is a reason why “Student” comes first in “Student Athlete.”.....If you are jogging, stretching or playing catch, make sure you do it better than anyone else.....Respect the game as much as you want to be respected.....The direction of your hat is the direction of your life.....Practice the way you play games… All go, no quit.....It doesn’t take talent to hustle.....Be a student of the game, learn it’s history and you learn the game.....Help your team win if your playing or not.....Never argue with an umpire, they remember faces.....Allow your coaches to coach you.....Don’t skip classes, would you skip practice?.....Strive to be as good in the classroom as you are on the field.....Set high standards along with knowing the steps to attain them.....Don’t tell people how good you are, prove it......Your friends are not more important than your future, don’t give into peer pressure.....Your parents love you, but they don’t know more about baseball than your coach.....Don’t let anyone make an excuse for you.....Maintain eye contact, it shows maturity and respect.....In baseball, it’s your coaches opinion that matters, not your friends. Remember who makes the lineup.....Life is not fair, regardless of what some people may tell you.....Be enthusiastic about your teammates.....Love the game.....The only thing your coach owes you is honesty.....Body language screams, it never whispers.....Balance makes champions, if you focus on just hitting and ignore defense, you will never become a complete player.....Defense wins games.....Pitching sets the tone of the game.....Games are lost, not won. Mistakes lead to losses.....You can win a league with a few good pitchers, titles are won with great pitching staffs.....Work on your game everyday, the team that beat you does.....Who you are today is the result of who you were in the past! Work ethic???.....You don’t have to be a great player to be a great “ball player,” hustle......Show off your talent to your coach and your future coach.....Baseball doesn’t build character, it reveals it.....Character means doing the right thing when nobody’s watching
Strike Zone Testimonials
Many of my students at Jesuit Middle have never been exposed to baseball instruction. When they arrived for their fieldtrip to the Strike Zone, Joe immediately welcomed them and assured them of a great and fun learning experience. With the encouragement and expertise of Coach Siwa and his staff, our young men were not only making contact but hitting line drives. Already several have asked me if a return trip to the Strike Zone can be a part of the year end field day.

Tony Connelly

Coach Siwa,

Thank you again for sponsoring and hosting another successful Fall Ball Season. Our boys improved noticeably in both their individual and team skills. Your Tuesday night hitting clinics and your preseason weekend camps worked well with school schedules and kept their heads in the game for a couple of more months. We know that keeping their skills tuned during the off season is so important with baseball, especially at this age when their bodies are changing and growing so much. How they move to field a ball, how they use their throwing mechanics, or even how they swing a bat can change dramatically on any given growth-spurt. Having Fall Ball was a big plus for our kids, keeping their skills polished while having fun doing it. Strike Zone is a great asset to our community!

Ed Vilak

Tim and I enjoyed being a part of fall ball with our sons and had a really great time. It has been busy, but well worth it.


Doug Lindner

Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Dear Joe,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Strike Zone for their assistance in the continuation of Scott's baseball experience. Scott was fortunate to have been able to play on the Strike Zone Elite baseball team for the past two years. The experience has been very valuable in Scott's ultimate decision in attending and playing baseball for Southeast Community College in Beatrice, Nebraska. The Strike Zone Elite baseball team allowed Scott a first hand opportunity to play against college baseball teams and observe the campus facilities. The experience also allowed college coaches to observe Scott’s play in a competitive environment which allowed him to receive scholarship opportunities. The friendships Scott made with his teammates continued through the fall and into his high school season, Legion season and well into his college career. I would encourage the Strike Zone Elite baseball team to anyone interested in playing college baseball.

Dan Doggett
Dear Strike Zone,

We have been members of the Strike Zone for several years, and we still are but I wanted to let you know about a recent experience we had elsewhere in another fall baseball league. I am almost ashamed to tell you that my son didn’t play fall ball at the Strike Zone this year, he played fall baseball at one of the “other” places so that he could be on a team with a friend. Unfortunately, the experience was horrible. My son was ready to quit playing baseball-it was so bad, and his friend was right along with him. When playing at the Strike Zone, my son always had fun, learned, and improved. The coaches know their stuff and have always been positive, and one of the things that kept my son in baseball was the promise that we would go back to Strike Zone next fall.

Keep doing it the way you always have. We are coming back!

Earley Smith
Hi, at my son's last game with the fall competitive season, we were
given some papers and among them was a note suggesting that we log
onto Strike Zone to rate our kids' coaches for this season. I wanted to email you because we happened to have one of the best coaches my son has ever had. My son is Mike Moyers -- 15/16 Gold team. He has learned more from John McCord and his son Colby McCord in this season alone than he has learned the whole time he has played baseball (since he was 5)! They are both two of the best coaches, I just cannot say enough good things about them. They take the time to show kids how to play their positions correctly, they explain to them when they are doing something wrong and why it is wrong, and they talk to them in ways
that they can understand. They instilled in my son a sense of confidence and a need to be better. For that I am very thankful. I feel like it was money well spent. I am VERY hopeful that you will have them both back coaching the 16+ competitive fall season next year, because I
definitely want my son on their team again. Please make sure that they come back to coach next year.
Dale Novacek- regarding College Recruiting

Joe: I just wanted to thank you for hosting the "College Recruiting" discussion last night.
My son walked away very impressed with the presentations and the "matter of fact" stories about playing college ball, and I was vindicated last night.

I've always told him that a coach always likes a player who has heart, who hustles, who is a team player, and who is very coachable. To me stats never were a determining factor when I used to recruit select players. I always looked for attitude! I think my son finally agrees with me, after all my years of coaching! You see son, dad really does know what he is talking about!

If you ever decide to schedule this event again, I will definitely help spread the word.
Coach Mckay,

I just wanted to send you a note saying thank you for all of your work last winter with Cole. He definitely benefited from your classes and he had his best season playing baseball yet. He hit the ball every game and it was just nice to see him get in the batters box with confidence. He even made the all-star team in his league and had a great experience with that as well. We hope to be able to take a class or two from you again this winter.
Thank You!

Ed Vidlak - Son plays for WWAA

Coach Siwa - Been meaning to email you since the coaches clinic March 18th and 25th. Just wanted to pass on to you how much I appreciated and enjoyed the clinic. Everything was first class -- incredibly informative and relevant. You should know that our team's kids (WWAA) and my own kids are being raised with skills and philosophies handed down from you, Coach Mckay, and your Strike Zone staff. We're very fortunate to have you guys right here in Omaha.

Jason Miller - University of Nebraska at Kearney

I recently graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney where I played for two years. Being from western Nebraska, I did not have the opportunity to play spring baseball. All of my exposure came during the summer and at the Exposure/Combines.

Along with the opportunity to perform in front of scouts and coaches, I was able to meet other baseball players from around the nation. Players were selected during the camp to participate in a scrimmage.

I would not have been able to play baseball as long as I did if it were not for the Exposure/Combines like this one. Many players heave been signed by colleges as a result of this camp. I would not miss out on this opportunity to be seen and further your baseball career.

Dan Murphy - Father of Sam Murphy - Westside High School - Committed to the University of Arkansas

My son, Sam Murphy, has been participating in--and benefiting from Strike Zone-sponsored lessons, leagues, and activities since he was 8 years old. Over the past 10 years, The Strike Zone has provided Sam the opportunity to receive instruction from players and coaches ranging from Hall-of-Famer Bob Gibson to Texas Pitching Coach Tom Holliday and, most important, from members of The Strike Zone Staff. Our Strike Zone membership has been one of the best investments we’ve made in Sam’s baseball future.

For the past two fall seasons, Sam has participated in The Strike Zone’s Elite Program, teaming up with some of the area’s best high school players to face a variety of college teams, including nationally ranked UNO and Iowa Western C.C. While the Elite Program provided exceptional instruction, it also gave Sam the opportunity to get to know and make friends with kids he’s played against for years.

In terms of direct benefits, The Strike Zone Elite Program made Sam more visable to college coaches and resulted in his recruitment by the University of Arkansas, whose pitching coach, Dave Jorn, drove to Highland Community College to watch Sam throw. Creighton Coach Ed Servais took time out from his schedule to watch Sam pitch against Iowa Western, an exceptional junior college program. University of Kansas Coach Ritch Price made the trip to see him throw against UNO, where he also was observed by Coach Bobby Herold, who runs one of the best college programs around. Of course, the point is not that these coaches saw Sam play, but that The Strike Zone Elite Team draws interest from some of the best college programs in the region, of not the nation.

From a parents standpoint, other benefits of the Elite Program are the equal playing time and individualized instruction that every player receives. For a kid who’s really serious about working year-round on his sport, the opportunities and competitive advantages presented by The Strike Zone Elite Program are too good to pass up.

Greg Lillie - Pensacola, FL

Having recently moved to Florida, we are finding a whole new attitude concerning baseball. What we have not found, however, is a facility and staff that compares to yours. We have not had any success finding a club or facility that has the talent and programs comparable to yours.

Ted Cleveland - Father of David Cleveland

I just returned from Central High School where my son David signed today to play baseball for Creighton University next year. I want to thank the Strike Zone staff for all that you guys did for him and all the players on your Fall Elite Team. It was a great experience for him (and me too) to get a chance for him to work with you as well as to get the chance to get exposed to all the college coaches you played against, and also the ones that came to the games. If you ever have a parent that would like to speak to someone who had a kid on your team, feel free to send them my way. I have nothing but the utmost respect for you guys and your program.

Jeff Newman, son Bobby Newman - Westside High School

We have been members since The Strike Zone opened. Bobby has grown up in the batting cages and tunnels. He has attended countless clinics over the years, including Ultimate Hitting and the Line Drive League, participated in the Fall Baseball League, and received instruction from the majority of current and past Strike Zone coaches. The coaching that he receives at The Strike Zone is not only age appropriate, but facilitates the development of advanced skills that make it possible for him to play the game at its highest level for his age group. The Strike Zone is absolutely the best baseball training facility in Omaha.

© 2009 Strike Zone | 2900 South 110th St. | Omaha, NE 68144 | (402) 398-1238