Preparing to Travel to the Dominican Republic
This is a great question. The primary reason is because you want to "accelerate" your training. The environment, schedule, and regimen there is more terse and more dynamic than in the USA. The Dominicans live for baseball. Baseball is a way of life. Baseball is their ticket to a better life. Therefore they train harder and are more focused. Typically they train all day long, not just for 1 1/2 hours like the typical USA team.
You will be on their schedule. You will eat like they eat and you will train they way they train.
Baseball is a way of life there and practice is something that they look forward to every day.
They stretch longer than we stretch.
They practice longer than we practice.
They play more pick up games and live action games than we do.
As a hitter, you will get more live at bats in 1 week in the DR than you will in an entire season here in Florida.
As a fielder, you will receive more ground balls in 1 day than you will receive in an entire season in Florida.
You will be challenged by the tempo and speed of play.
You will be challenged by their arm strength and enthusiasm for the game.
They move faster than we do, they laugh more than we do, and they relish every minute they spend on the field.
They are in serious all out training to be a major league player, every day of the week and no one is telling them to be realistic and to set their sights to a lower level.
If you are serious about turning your game up to the next notch, then going to the DR to train is the best way to go.
Yes. This trip is going to have an effect on you in many ways and as a result you will be a better player. You will definitely become a tougher player. Your commitment level will change. You will see the importance of playing the game faster. You will become smoother in all aspects of the game. Your confidence will go to a whole new level. We are going to show you how to build arm strength and increase your velocity without gimmicks or long toss routines. You will take more reps than you have ever taken in your life. You are going to come home a different player.
Quick anecdote: I was invited to the Phillies camp to watch a NY high school team play. The best player on the field was their catcher. He was as smooth as silk and looked like a MLB player. I sought out his Dad to find out how a kid from NY could look so smooth and polished at such a young age. He replied that this was their 5th consecutive summer training join the DR.
If you do not come to the DR to train, you are passing up the biggest opportunity of your life to become an elite player.
Yes, You will need a valid USA passport to travel. You can obtain a passport in as little as 7-10 days in an emergency but it is best to allow for 45 days for normal issuance. The US Post Office system can help you or your County Clerks office. There are also numerous on line services which can expedite your passport issuance.
The Dominican Peso is the local currency. The US dollar is accepted at many locations for a nominal fee. You can exchange your US dollars at the airport or at many local cadecas or cambio houses or banks in town. If you are exchanging a hundred dollars or less the airport is Ok. If you exchanging larger sums we will help you get a better exchange rate at a cadeca. The local exchange rate is about 46 pesos to a dollar. This makes a peso about 2.3 cents. You can use your ATM card to receive pesos also from numerous banks or ATM locations.
As a baseball player you will want to bring your:
Cleats - Sneakers
Baseball Pants - Sliders - Shorts - High Socks
Baseball T shirts
Sunscreen - Pine Tar - Bug Spray
Exercize bands - Under Armour
Bath suit- shorts
T shirts - sneakers- flip flops
Depending on your length of stay, and normal requirements for prescriptions and medicines, this is something you should take into account. Medicines and prescriptions are available. We have a pharmacy nearby that is very well stocked. We recommend packing some immodium in case you get a stomach virus.
Yes. We will pick you up at the airport on arrival and escort you to our Academy.
The Dominican Republic has recently become a popular tourist destination for Americans. Dominicans are welcoming people and are quite fond of baseball players in general and you will always be with us so there is no reason for concerns.
We will stay together as a group and players will always have a buddy system if they need to leave the group for some reason.
Our Head Coach lives in the same house with the players.
He will have all meals with the team and the team travels together as a group at all times.
He wakes the boys up in the morning, is with them all day and enforces a curfew each night.
We have 2 3 bedroom homes next to each other. The houses are modest 1 story buildings. The bedrooms are small by our standard. The homes are situated on a dead end block in a very quiet neighborhood with a forest preserve across the street. The field is nearby. The beach is nearby. There is a small market very close to the house.
When the boys are not training they are at the house exercising or watching TV.
The players will have a bunk bed and share access to the bathrooms.
There is no air conditioning.
The lights usually go out for a few hours each night.
This is Spartan living.
The fare is primarily Dominican but you will eat a combination of Dominican and American food that includes an assortment of beef, chicken, rice and pasta. Local Fruit such as mango and papaya and fruit juices in the morning with cereal gets the boys day started.
At 7:00 the boys rise for breakfast and then they are off to the fields for a full day of training.
Not much during the week. This is a full time training schedule which includes conditioning, gym work and lots of field work. On the week ends its time to relax and maybe go to the beach or city.
Yes, you may and we will help you arrange a trip that fits your all around needs and schedule.
Do I need to speak Spanish?
No, but the trips overall value will increase to the degree that you try to participate by practicing and learning Spanish.
Some Dominicans speak English, although many do not. This makes the trip more interesting and fun. We will have access to translators so don't worry too much because baseball is a universal language.
No immunizations are required for travel to the Dominican Republic.