The Minnesota Twins, in partnership with the National Sports Center, Irish Sports Dome, PHD Baseball and Sports & Orthopaedic Specialists are excited to introduce the fifth year of the Twins Training Academy.
The Twins Training Academy provides Upper Midwest players with top-quality baseball instruction and caters to athletes wanting to improve their skills in a serious instructional setting. Indoor training at the Twins Training Academy will put you ahead of the game. Twins personnel, minor league players and alumni as well as top college and high school coaches provide high level instruction.
Brand new in 2013-14 are two new training locations. Along with training at the National Sports Center in Blaine, players can now train at the Irish Sports Dome in Rosemount and PHD Baseball in Arden Hills.
The Twins Training Academy offers pitching, hitting, infield and catching instruction in four-week training blocks. Unlike a traditional baseball camp, the Twins Training Academy is ongoing training designed to reach developmental goals over a series of sessions. Our training sessions are a great way to improve and master your skills in key areas of the game. Within each schedule block, players may pick any single discipline or combine more than one.
All aspects of training feature design input and the presence of SAOS; the orthopaedic physicians group of the Minnesota Twins. SAOS provide leading edge sports medical knowledge as well an advanced understanding of bio-mechanic training to Twins Training Academy.
The junior training sessions are for players ages 10-13 and focus on strong skill development - these sessions will set an excellent foundation for advanced training. The senior training sessions are for players ages 14-18 and feature more advanced instruction - these sessions will help make you an elite varsity player and possible college prospect.
Players train in small groups, benefitting from a small player to coach ratio and allowing for more one-on-one instruction. Small group instruction allows players to not only experience more time with the instructors, but also to watch and learn from fellow participants as well as develop friendships.
The Twins Training Academy provides unique training that you cannot receive anywhere else.
NATIONAL SPORTS CENTER
Built by the State of Minnesota as part of a statewide building program to improve Minnesota amateur sports facilities, the NSC was opened in 1990. The current 600-acre campus is the world's largest and is a home for soccer, hockey, golf, track & field, cycling, lacrosse and baseball. Since opening its doors, the NSC has hosted over 22 million visitors. Operated by the National Sports Center Foundation, a non-profit corporation, part of the NSC mission is to provide amateur sports opportunities to Minnesota residents.
IRISH SPORTS DOME
In operation since 2005, the Irish Sports Dome features over 100,000 square feet of training space. A fully insulated, heated facility, the dome has four fields with top-quality synthetic turn and five batting cages. The Dome offers many great opportunities for practice and training year-round regardless of outside weather conditions. Their adaptable playing surface makes it possible to offer field conditions tailored to various sports, including baseball, softball, lacrosse, football and ultimate Frisbee.
Building blocks of pitching
Solid hitting foundation
Learn gold-glove defense
Fundamentals of catching
Same drills and techniques of the Twins
Become an elite hitter
Become an elite fielder
Become an elite catcher
Erik Lovdahl - Pitching Director
Erik Lovdahl has more than 20 years of experience coaching and instructing at the youth, high school and collegiate levels. He is a former professional pitcher and currently serves as a Twins batting practice pitcher and Director of Twins Training Camps. In his role with the Twins, Erik has worked with Twins Pitching Coach Rick Anderson and teaches many of the same techniques the Twins pitchers work on. He is the owner of Lovdahl Pitching Academy as well as the Gopher State Baseball League Pitching Director. Erik has trained countless players at all levels throughout the Upper Midwest.
“ Erik has been around baseball a long time. Patience, mechanics, repetition & conditioning are all important parts of teaching players how to play & respect the game. He has the knowledge, personality & experience to help players develop and he is the ideal director for the Twins pitching program. ” - Terry Ryan, Twins General Manager
Brian Raabe - Hitting and Defense Director
Brian Raabe is a former infielder for the Minnesota Twins and the Head Baseball Coach at Bethel University. Along with the Twins, Brian has also spent time with the Colorado Rockies, Seattle Mariners and Seibu Lions of the Japanese Pacific League. Brian was a six-time Minor League All-Star and 1996 AAA batting champion. He is also an alumnus of the University of Minnesota where he was a four-time letter winner, receiving All Big-Ten and All America honors in 1990. Brian is also the Play Ball! Minnesota Ambassador for the Twins Community Fund and long time clinic instructor.
“When I hear Brian talk about hitting, I think to myself that it could have been words out of my mouth. He knows hitting and how to teach coaches and players, I'm very impressed with how he teaches. ” - Harmon Killebrew, Twins legend
Mike Halloran - Lead Hitting & Infield Instructor (ISD)
Mike Halloran is the lead hitting and infield instructor at the Irish Sports Dome training location. He is a legendary high school coach and former Twin. Before the Twins, he played at the University of Minnesota. With the bulk of his coaching career spent at Eden Prairie, he retired with a 354-123-2 record featuring eight state appearances and two championships. He holds the rare distinction of having been both a coach and player on American Legion World Series championship teams.
Ben Richardson - Lead Catching Instructor
Ben Richardson is the lead catching instructor at all training locations. In 2013, Ben was a bullpen catcher for the Minnesota Twins where he showcased excellent skills handling major league pitchers. As a college player, he played for Des Moines Area Community College and Hamline University. Playing in more than 110 career games, he compiled an impressive 0.989 fielding percentage and threw out 33% of base stealers while handling talented pitching staffs. As an all MIAC selection in 2011, he was named the Hamline Most Valuable Player for the school's first ever MIAC championship team.
Curtis Simondet - Athletic Trainer
Curtis Simondet is an athletic trainer with Sports and Orthopaedic Specialists (SAOS) and the Twins. He has extensive experience working with professional and amateur athletes and has implemented several throwing-related protocols, including the SAOS Return to Pitch, and UCL management protocols. He has worked as a full time minor league athletic trainer in the Twins organization since 2010.