What is Unique about the iCASE Baseball Academy?
The iCASE Baseball Academy is a College Prep program for high school students that is already very popular not only coast-to-coast in Canada, but internationally as well.
iCASE is the best program for a young player to consider. Ontario is Canada’s greatest province, it is globally recognized as the best place to study in English, and the iCASE Baseball Academy will be the perfect way to maximize the student-athlete’s enjoyment of high school while reaching his/her potential in baseball.
1. At this time, iCASE is designed for 11th & 12th graders only;
2. In addition to training daily, we have developed, and already had approved by Ontario’s Ministry of Education, four courses that will count as elective credits toward the student-athlete’s Ontario Secondary School Diploma. The courses are for grade 11,12 students all with the primary focus of baseball.
3. Baseball training will take place during the school day, as a regular class. This will allow/encourage iCASE student-athletes to participate in other extra-curricular activities (i.e., other school sports, music, chess team, etc.). If extra baseball training is required/desired after the 3:30pm bell, our coaching staff will ALWAYS be available.
4. While we will train rigorously, we will also study all facts of the game of baseball as well as the baseball industry, such as: coaching, baseball mechanics, video analysis, the identification and correction of faults, what scouts do and what they look for, strength & conditioning for baseball, year-round training, indoor training, offensive and defensive strategies, the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP), the science behind the sport (e.g., biomechanics, physics), visualization and mental preparation, proper nutrition, long-term athlete development, First Aid, concussions, performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), umpiring, scorekeeping, baseball statistics, and field maintenance;
5. iCASE’s student-athletes will also be asked to deliver baseball classes to elementary school children, as the best way to learn something is to teach it. To keep our training fun and diversified, they will also be exposed to baseball derivative games such as “Strikeout,” “500,”, “21,” “Scrub,”, volleyball, badminton, squash, etc.;
6. We will also study the structure of the baseball industry across the globe, including the International Olympic Committee, the International Baseball Federation, Major League Baseball, Major League Baseball International, Major League Baseball Players’ Association, Sport Canada, national baseball federations, provincial associations, club teams, the Coaches’ Association of Canada, etc.;
7. For the iCASE student-athletes with potential for a college/university scholarship, or who may be worthy of consideration in the Major League Baseball Draft, we will lead those players through the writing of the SAT and ACT if applicable, assist the players with seeking scholarships at post-secondary schools, use our network and credibility to promote the players, and teach the players how the MLB Draft works, what an MLB contract consists of, where agents/advisors may come into play, etc.;
8. When iCASE student-athletes graduate, they will be well-versed on job opportunities in the baseball industry, and will know how to properly conduct baseball practices, understand team finance, fundraising and sponsorship-seeking, how to communicate with athletes, coaches & parents, how to deal with uniforms, transportation, social networking, and scheduling;
9. In addition to our full-time coaching and guidance staff, iCASE student-athletes will be taught by baseball industry experts for specific topics, such as current/former MLB players, coaches, scouts, media personnel, agents, etc. We have a wide network of baseball contacts;
10. Another vital element for iCASE candidates, is that, before a player will be officially accepted as an iCASE player, he/she will be provided with a complete and honest assessment of skills and a projection of baseball potential.
If, in our expert opinion, the player is not likely a future MLB draft pick, or not a candidate for a college scholarship, that is not a problem, but it is only fair that we be upfront with the players and their families, and in the format of a formal MLB scouting report. This way, nobody will be mislead, and there will be no regrets.
Also, we don’t have to see the student-athlete in person in order to do a scouting projection. We can evaluate the player by a video that you can create. Sample tryout videos are posted on the icasebaseball.com website for the candidate to duplicate and either send in or upload and send in the link. We do not have a sample video for catchers yet, but basically, we would want to see the player catching some pitches, blocking some pitches, throwing to second base, and hitting. Please use the sample videos on our website as your guide. It does not have to be professionally done, and it only needs to be about two minutes in length.
11. It is not mandatory that iCASE candidates be assessed as college-bound or MLB draft-bound student-athletes, but they must meet a minimum standard. Their training will be groomed to their own skill level so that all student-athletes will develop at their own individual pace;
12. Players who love baseball, players who want to receive credits towards their Ontario Secondary School Diploma for training their baseball skills rigorously to improve themselves, players who wish a complete high school experience while not watering down their baseball commitment, and players (and families) who are confident that training under the iCASE program will enhance their high school experience, can graduate knowing that they are as good as their potential allowed them to become. If they happen to find themselves being drafted or getting a baseball scholarship or a partial baseball scholarship, that of course will be a bonus;
After the 25+ years that Tom Valcke has spent full-time in the baseball industry, after spending more than two years preparing the iCASE business plan, and as a professional baseball scout who has been in hundreds of homes of college-bound and MLB-bound players, it has become clear to Tom that there is only one correct formula, and that is what we have established with iCASE.
Nobody matches Tom Valcke’s commitment to covering all of the bases and continually improving the product. You will find him to be very blunt but very honest, but it is important to all of us here, and to the long-term success of iCASE, that nobody who enters the iCASE program will have any regrets afterward.
Coaching baseball is Valcke’s passion, what he does best and enjoys the most. He has won five national championships, coached Team Canada on four occasions, taught baseball in 20 countries, and he is the head coach of the largest baseball clinic on Earth, the World Children’s Baseball Fair. He was a Supervisor with the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau in both Canada and the USA for ten years. He served as the Commissioner for Baseball at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, and he has been a Technical Commissioner at both the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classics. His baseball background is further detailed on our website, www.icasebaseball.com.
Tom has been married to his wife Paula for 25 years now, and they have three children, Alanna (21), Jaxon (16), and Mia (13). Jaxon is a highly regarded AAA player, and Mia recently competed in the 1st Annual “Mayan Princess Cup”, an All-Girls baseball tournament hosted in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico in February, 2013.