Why play with
Wow Factor - Arkansas??

"Frequently Asked Questions regarding
Wow Factor-Arkansas"

Answered by
Michael Richards
Owner
Elite Athletic Performance LLC.

"What is the Number one reason Wow Factor- Arkansas will be better than other options?

That is a simple answer.

We will eventually have our own private practice fields.

Possibly by spring 2023, definitely by Fall 2023.

 

 

 

 

"What is Wow Factor??"

Full disclosure, I was asking the same question less than a year ago.

We (EAP 18u) actually played one of their national teams in Memphis last summer(2021).

I knew the guy pitching was really good, turned out he was committed to Auburn. Poorly operated organizations just don't have guys committed to SEC schools playing for them. So I knew WF was legit but didn't think much more about it.

Fast forward a few months, this organization with the Auburn commit, that I didn't know anything about, contacts me about EAP potentially being their Arkansas home.

After a little research, I learn this is a massive organization with more than 1,500 kids that will play for them spring/summer 2023. A massive organization that some how, no one in Arkansas (myself included) really knew about. 

But it's time to change that.

From the Wow Factor Website:

"In 2017, Evin Einhardt transformed his passion into a business – WOW Factor Baseball Training and Development. WOW Factor Nation’s mission solely focuses on the training and preparing of players in hopes of creating opportunities to play baseball at the next level. His facility’s main focus can be found in the WOW Factor logo: Average, Power, Speed, Velocity, and Defense. Excelling in these 5 areas will give players the WOW Factor and ultimately grab the attention of college coaches and pro-scouts. Trainer Evin chose to focus on these 5 areas because it is the criteria in which players are graded when being scouted. 

When Evin envisioned WOW Factor Baseball /Nation, he never once saw trophies and banners on the wall. He saw college and professional commitments. WOW Factor Nation is ALL about the training and development of players, not about the number of games won. 

In 2019 WOW Factor Baseball turned into WOW Factor Nation, as Evin decided to take his brand and process Nationwide to help players/kids all over the country."

"What ages and classification teams will you have?"

 

I can't really answer that question until we finish the tryout/evaluation period on July 14,2022.

We are open to having any age group 7 -18. We will know which age groups have enough and will be able to announce teams at that time. 

"I'm afraid if my kid doesn't play for Wow Factor but wants to train at EAP it will get "held against" him."

 

We train athletes every day that could play for our 18u select team but choose to play for another organization, while still training with us.

Believe me, if I were going to be spiteful, this would cause it. But I just don't operate like that. If I need to "talk you in" to something, even if I'm certain this is what is best for you, I know you won't be happy if its not your decision. Plus, what if I "sell" you on the idea and then accidentally screw it up, you'll never trust me again. But if I let you make your own decisions(ya know, like adults) I at least have a chance to win your business in the future. 

I'm confused.

Is EAP becoming Wow Factor? How will this work?

 

No.

 

EAP will continue doing what we do everyday, which is building the best-prepared, most powerful, and explosive baseball athletes in the state of Arkansas.

Wow Factor-Arkansas players will have the OPTION to take advantage of EAP's training programs at a discounted rate.

 

Wow Factor-Arkansas players that do not wish to participate in our training programs will still have access to an allotted amount of weekly cage time and our facilities when participating in team practices that were scheduled by their respective coach. Teams will not participate in any mandatory team workouts or anything like that. 

Private facilities that do this are basically throwing a cockamamie workout at your kid so they can charge you extra and keep you out of competing facilities.

In addition to 20 years of experience training human beings, I am also a:

- Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

- Certified Speed and Agility Coach

- Certified Driveline Baseball Foundations of Pitching Coach

 

So I promise, your kid will not be forced into half-hearted "Team Workouts" that may or may not be helpful or even safe for them. They will either choose on their own to train and get better as an athlete, or they will choose not to, and be allowed to just enjoy playing the game.

The only thing mandatory will be the team practices when your team is "in-season".

Your child will not be treated differently if they choose to not train at EAP. Even if we were "like that", the coaches will have no idea which kid is involved in EAP's programming and which ones are not.

But aside from that, I do not believe in "guilt tripping" people into paying their money to me. I only want to accept money from people that are excited about the service we can offer their kid.

Whats the "direction"? Whats your plan? Your vibe? Your goals? What are you hoping to accomplish with these teams?

I don't have all the answers to this. Here are the answers I have.

Yes, we want to win games. But there are a few things I want to make sure we address first.

 Coach Behavior

There will be kids that sit the bench.

There will be kids that play more than others because they out perform the others BUT no kid is going to sit endlessly on the bench. I just can't do that. I can't tell you exactly how each coach will choose to set the rotation, but there will be some kind of rotation.

Baseball coaches cuss, but we will not let it slip into vulgarity.  

 

Bottom line, our coaches will not embarrass us. If they do, they will only do it once.

 Athlete Behavior

Poor performance will NOT get you an extended stay on the bench.

Allowing your body language to make it obvious you are the guy that is not currently in the lineup WILL get you an extended stay on the bench.

You want to play college baseball? College baseball teams carry like 50 guys, you need to understand most of the time when you aren't playing its because there are only 9 spots, not because they don't think you are any good. Chill out, stop being a drama queen and support your team mates.

-Our players will be up on the rail supporting their team mates when they are in the dugout. Pitchers and catchers will get a bit of a pass on this occasionally depending on the situation. Sitting quietly on the bench will get you more time there.

-Our players will concern themselves with OUR team. We don't chirp the other team, we don't discuss how much they suck. We control what WE CAN CONTROL and we ignore the rest.

-Our players don't argue with umpires. You get kicked out of a game for arguing with the umpire, you will sit the next game. If you do it again, leave your jersey in the dugout and leave. You are done with Wow Factor-Arkansas.

Our

Parent Behavior

Look we are all adults here. So please understand the following is for the best for your kid, we've had these rules in place since the first game our 18u team played and there hasn't been a single issue:

1. Our parents do not shout, scream, yell, speak or even whisper coaching cues to players during games and/or practices.

2. Our parents do not shout, scream, yell, speak or even whisper their opinions about the umpire. We WILL be the team umpires love calling games for.

3.Our parents do not, under any circumstance discuss errors, or overall ability of another kid on the team. 

4.Our parents ENJOY their kid's baseball games. 

Bottom line, our parents will not embarrass us. If they do, they will only do it once.

Oh and last thing...

If your kid goes 0-4 with 4 backward k's, you need to let US handle it. I really do not want our players dreading the ride home when they did not play well. Criticism from a parent, and the in-game anxiety it causes, will result in even worse play in 99 out of 100 kids.

If your kid has an attitude or effort issue, we need to let YOU handle it. 

Why did I choose to partner EAP with Wow Factor and create Wow Factor-Arkansas?

Two main reasons:

1) Youth Baseball seems broken.

This is an opportunity for us to attempt to be the change.

I have no idea if it will work.

If it doesn't, I will sleep well at night knowing youth baseball is not as broken as I was being told because if it was, our model would be thriving. 

2) Opportunity for our older players.

Before I begin, I want to be perfectly clear, I am talking about high school age athletes in this section. Our youth teams will be focused on making sure the kids still love the game at the end of the season. The following opportunities are for our athletes that are on High School baseball teams.

EAP is a training facility FIRST. Our 18u "Select" team is not really even a "showcase" team. It is basically our marketing strategy for our training facility and consists of mostly players that have already signed with their respective colleges.

The most prominent opportunities to compete against the best players, and be seen by the best schools, happen at scouting events hosted by organizations such as Perfect Game USA at places like LakePoint Sports in Emerson, Ga and the Hoover Met Sports Complex in Hoover, Al. 

For me to create an opportunity for our players to compete at that level, would take years and a ton of man-power that I do not have and do not wish to employ. Wow Factor is already competing there. If you are a Wow Factor- Arkansas player, and are good enough to compete at that level, thanks to this partnership, you will get your chance.

Wow Factor is a brand built upon winning by playing a very high level of baseball.

That is not accomplished by playing a less talented player that payed more money.

If you are the best option, you will get your chance, if you don't get a chance, its nothing personal, just keep working. 

In addition to the above mentioned points, the following points weighed heavily on my decision.

- Wow Factor Baseball is a nationally recognized, private baseball organization focused on high level baseball and college placement. To me, that sounds like the "On-Field" version of what we do "In-Gym" at EAP everyday. It felt like a tremendous fit. 

- WF has locations in over 20 states. Networking is extremely important in baseball, so obviously that is appealing.

- Over 1,500 players will wear the WF logo in spring/summer 2023.

Players get better when they are surrounded by good players. High School sports use classifications based on population because the schools with higher enrollment will statistically have a higher number of good athletes simply due to the volume of the athletes in general.

Bottom Line: You want to play for our national team? You are competing against 1,500 other players across 20 states for that roster spot. Athletes do not get better by creating easy goals for them to coast their way into. 

- In 2021 alone, WF helped 98 players to collegiate baseball opportunities, 80 of them to Division 1 programs.

So whats going to be so different with your youth teams?

First off, EAP has been a training facility for years.  We are in a very fortunate situation that allows us to not NEED teams to keep our doors open. This allows us to have a bit more quality control over our situations regarding the teams we choose to create, and those we do not.

 

 

*Existing teams that join Wow Factor will NOT be required to adopt the following practices.

I have been experimenting with a points system based on the more "controllable" aspects of baseball to help inform lineup and playing time decisions. For example, (among a few other things) players are rewarded for hard hit balls regardless of outcome, pitchers are rewarded for routine outs created, even if the defense doesn't get the out. All players are punished for poor body language and reacting negatively to umpire decisions.

The number 1 phrase I hear regarding youth baseball is "Daddy Ball". I feel like thats about 50% dad coach playing his son over better players/50% rose colored lenses on the person complaining about "Daddy Ball". My main goal for this system is so the person(s) that are in the dugout rather than playing, know exactly why someone else is playing over them. So far, it has worked beautifully with our 18u team. 

This is all age dependent of course. If we have teams 10 and under, there will be some kind of "equal'ish" playing time policy. You can call this "participation trophy" behavior if you like. I truly do not care about your opinion. Sports will naturally become more and more "Cut throat" as they grow up. There is no need for it for kids that probably still believe in Santa Claus.

The same people lamenting how kids are quitting sports at a record pace, are excoriating kids for not executing a sacrifice bunt to win a 9u Quadruple A National/Super-Natural Wood Bat All Universe championship.

 

I don't know all the details yet, but I do know a few: 

- We(our coaches) aren't going to behave like the above mentioned.

- EAP is a 100% "DRAMA FREE ZONE". If you are one of those people that drama seems to "follow", Im going to need you to find another organization, or get that taken care of before we take the field. My "peace of mind" is more expensive than any dollar amount we stand to lose when a "drama magnet" takes their business elsewhere.

- Our coaches will be instructed to forfeit the game if any of our parents become belligerent toward the umpire(s).

Seriously, do people really think that makes the situation better?? If an umpire is willing to stand out there and continually make bad calls, BELIEVE ME, he/she is willing to make even worse calls against the team that is constantly chirping him/her.

- There is a very good chance our youth teams will not be allowed to bunt.

Please hear me out. Bunting, in certain cases can be extremely effective to win a game. Bunting should absolutely be utilized when players are old enough that the championship is the ultimate goal that takes more than a weekend to win(High school ball and above). 

One of the main, overall goals for our youth teams is to help give our players the best chance possible to make their high school team.

Winning a youth baseball game is not the number one objective.

Which of the following hypothetical players are most likely to make their HS team?

Player 1 was not a great hitter when he was young, he was fast, so he was taught to bunt because it gave the team a better chance to win. Now he is a freshman trying out for the high school team. He can bunt, get on base and steal bases. Doesn't really do anything "flashy" like hit doubles and home runs with RISP. Problem is, there is a kid in every grade above him that can do what he does well, that also can stack up RBI's and hit the occasional bomb. 

Player 2 was not a great hitter when he was young, he was fast, so it was tempting to teach him how to bunt because it gave the team a better chance to win. But he played for an organization that didn't allow bunting on their youth teams. This led to him learning how to hit with RISP. This "sink or swim" mentality has turned him into a valuable asset to his high school team. When the coach learned that he isn't able to bunt very well he said "I can teach a kid to bunt, I cant teach him how to stay focused and drive runners in scoring position in."

You can teach a kid how to bunt properly, relatively quickly in a practice setting because you can replicate the game situation and give him quality reps until he is proficient at it. 

There is no way to recreate the adrenaline of your team being down 1 with 1 out in the last inning with runners on 2nd and 3rd. We MUST utilize those situations when the game naturally gives them to us in youth baseball for the future of that player's career. I see bunting in that situation in youth baseball as an ego driven decision because the coach/parents/organization wants to add 1 to the number in the win column. I am not willing to stifle the growth potential of one of our youth players so we can post on twitter about our youth team winning a game that means absolutely nothing in the long run.

Lastly, for what it is worth to you, I have presented this idea to several friends I have that are college coaches. A few were initially skeptical, but all agreed with this thought process after listening to my logic.

Will dad's be allowed to coach?

As long as he is bought into the way we plan on scoring players and setting the lineup, yes.

I think I am setting myself up for a crow sandwich if I take a hard stance against dad coaches.

If an established, drama-free team that has a dad as the coach wants to join our organization I will absolutely allow that. 

If he was doing a bad job, it seems like the team would fall apart rather than join our organization together.

I truly feel like there are alot of dad coaches out there doing great, this is somewhat of a "squeaky wheel" situation because the bad ones get complained about very LOUDLY so it feels like its happening more than it is(I reserve the right to withdraw this statement).

Will you guys play Fall Ball?

I think I am unsure about Fall 2022 at this point. I will know more after our tryouts coming up next week. 

How much will this cost?

We haven't set exact prices at time-of-writing, but it will be very competitive with market standards. 

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