Category Archives: Jr. RBI Summer League

SPOTLIGHT: 12U Baseball Astros

RBI Austin Spotlight: 12U Baseball Astros

This week, we’re jumping into the 12U Baseball Astros’ dugout! Meet Bruce, Travis, and Christina.

Bruce Gusman

Q: With this being your first season with RBI Austin, what do you hope to learn this season from your coach or teammates?

Bruce: I hope to learn about the different positions and specifically I want to learn and get better in the outfield.

Q: Who has influenced you the most in your life?

Bruce: The biggest influence in my life is my mom because she is always encouraging and supportive even when they lose games.

Q: What’s the best part about playing baseball/softball? What do you look forward to about playing for your RBI team?

Bruce: I love getting to meet new friends through RBI and learning more about the game of baseball.

Travis Gauntt 

Q: With this being your first RBI Austin season coaching, why did you decide to coach this year?

Travis: I grew up in baseball family & played baseball growing up so I love the sport. Additionally, I just moved to Austin and am finishing up my MBA at Texas so I had some free time to coach.

Q: Who has influenced your life the most?

Travis: My dad was the greatest influence in my life. He was an incredible role model, played baseball and was able to coach me. He is an incredible man professionally, personally, spiritually. He has helped shape who I am today.

Q: What’s the best part about coaching? Is there anything in particular that you look forward to during the week about getting to coach?

Travis: My favorite thing about coaching is that I get to make a difference in these kids’ lives and give back to them. I especially enjoy practices because that’s where I get to coach and teach and get to know the kids.

Christina Gonzalez 

Q: Why did you decide to enroll your child in RBI baseball/softball this summer? What do you hope they will learn besides baseball/softball skills?

Christina: Bruce’s friend from school told him about RBI and he came home and pulled it up on the internet and asked me to register him for the RBI summer league.

Q: What is your favorite part about having your kids participate in RBI?

Christina: RBI is so good for the boys and they really enjoy it so far. I love how organized RBI is. Everything is run smoothly, and I haven’t had any issues yet. I love that the boys get to make new friends and that he has good influences in his life.

RBI Austin Parent Workshops

RBI Austin Parent Workshops

This Saturday, you are invited to our RBI Austin Parent Workshop (see flyer for more information) led by the Positive Coaching Alliance! It will be from 10am-Noon at The For the City Center.

Before and after the workshop, our RBI Uniform Shop will be open for anyone who would like to purchase pants, belts, socks, or parent t-shirts.  By attending the Parent Workshop, you can purchase an RBI Austin parent t-shirt for 50% off ($5 instead of $10)!

We also have a second workshop / uniform shop date scheduled for June 14th. See below for all the details.

WHAT: RBI Austin Parent Workshop & Uniform Shop

WHERE: The For the City Center (500 E. St. Johns Ave., Austin, TX 78752) in the Ridgetop room


  • OPTION 1
    THIS Saturday, June 9th from 10am-12pm (Uniform Shop opens at 9am)
  • OPTION 2
    NEXT Thursday, June 14th from 6:30pm-8:30pm (Uniform Shop opens at 5:30pm)


BONUS: Attend one of these workshops and get 50% off of our RBI Austin parent t-shirt (Original Cost: $10, You Pay $5).

RBI Austin Uniform Shop

Still need to purchase your player’s belts, pants, and socks? The RBI Austin Uniform Shop will be open on Saturday, June 9th from 9am-12pm in the same room as this workshop.

At the Parent Workshop, we will focus on player and parent development through:

  • Learn how to help your athletes get the most from the youth sports experience
  • Learn how to establish and maintain a positive competitive environment inside youth sports
  • Develop skills to manage failure on and off the field
  • Understand how to help your athlete be the best version of themselves and compete with integrity

We hope to see you there!

Countercultural Pursuit: Q&A with JJ Garza

Q&A with JJ Garza

In the world of youth sports, it seems a little countercultural to chase down your players.

If the player wants to be there, then it’s his or her responsibility to get to practice, arrive to games on time, to be prepared and engaged.


Meet JJ Garza, one of our veteran RBI Austin coaches, who has pursued his players even when it’s been hard. See how JJ and his family have engaged the families of their T-Ball Rockies team, embodied the mission + culture of RBI Austin, and how it’s impacted everyone involved.

Q: Is there one player or family in particular that comes to your mind who you’ve specifically and intentionally had to pursue and who you’ve seen feel more a part of RBI/your team because of this? Can you tell us about your relationship?

We first met Sergio Melendez in the summer of 2016.  I say “we” because my wife and kids were an integral part in building a relationship with Sergio and his family.  

Sergio was a very shy four year old.  I noticed him coming out of his shell with a little attention and praise during practice.  I came to find out he was the only boy in a family full of girls.  RBI was his first experience in a team environment.  We asked our daughter Emma to show him the ropes a little.  Soon both of my kids were engaging Sergio more in conversation.   Throughout the season you could see his confidence grow along with his smile. We witnessed his effort and engagement in the game increase.

My wife, Danette, was wonderful in engaging Nikki, Sergio’s mother. The following season, Nikki registered her daughter, Sophia, with RBI and joined our team. Sophia was a tiny little thing experiencing the same engagement-issues as her big brother.  It was wonderful to see how Sophia was quickly accepted and brought into the fold.

Nikki and her kids have attended my kid’s birthday parties and other events with my family.  My kids get excited when they see Sergio, their friend. 

Q: What are some challenges you’ve faced in coaching with RBI?

I had no coaching experience when I started with RBI.  I signed up to be assistant coach; to observe and learn.  To this day, I don’t know how I ended up with my own team.  Nonetheless, I am happy it worked out the way it did.  It forced me to learn and grow, not only with baseball, but as a communicator, specifically with young kids.

Q: How has your mentality or approach had to change or adjust since coaching with RBI? 

I was “drills” driven in the beginning.  I thought that repetition was the most important thing in coaching.  But, I quickly learned that 4-6 yr old’s attention span is extremely short.  So, I had to incorporate some FUN drills and not call them “drills”.  Bottom line, I had to learn to make practice and games fun for the kids.  I needed to be reminded that it is just a “game.”

Q: Has it been worth it? Why? 

I’m going on my 4th year coaching now.  Every year, it seems I prepare sooner and sooner to the start of the new league year.  I’m reading, watching videos, attended group discussion on how to positively use baseball as a venue to impact young lives.  

It has been worth it. 

I’ve received so much back, more than I put in I think.  I’ve grown so much in coaching but most of all as a father to my own kids.  The skills I’ve learned with RBI are not only applicable in coaching baseball, but have been beneficial skills as a father as well.

It’s been a fun ride.


We’d love to hear your RBI story! How did you get involved with us? Why have you been involved? Stories of hope and encouragement? Stories of seeing the Lord change hearts? Stories about how your time with RBI has shaped or changed you?

The Lord has given us all a story, and we want to hear how He’s used RBI — no matter how small of a part — in yours!

Share your RBI Austin story!

Summer Volunteer Roles

Summer Volunteer Roles

You’ve heard it before, “Teamwork makes the dream work.”

This couldn’t be more true for RBI Austin’s summer leagues.

As we’ve grown from 118 kids to more than 1,171 kids, so has our need for gameday volunteers.

So whether you are behind the scenes assisting with gameday logistics, helping keep score on the sidelines, or in the thick of the action with the kids in the dugout, our summer volunteers are invaluable.

If you’ve been on the fence about serving and wondering just exactly what our various volunteer opportunities look like, check out of summer volunteer roles below.


A day in the life: You’re leading the charge for your RBI Austin team. You’re working with your assistant coaches to make sure that practices have a plan, that kids are having fun, and that families are engaged and invited into the team. Typically, head coaches have been involved with RBI Austin before and/or are familiar with RBI Austin’s mission + culture.

Time commitment: 1-2 games a week plus one practice a week


A day in the life: You’re helping your head coach run the show. This can entail corralling kids, running drills at practice, being in charge of the batting lineup in the dugout. Head coaches cannot coach a team alone, and you play an essential, supportive role in the experience that RBI Austin players and parents have during the summertime. No baseball or softball experience is required, and we will make sure you get trained to do your role well.

Time commitment: 1-2 games a week plus one practice a week


A day in the life: Do you prefer to be more on the sidelines with a little less commitment than coaching? Scorekeepers help us make sure that games are running smoothly and being documented. You will be posted up behind home plate watching the game, keeping the “book”, and enjoying some summer sun at the ballpark. No experience is required, and we will make sure you get trained to do your role well.

Time commitment: We ask that Scorekeeping volunteers serve at least 5 games during the summer!


A day in the life:  You keep our games moving — literally. Umpires will be trained in specific divisions and will be provided with all of the rules, regulations, and information they need to make sure that RBI Austin games are running smoothly and according to league rules.

Time commitment: We ask that Umpires serve at least 5 games during the summer!


A day in the life: You’re responsible for bringing the gameday environment! Who doesn’t love the ballpark atmosphere with music and hearing players being announced as they walk up to the plate? Sound/atmosphere volunteers assist with queuing walk-up music and announcing players and teams.

Time commitment: We ask that Sound/atmosphere volunteers serve at least 5 games during the summer!


A day in the life: A lot goes on behind the scenes to ensure that our RBI Austin kids have playable fields during the summer season. You’re responsible for helping maintain field quality that gives our players a sense of pride in where they get to play. Typically field maintenance tasks include clearing weeds from the infield dirt, building the mound, clearing trash, mowing, and edging.

Time commitment: As needed throughout the summer!

Attend a volunteer orientation

Ready to learn more? Attend one of our upcoming volunteer orientations:

RBI Austin Mission + Culture

RBI Austin Mission + Culture

If you’ve been around RBI Austin for any length of time, you know that  we love the games of baseball and softball, but there is so much more to our programs than that, and it starts our volunteers.


RBI Austin’s mission is to engage and develop inner-city Austin youth athletically, academically, and spiritually, empowering them to lead the transformation of their communities.

We are committed to the development of the whole child. Along with physical development, personal and spiritual growth are critical to the development and transformation of young leaders. If our programs only focused on developing better ball players, we’d be missing the mark.

So, how does this play out? How do you help lead and cultivate a culture where our RBI Austin kids develop and ultimately feel empowered to transform their communities?

Below are three key elements to RBI Austin’s culture.

ONE: Pursue your players.

When a player doesn’t have a ride, find someone on the team to give them a ride or give them a ride yourself.  When a player no shows and you can’t get a hold of them, go knock on the family’s door!  Yes, go knock on their door.  Do everything you can to create an environment where that kid can be a part of your team.  That’s how we do it at RBI Austin.  We believe pursuing our RBI kids like this not only sets RBI Austin apart from almost any other league around, but it also reflects Jesus Christ’s love and pursuit for each one of us.

TWO: Invite parents to have a stake in your team.

For RBI Austin to achieve its mission, it is necessary for parents to be highly involved in our teams.  In the past seven years, RBI Austin has grown from 1 team to over 80 teams.  Parent involvement has been essential to this growth. Invite parents on your team to become coaches, team moms, and scorekeepers. If they don’t know how to do one of these roles, then teach them. Not all parents will accept your offer, but some will!

THREE: Balance excellence and fun.

We want excellence. We also want fun. We want to compete to win. But we want to recognize we’re here for a much higher purpose. As RBI coaches, we come to practice and games well-prepared to lead our teams with well-thought-out practice plans, lineups, and game strategies. As RBI coaches, we also come to the field seeking to make that time the most fun part of the day for our RBI kids. With excellent coaching and fun coaching, we inspire our RBI kids to live out who God has created them to be, and we keep our kids coming back year after year.

We focus on building a culture of community through baseball, softball, mentoring, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. We come alongside kids and families. We are FOR their development, growth, and transformation — both on the ball field and off.

NOW OPEN: Summer Registration for ALL AGES!

RBI Austin Summer Registration is open!

Registration is now open!

Summer League registration opens today for Jr. RBI Baseball/Softball (ages 4-12) and RBI Softball (ages 13-16)! Register online here for summer baseball and softball!

Want to register in person? Attend THIS SUNDAY’S RBI Austin Clinic + Summer Registration Kickoff Day on Sunday, April 8th, 2-4pm at Mabson Field (2812 E. 12th St., Austin, TX 78702). This will be a fun day for players ages 4-14 years to play some baseball/softball, and you can sign them up in person for our summer league. Sign up for this Sunday’s FREE clinic today.

Register for the 2018 RBI Austin Summer League!
Sign up for the FREE clinic on 4/8!

Meet the Team: T-Ball Royals

Meet the Team: T-Ball Royals

Player: Kiyan

  • TEAM: T-Ball Royals
  • TIME with RBI: First season
  • SCHOOL: Lee Lewis Campbell Elementary
  • CAREER DREAMS: What do you want to be when you grow up? A Disney actor
  • LOVE OF THE GAME: What’s your favorite part about playing baseball? It’s awesome!
  • FAVORITE POSITION: Center field
  • FAVORITE PLAYER: Who is your favorite baseball player? The girl, Mo’ne Davis

 Parent: Amanda

  • RBI KIDS: One son, Kiyan.
  • TIME with RBI: This is our first season.
  • PERSONAL VALUE: What do you think Kiyan gains the most from being involved with RBI off of the ball field? The friendships and teamwork. 
  • BASEBALL PARENT: What’s the hardest part about being a baseball parent? The heat!
  • FAVORITE PART OF THE GAME: What is your favorite part of the game of baseball? Watching the kids play. They’re so cute!


Coach: Allie

  • TIME with RBI:This is my second year coaching with RBI! 
  • FAVORITE RBI MEMORY: Seeing some of our smallest players develop into kids that can throw, hit, and run super confidently.
  • PARENTS and PLAYERS: What do you think families and players gain the most from being involved with RBI? Community, friendship and just learning how to play sports. You learn a lot through team sports and parents get to grow as they get to watch their kids and learn from them. It can be very encouraging.
  • FAVORITE BASEBALL MEMORY: What’s your favorite baseball memory? One of our kids who was going to be placed on a different team this summer, ended up being placed with us again. He’s been hitting home-runs for us left and right. It’s incredible to be able to see the amount of confidence he’s gained and just how much he has grown since last year.

Triple-A for a Day: August 12th

Triple-A for a Day

Saturday, August 12th

What: Triple-A for a Day (including Jr. RBI Closing Ceremonies and 12U Softball and 12U Baseball championship games)
When: Saturday, August 12th — Closing Ceremonies at 6:30pm in between the 12U Softball Championship @ 5:00pm and the 12U Baseball Championship @ 7:30pm
Where: North Austin Optimist (NAO) —  1105 Morrow St., Austin, TX 78757
Who: All RBI kids, families, volunteers, and friends!
Why: To celebrate the end of the season!

We’re getting pumped about the Jr. RBI Closing Ceremonies (with award presentations for every division and championship games) at Triple-A for a Day on Saturday, August 12th.

The Round Rock Express is bringing their gameday crew, fun, and entertainment to make the Jr. RBI Austin Closing Ceremonies and 12U softball and 12U baseball championship games an event for the whole RBI Austin family.

ALL players are invited and EVERY team will be recognized during the Team MVP Awards at the Closing Ceremony (6:30 p.m.). So whether you’re playing in one of the championship games or joining us in the stands, there will be fun for every player, family, and fan!

8/12 Championship Game Lineup

  • 10U Softball Championship: 9:00 a.m. (NAO #5)
  • Coach Pitch Championship: 5:00 p.m.(NAO #3)
  • 10U Baseball Championship: 5:00 p.m. (NAO #4)
  • 12U Softball Championship: 5:00 p.m. (NAO #5)
  • 12U Baseball Championship: 7:30 p.m. (NAO #4)
  • 15U Softball Championship: 7:30 p.m. (NAO #5)

Have questions? Email us at

Meet the Team: 8U Coach Pitch Royals

Meet the Team: 8U Baseball Royals

Player: Beckett

  • TEAM: 8U Baseball Royals
  • TIME with RBI: Third season
  • SCHOOL: Laurel Mountain Elementary
  • CAREER DREAMS: What do you want to be when you grow up? An inventor. I would invent a hover car and they’re going to come in bright colors.
  • LOVE OF THE GAME: What’s your favorite part about playing baseball? Being able to play with my friends
  • FAVORITE PLAYER: Who is your favorite baseball player? I don’t know. I don’t really like baseball. My favorite team is the Express so my favorite player is probably Spike. I’ve been to his dog house 25 times.

Parent: Alyssa

  • RBI KIDS: One son, Beckett.
  • TIME with RBI: This is our third season.
  • PERSONAL VALUE: What do you think Beckett gains the most from being involved with RBI off of the ball field? Sportsmanship, being part of a team, and being part of something bigger than himself. He also gets to cheer on his teammates.
  • PROUD PARENT: When is a time you were most proud of Beckett? I’m most proud of him when I see him being compassionate to other people. He’s very aware of all the homeless people on the side of the road. He wants to know all about them and help them. Any time he thinks of other people first, I’m proud of him.
  • BASEBALL PARENT: What’s the hardest part about being a baseball parent?It’s a time commitment. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but people are working and living all over the city so it’s definitely a big time commitment. Well worth it, though. 
  • GAMEDAY MUST-HAVE: What is something you have to have with you when you are watching a game? Every game I bring a squirt bottle and I spray all the players to keep them cool. It’s very popular.


Coach: Brian

  • TIME with RBI:This is my 5th year involved with RBI but my first year with coach pitch. Beckett is my son so I’ve just moved up through age groups as he’s gotten older.
  • BACKGROUND: Did you play sports growing up? I played sports, but I was from a really small town and we didn’t have a lot of money so I didn’t play baseball. I played soccer, basketball and some softball and I always enjoyed it.
  • LEARNING FROM THE KIDS: What’s something you’ve learned from Beckett? Resilience and keeping focused. He has cystic fibrosis so putting on weight and muscle and everything about sports is hard for him. We try to push him towards sports to help him with that, but it’s always a struggle. When he was struggling to get a hit last season, he was really determined. He said he wanted to go out and practice 20 minutes a day every day until he got a hit. Getting to cheer him on is awesome.
  • PARENTS and PLAYERS: What do you think families and players gain the most from being involved with RBI? I think RBI is a family. We talk about cheering on each other, and I think it brings out a commonality. All of these parents drive so far and put in so much time and effort so getting all of the players together is really special. A couple games ago a few of our players said they were glad their coaches didn’t yell at them so we try to always be positive and encouraging for our players, even when we’re correcting them.
  • PROGRAM VALUE: What do you think you gain from being involved with RBI? The relationships with the players and seeing them all growing up from season to season. Seeing them remembering the value of teamwork and knowing that they always have people around them who they can lean on.

Meet the Team: 10U Baseball Royals

Meet the Team: 10U Baseball Royals

Player: Marlin

  • TEAM: 10U Baseball Royals
  • TIME with RBI: First season
  • SCHOOL: Menchaca Elementary. I was in 5th grade, about to go to 6th.
  • CAREER DREAMS: What do you want to be when you grow up? Probably a doctor or something.
  • LOVE OF THE GAME: What’s your favorite part about playing baseball? Just having fun, yeah.
  • FAVORITE POSITION: Pitcher. But I play other positions.
  • FAVORITE PLAYER: Who is your favorite baseball player? Of course, Babe Ruth. 

Parent: Tommy

  • RBI KIDS: One son, Marlin.
  • TIME with RBI: This is our first season.
  • PERSONAL VALUE: What do you think Marlin gains the most from being involved with RBI off of the ball field? He’s learned camaraderie and developed some friendships and some basic skill sets like discipline. 
  • PROGRAM VALUE: As a parent, what do you like most about being involved with RBI? I like how RBI is set up. This is our first year, and I think it’s a great organization with what y’all are doing with the mentorship — and of course the home runs!
  • BASEBALL PARENT: What’s the hardest part about being a baseball parent? The heat! The summer heat!
  • GAMEDAY MUST-HAVE: What is something you have to have with you when you are watching a game? I always have to have my smartphone for the snap shots!

Coach: Kyle

  • TIME with RBI: This is my fourth season with RBI.
  • BACKGROUND: Did you play sports growing up?Yes. I played football, basketball, baseball, soccer growing up.
  • FAVORITE RBI MEMORY: Do you have a favorite RBI memory so far? Probably two years ago, we were on this same field for the 3rd place game and it went into extra innings. One of our kids hit the game winning home run — his name was Angel.
  • PARENTS and PLAYERS: What do you think families and players gain the most from being involved with RBI? RBI Austin is a great, positive, encouraging environment. RBI Austin is very beginner-friendly for baseball, but players also have many good, positive influences from the coaches and volunteer staff. It’s a good place to come in the summer.
  • PROGRAM VALUE: What do you think you gain from being involved with RBI? If I ever leave Austin — no matter what I was doing work-wise — I will look back on my time with RBI and that’ll be what I miss the most. It’s very rewarding. It’s a lot of time, but it’s time well spent. I’ve gotten to know these kids for 4 years and it’s great.