How To Manage Amateur Athlete Development

Chris Burke
ESPN College Baseball Analyst

Development of the Amateur Athlete

This week’s guest on the Secrets to Winning is former Major League Baseball player and current ESPN Baseball Analyst Chris Burke. Chris was an “All-Everything” player in college at Tennessee where he was a 2x consensus All-American and the 10th overall pick in the 2001 MLB Draft by the Houston Astros.


Chris now serves as one of the lead college baseball analysts for ESPN, and you can find him in the booth for large events such as the NCAA Tournament and College World Series. When he isn’t providing analysis for the biggest games in college baseball, he runs Chris Burke Baseball in Louisville, KY, where he molds and shapes the emerging crop of baseball players.


There are a lot of things in this world that we don’t like to do, but if you want to keep playing the game for as long as you can, you better learn to do it and do it with a lot of effort and energy


Within this episode, we cover so many important topics as it pertains to the development of the amateur athlete from youth all the way through big time Division I athletics. Chris outlines what he sees in youth sports transitioning to the high school level as well as high school transitioning to the college level. We also dive into the topic of sport specialization and when is the appropriate time to specialize.

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2:10 – The current landscape of amateur athletics and athlete development


5:00 – Benefit of playing multiple sports


7:30 – Why early sport specialization can hinder development but is almost necessary


12:00 – Difference in competitive sports 20 years ago versus today


15:30 – Has the college recruiting calendar really changed?


19:40 – Two pieces of advice for high school baseball players looking to play college baseball


22:00 – The value of developing speed and athleticism


28:50 – The growth of college baseball and its future


33:00 – College baseball scholarship limitation and coaching restrictions


36:30 – College baseball facilities and how they overpower professional baseball

The world of sports today is bigger, stronger, and faster. Invest in your athlete getting stronger, faster, and more athletic. That’s what college coaches are looking for.
Major League Baseball and it’s commissioner Rob Manfred now realizes that college baseball is the best breeding ground for Major League players.

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