As a continued expansion of its PLAY BALL initiative to grow participation at all levels of the sport, Major League Baseball has teamed up with MOJO (www.mojo.sport), the award-winning coaching app, to provide coaches, parents and leagues with fun, user-friendly youth baseball and softball training and technology in preparation for their 2022 seasons.
Featuring high-quality video content, the free MOJO app empowers coaches to plan fun, effective practices in seconds, with activities that are customizable for the age, skill level, and preferences of each team and player. The MOJO app features an additional premium offering (MOJO+) that unlocks engaging ideas and activities for kids to play with their parents outside of practice, encouraging even more physical activity, growth, and fun.
The baseball and softball videos were developed in close consultation with MLB’s Baseball & Softball Development group, and were produced at MLB’s renowned Jackie Robinson Training Complex in Vero Beach, Fla. All content on the MOJO app is created in consultation with top child development and youth sports experts.
- According to the latest Team Sports trends report by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), baseball and softball combined to be the most participated sport in the United States among kids ages 6 to 12 with more than 6.5 million participants.
- In four of the last five years, baseball and softball combined to be the overall most participated team sport in the U.S. (also SFIA).
- 70% of youth athletes drop out of sports by the age of 13, with girls dropping out at rates up to six times faster than boys, according to the National Alliance for Sports.
- Most youth baseball and softball coaches are parents with little to no formal training. Per the National Alliance for Youth Sports, 90-95 percent of youth sports coaches have received no relevant training, and quality resources for them have been lacking.
- The primary reason kids quit sports? “It’s not fun anymore”, according to a 2019 survey by the Aspen Institute’s Project Play. Poor coaching was the top reason given for sports no longer being fun.
Tony Reagins, Chief Baseball Development Officer, Major League Baseball, said: “The parents, loved ones and community leaders who volunteer to coach baseball and softball provide kids with the foundations that sustain a love of our game their whole lives. Through the tremendous ingenuity of MOJO’s platform, we are giving these coaches of community-based programs, as well as parents at home, the tools to connect with the game in fun, engaging ways that will make everyone involved better ballplayers and instructors.”
“This is a dream partnership,” said Ben Sherwood, CEO of MOJO. “As a former Little League coach and lifelong baseball fan, I know and love the game but struggled to find engaging activities for practice and often worried about teaching my players the right age-appropriate techniques. That’s exactly why we created MOJO - to take the stress out of coaching and make the experience easy, fun and accessible for every parent. We are especially excited to work with MLB to level the playing field in baseball and softball and put MOJO in the hands of Boys & Girls Club coaches everywhere.”
MOJO and MLB will provide up to 50,000 premium subscriptions for coaches, mentors and staff of Boys & Girls Clubs of America organizations in an effort to grow the sport within that network. This outreach is an extension of MLB’s commitment to providing funding to Boys & Girls Clubs for specific efforts toward youth baseball and softball. Additionally, MOJO will develop content tailored for MLB’s official youth skills competitions – Jr. Home Run Derby and Pitch, Hit & Run – which will feature regional competitions around the U.S. and Canada leading into Finals at the MLB All-Star Game and World Series, respectively.