Wilkinson Sports and Life Performance Academy has worked with a great number of student-athletes who have been successful in baseball, successful in the classroom and successful in life. That is true whether they have pitched or played, in their college graduation rate or in their professional and personal life success off the diamond and away from the classroom. The statements of this section reflect, in their own words, the experience of our students.
For as long as I can remember, my parents always made sure I had the best baseball instruction. It started off by getting lessons when I was 9 and maintained those lessons until I was 19. My instructor then deserves a lot of credit for my high school success and getting me to The University of Texas not only getting me there but helping me be ready to contribute.
Some players may feel once they are at a D1 school they have made it and don’t have much room to grow, I was even guilty of this at times. Then I met Pete Wilkinson, Pete challenged me in ways I had never been challenged, mentally, physically, and the result was tremendous growth. I touched 95mph, but more importantly was consistent on a weekly basis. Pete and his coaches will help you develop the physical skills to be successful, but where they separate themselves from the typical select program is they have a mental component that I have not seen anywhere else. Pete’s life skills program was not only what enabled me to have the best year of my career at Texas which ended with 8 shutout innings against Vanderbilt in the College World Series but has helped me in my new career in real estate.
I am so thankful that my parents made it a point to get me around the right instructors, instructors who were genuinely interested in my growth as a person not just a baseball player. Pete and I continue to have great relationship today and that is one of my favorite things about sports, the relationships we develop.
RHP Cedar Park HS, University of Texas.
GCL Phillies - Philadelphia Phillies Organization
I began to work with the Wilkinson Academy as a 15 year old freshman that had a little bit of talent and no real grasp of the mental aspect of baseball. My situation was slightly different than most because I was a young kid that had just started to recover from Tommy John surgery after my freshman year of high school. Pete, Ty and Vic not only helped me get back to being 100% healthy but they gave me an understanding of how to approach the game. Their tutelage allowed me to grow as a baseball player and a human being.
The most important things that the academy, and the coaching staff, provides for their athletes is the ability to reach your potential and to get you to achieve your goal of continuing to play after high school. When you have been around baseball as long as these coaches have you get an understanding that each player has different abilities and no player can be molded into a prototypical athlete. Because there is no prototypical athlete when it comes to baseball. My entire career I heard that my arm and how it worked was out of the ordinary. However, Pete took my abilities and used the positive things that my body did to my advantage and to produced a pitching delivery that worked for me.
During my college recruitment I was lucky enough to look at attending division I schools and eventually signed a national letter of intent to play baseball at the division I level. I understood that it was because of my ability and hard work that I had to endure in order to play at the college level. But when I spoke to college coaches they were confident in my mental aspect of the game, my emotional poise on the mound and the understanding of pitching itself because of the quality of coaches that I had worked with; and continued to work with for six years. Which speaks volumes to the type of people and the baseball knowledge that each player receives while working in the academy.
The Wilkinson Cardinals are run like a college program because the ultimate goal is to get each player to the college level that his abilities will allow him to play. Which is largely beneficial for the players coming out of this program because they already know how to handle themselves and how hard they need to work at the next level. As I continue to learn new things about the game, in hopes of being a college coach in the future, Pete and everyone in the academy still do everything they can to teach me things about the game and help me reach my goal. I was never the most talented player but because of my experience and growing understanding of the game I was able to succeed to the best of my abilities. Without my teammates, my coaches and my family I would have never been able to play at the level that I had and I will be forever thankful for those that helped and influenced me during my career.
Four Year High School Varsity Letterman at Lake Stevens High School
Division I Player at Seattle University
Assistant Coach for Wilkinson Academy
The Wilkinson Academy was not just a place to improve my baseball and athletic skills while going through school. The Academy was a place for me to go and feel welcome, safe, special, and most important of all a place to feel importance and to feel that I was a part of something special that isn’t found anywhere else than in a brotherhood.
I was first introduced to the academy at the age of 13. I remember sitting on the couches in the waiting room waiting to meet who I now know and dearly love Pete Wilkinson. The moment Pete sat down with me and my parents and started talking, I knew I had arrived at a place I would not only enjoy but a place I would grow as a person, an athlete, a friend, and a son.
Obviously I knew I was there to train and become a better pitcher, but what I didn’t know was that soon I would have a network and support staff to be there for me day or night with no questions asked. Pete Wilkinson took a rowdy, good-hearted child with raw talent and a love of the game and turned me into a disciplined athlete. Pete taught me that, while having a love of the game was important, having RESPECT for the game, myself, my team and my peers is what would ultimately help me become the man I wanted to be.
Through the years of training at the academy and playing on the team, I reached a level of baseball I didn’t know I was capable of. Every week I grew and got to literally see myself go from a thrower into a pitcher. Pete took my fastball at 14 years old in the low 80’s to being 16 and 17 years old throwing in the low 90’s. During those years, my parents went through many trying times and struggles with their health. Without a moment’s notice or hesitation, Pete and Vic were there for me to support me AND my family and truly care. Vic has been there for me more than she could ever imagine and I truly feel blessed to have had the opportunity to know her and spend time with her not only on but, most importantly, off the field. Vic is a special woman and I could not ask for a better support system than what was given to me at the Wilkinson Academy.
The academy gave me to opportunity to sharpen my tools and discover new tools to help me in my everyday life. I entered the academy as a child and left as a young man confident going out into the world. I cannot think of a place I feel more fortunate to have been able to be part of for almost 6 years and I can honestly say the academy helped raise me to be the man I am today.
I still keep in contact with my brothers along with Pete and Vicki at the academy and love sharing our goals and successes together as we go through life. I want to thank everybody at the academy for giving me the opportunity to play baseball at the next level and grow in more ways and to develop more than I ever thought possible.
With my highest regards,
The Wilkinson Academy prepares its athletes for the collegiate level, not just winning baseball games in the summer. The name fits the program perfectly. It is an academy for teaching baseball at a higher level than high school. Every level of baseball from Division I to NAIA, Pete and his coaching staff have a unique coaching style that prepares young athletes who aspire to reach these levels after high school.
As a former pitcher for Pepperdine University, not only was I prepared for going to Division 1 baseball, but I was able to go back to Pete during my breaks from college or summer baseball. Pete had tailored his coaching style to fit my needs as a pitcher. Many coaches around the south sound region as well as around the country try to turn all their pitchers into the same “ideal” pitcher. Pete is different. He is a coach that will prepare each young man individually on the physical level, as well as the mental level of baseball: so much so, that each lesson will look completely different from pitcher to pitcher.
Pete surrounds himself with staff who are knowledgeable and excited about teaching young men how to be a baseball player. College coaches are not only looking for a great fastball or curve, they are looking for a "baseball player," a player who knows what to do in every situation during every count of any baseball game, from adjustments in mechanics to knowing what weaknesses of the hitter should be exploited. These are lessons that are ingrained early on with Pete and his staff so that the learning process isn't as difficult during the first fall of college practices.
The Wilkinson Academy is different in another way, too. It also prepared me for the challenges of being a student athlete, not just a collegiate and professional baseball player.
Former pitcher and graduate of Pepperdine University