Energize your game at The Hitting Zone at Rend Lake College and become the player you were meant to be.
The Hitting Zone, located on the south side of RLC’s Ina campus, is a training facility dedicated to the enhancement of baseball/softball skills and the physical well-being of Southern Illinois athletes. The education center operates under the auspices of Rend Lake College and offers professional instruction from members of the Warrior baseball staff and The Power Alley Inc. under the direction of Head Coach Bob Simpson.
This 80-by-100-feet facility boasts three batting cages, two pitching mounds, a videotaping and viewing room, and an observation deck for parents and guests, as well as artificial turf throughout and locker rooms.
The Hitting Zone serves as both an indoor training complex for Warrior and Lady Warrior intercollegiate athletic teams and a useful, much-needed facility to help promote community involvement by improving the quality of play of in-district youth and others. Instruction is available for ages eight and above. Instruction for those younger than eight years is available through the Little Warriors program.
At The Hitting Zone, instructors provide training in selecting the proper bat size and weight, maintaining proper stance and stride, execution, pitch selection and the mental approach to batting. Specialized pitching instruction is offered, which focuses on preparation, mechanics, arm and leg strength, attitude and grips. Additional instruction offered includes fielding in both infield and outfield, catching, playing first base, throwing, baserunning and sliding, and baseball rules and situations.
Training packages are available for groups, teams or individuals. Group lessons for six to eight players, featuring a one-hour weekly session, are $17 per lesson through a four-month training package. Team lessons for nine players or more are available in 90-minute sessions for $125. Specialized one-on-one instruction is available for $30 per lesson.
The Hitting Zone also is available for rent for birthday parties. Cake, invitations, gift bags, supplies and other amenities are provided for the group, which will have free reign over the batting cages.
The Hitting Zone staff features several superbly qualified instructors. Simpson has all the necessary credentials as a former player, but prefers to let his work as a teaching professional speak for his abilities. Simpson started, owned and operated Future Swings Inc. of Marion, where he worked with more than 300 players who went on to earn college scholarships, more than 200 of whom merited all-conference awards, and 20-plus All-Staters.
Before coming to RLC, Simpson was Senior Hitting Instructor for Frozen Ropes and Line Drives of Arizona, where he worked with several current and former Major League players. A middle infielder at Harrisburg High School and Southeastern Illinois College, Simpson has been a Major League Baseball Associate Scout for six years and graduated from Major League Baseball Scout School in 2001.
Softball pitching guru Nicole (Nicki) Asberry is available for softball instruction. The Lady Warriors pitcher will be sharing a wealth of experience with young proteges who would like to develop their fast-pitch mound talents. Asberry has played the past eight seasons for school and/or traveling teams representing three different Missouri communities, including the St. Louis Legion of Doom, Nashville and Southern Illinois, started at second base for the Lady Hornets IHSA state champions as a sophomore and competed in National Championships in North Carolina, Florida, Ohio and South Dakota.
Also helping out at The Hitting Zone are Rick Cremer, a former Southern Illinoisan “Player of the Year” who spent five seasons in the New York Yankees organization from 1996-2000, and B.J. Betz, who was voted All-Southern Illinois River-to-River Conference three times and was selected league Most Valuable Player as a junior and “Honorary Captain” following his senior season at perennial prep powerhouse Harrisburg.
To determine the type of instruction best suited to your needs or to schedule an appointment, call The Hitting Zone at (618) 437-5321, Ext. 1279, or call toll-free (in-district only) at 1-800-369-5321, Ext. 1279.