Lightning Baseball

Parent Testimonials
My Son worked with Lightning Baseball for the past 3 years. He was in Fall Academy, two summer teams and winter pitching. Jaden's growth and a ball and young man during that time was nothing short of Amazing. He matured both physically, and emotional. His fast ball went from 78 -89 in under 2 years. He went from being a possible D3 hitter, to having D1 coaches interested in him as a pitcher. I have told everyone I know that they should look into Lightning baseball. Dave's knowledge of baseball, and the recruiting process are astounding. One of things that sets him apart is his ability to match kids to a program that fits him. It was because of Lightning's contacts that we found that perfect college for Jaden. Finally, we comparing the cost of Lightning versus other clubs even High School programs. I found Lightning to be the best value.
Tige Stromire

If you want your son to learn the finer points of the game of baseball and improve their overall baseball skills, then I would highly recommend the Lightning program and coaches. From day one as a parent, I was impressed with the program and the amount of coaching/learning that took place. You could see the connection between coach and player. In my opinion, dollar for dollar you will not fine a better baseball program that will have a bigger impact on your sons' baseball skills. My son was not the all American star athlete in size or talent, but he loved to play the game of baseball. He spent four fall seasons and one summer season in the Lightning program. He loved being part of the Lightning program and learning from the coaches. My son is now playing college baseball thanks in large part to what he learned from the Lightning coaches and the support he received. The Lightning program/coaches are the best in the business when it comes to teaching young men the game of baseball.

Michael Osley

One of the Best decisions we made was to join the Lightning Baseball family prior to my son Ryan's senior year in high school. I only have one regret and that is we waited to long to get involved with Dave Tucker and Lightning Baseball. Lightning Baseball is by far the best program around. Dave and his staff not only provide top notch baseball instruction but they also provide their players with great life lessons. Through their dedication, knowledge and love for the kids, the Lightning staff has not only made Ryan a better baseball player, they have also made him grow into a better young man.
Ryan has now moved on to play at the next level. This would not have been possible without Dave's help. Both Matt and Dave continue to support Ryan in anyway possible and continue to contact him, even while he is away at school.
If you are looking for a top notch baseball instructional program that takes interest in your son not only as a baseball player but more importantly as a young man, Lightning Baseball is the place to be. I can't thank Dave and his staff enough for what they have done for Ryan.
Rich Grasser

Dave Tucker and Lightning Baseball is/are simply the best baseball decision we have made as a family. Dave and his coaches (especially his sons) made baseball fun again for Sean. Their knowledge of the game has been surpassed only by their passion for the game. They truly teach the boys baseball, rather than simply disciplining failure. Every moment is a teaching moment, in both success and failure in baseball as well as life. Everything they do is about character, and as a result, they demonstrate to their players how to be good men by living it rather than preaching to them about it. Furthermore, they maintain a continued interest in their boys. Our son is now playing baseball in college and has been suffering through an injury. Dave and his sons continue to stay in touch with him. Giving him advice and encouraging him to do what is necessary to get better for the long term, not the short term. When he suffered a concussion last summer, they were extremely cautious in bringing him back into the game. I like to think he could have helped the team win several games while he was out, but they were far more interested in protecting him and his future than they were in putting up a few wins. We give out the Lightning name and number to anyone that we can because we want others to experience the game the way Dave Tucker has allowed us to experience it. We don't want to be negative in this, but left to the high school coaches, Sean's baseball career would have likely ended in high school. Dave Tucker has allowed him to pursue his baseball dream for a few more years.
Tim & Janis Kennedy


Lightning Baseball - Much Bigger than the Moment: What does that mean? For our son, Tanner, it always meant preparing for the future, both as a student and an athlete. He continues this endeavor at the University of Utah. We could not have asked for a better suited group of mentors to prepare him for his journey. The staff of Lightning Baseball knows more about the life of a student - athlete, and the future for a baseball player, than any person or group of people we have ever known. Just look at the resume of Dave Tucker, Matt Tucker, Michael Done, Tyler Shepple, and the rest of the coaching staff - this group is second to none. Dave Tucker and his staff do a tremendous job preparing boys to play baseball. From mechanics to the thought process, the coaches don't miss anything. The only baseball agenda is to help them maximize their opportunities on the field. But it's not only about playing, it's also about playing in front of the right people, and this is big. Dave gets to know each player, and their goals and aspirations. This knowledge is then used to schedule games in front of the colleges and organizations suitable to the individual. Dave remains well-connected throughout the college and professional circuits - we know he made, and received, numerous calls about Tanner throughout high school, and still to this day. Even more important than baseball, the Lightning Baseball coaches care about the long-term well-being of the boys: they stress the importance of good grades and good health. This group "gets it" because each and every one has been there. From the first day that Tanner was with Lightning Baseball, the focus became on his future. Not just his future as a baseball player, but also his future as an individual. The coaches genuinely care about him. Even today, they remain in touch with him… helping him handle the challenges of life and PAC 12 baseball. The staff at Lightning Baseball knows what it takes to get to the next level, regardless of what that level is. Their focus has never been "to win" but rather to prepare - for the next game, the next season, the next step. The lessons on life, in addition to the mechanics of the game, have prepared Tanner well for "life beyond the moment".
Jeff and Laura Thomas


Josh has had a lot of role models in his life, and, Dave Tucker and crew are in the top 5. The Lightning program gave Josh instruction, discipline, motivation and character. You don't see a lot of programs out there anymore that actually work to turn "boys into men" but this program does that. Josh took advantage of the Lightning summer team, the fall team, the hitting lessons and even the catching lessons. To this day, many of the Lightning coaches remain in contact with Josh. They check in with him, and more importantly, Josh checks in with the coaches. They remain a priority in his life-not just his baseball path. There are many baseball programs out there to choose from. I would choose the Lightning program over and over again. The coaches and instructors that are a part of the Lightning program are high quality and top notched!! We were involved in local baseball, competitive baseball, high school baseball (all of which gave good practice) but the time spent with the Lightning program was all above the most valuable. Dave Tucker, Matthew, Michael, and all the other coaches will be forever in our lives and our debt. So where does my son go to school? At a Division 1, Ivy League school, Brown University. Who connected Josh to the Ivy League system? Dave Tucker. Enough said!!!
Christine & Josh Huntley

Lightning Baseball is by far the BEST instructional program in Colorado!!! We wanted the best for Jordan, and when the recommendation came to us to take Jordan out to meet Dave Tucker, we didn't hesitate. From the moment Jordan met with the Tucker family nearly 8 years ago, as a young 10 year old, I knew that we didn't need to look any further. They were professional. Their product spoke for itself. They not only talked the talk, but you saw it in the instruction. There was no gimmick. They broke down Jordan's swing, and then showed it to him on high tech production. He was a human sponge around Michael & Matt. There was an immediate bond, and they honed his skill potential as a contact hitter, and as a top MIF. He took their constructive guidance as pro ball players themselves, and applied it on the field. Positive results were immediate. Jordan has thrived from this partnership. When he had low moments as a player, they were there. From this relationship, he has blossomed as a person and player. We can never repay the Lightning family for all of their support and confidence in Jordan. Jordan will be leaving this fall (2015) for Dallas Baptist University (D1) in the Missouri Valley Conference. There is no doubt that the sweat equity from all the private hitting lessons on the 'ranch', and Lightning Academy had a lot to do with Jordan's impressive scholarship offers (Washington Huskies (PAC-12), University of Missouri (SEC), University of Seattle (WAC), Miami of Ohio (MAC), and University of Cincinnati (American Athletic Conf.). There were also numerous other interest. Jordan's future is bright! Dave, Michael, and Matthew, 'we all' did it together. You've not only been his true mentor, but a trusted family friend. Your advice and support went outside of the game. That's how awesome you guys are. For anyone looking for top-shelf instruction for your kid, look no further. Lightning Baseball is unequivocally the BEST! You will NOT regret the time, money and effort put forth in helping your kid become the best they can be on and off the field. God Bless!
Anthony, Jennifer, Jordan & Ashley Stephens


Crane Family Experience with Lightning Baseball Hey Dave, Sorry for the delay in getting this message to you, I am humbly awed by what you have helped my kid accomplish so putting that into words is not easy as there is so much to say. It is important to me to get my thoughts right as it is still hard to believe sometimes how the circumstances have worked out for Connor's baseball career. If another family ever asks you why to choose Lightning Baseball over the other alternatives, I hope the experience that Connor and I have had will explain things a little bit. When we first showed up sometime around Connor's 11th birthday, you had a kid with a lot more interest in skateboarding and video games than the sport of baseball. I can remember wishing he had the desire to get better as much as I wanted him to, and not knowing what to do with those feelings. When Connor was cut from his first travel team, those feelings got bigger. After spending some time working with you, Michael, and Matt things started to change, and fortunately he stuck with baseball. First off he started hitting some singles up the middle and a few more to right field. Secondly, he started to hit more of those singles(rarely a double, never a homer) but he was creeping toward the top of his team in average. Being the eager father that I am, and with Connor now about 14, I wanted to know when the power game would start, other kids were doing it, why not Connor. You told me to be patient and let him just keep working. If he would work on his swing and correcting his weaknesses the power would come, I skeptically went along. Let me admit, I never claimed to be smart, ha-ha, but in hind sight if I were to say his development not only exceeded my rather high, somewhat, irrational expectations, it actually exceeded my wildest dreams. Back to the present for a minute. As you know now, Connor has drawn looks from a multitude of Major League teams, and is soon to go tryout with the Texas Rangers and will likely be named a Collegiate All-American next month. I feel fortunate to say all of that it would have been impossible without the instruction and guidance of you, your sons, and the other great baseball coaches affiliated with Lightning baseball. Below are some of the milestones he encountered along the way both positive and negative that you and your staff guided him through.
  • Not starting on his Freshmen team, and the start of some questionable high school coaching, ha-ha.
  • Not starting out on his Varsity team at the start of his Junior year, but going on to be All Continental League as a Junior as a designated hitter no less.
  • Becoming a college prospect with no assistance from his high school coach(not a slam, simply the truth), all thanks to Lightning baseball.
  • Having a Senior year where he was All Continental League again(this time as an infielder), and being added to the Colorado Select team solely based on your(Dave) recommendation.
  • Foregoing the 4 year school opportunities, to play for a top notch 2 year school in an unglamorous locale that had a similar hitting philosophy to Lightning baseball, on a near full scholarship.
  • Leading all Juco baseball in Homeruns, Slugging, Extra Base Hits, and Average. First Team All-Region player both Freshmen and Sophomore years of college. Like Michael, a probable Juco All-American.
  • In conjunction with his Juco Coach, signing a near full scholarship(rare for infielders) at a top notch D1 4 year baseball school in the South. A school that would probably never recruit a High School kid from Colorado.
  • Graduating with Honors and his Associates degree as a 19 year old who now must decide whether to go pro as he has a good chance of being drafted, or continuing on with his College career at the D1 level. In my opinion, that is a good problem to have to sort out, ha-ha.
I think it is fitting as he prepares to go tryout with the Rangers, that his routine is to go back to the people who taught him to hit and be a ballplayer with a good head on his shoulders. I think we all know that success in baseball can always be fleeting, and I could not imagine Connor having better counsel than what he has received from Lightning baseball. Be it some words of encouragement or swing tweaking during a slump, or finding the right summer team to play with after a year in college, the good counsel never runs out. Heck, as a Dad, being able to get advice and counsel on how to deal with that success has been invaluable, whether he was 11 or 19. What I really think makes the difference for Lightning baseball is the complete approach to making him a better person, and not just a baseball player. Connor's relationship with you and your sons has become like family. I am certain that would still be the case if he was just a kid who played in high school that had different hopes and dreams. As it has worked out for Connor, he has kept a humility to always get better, and as you told him many years ago that if he worked hard and had fun, his baseball future would have a very high ceiling. As you told him often, when you get those chances, it is not enough just to show up, you have to make good on them. When I think back 8 years, I could not have imagined what baseball would become for my son. I never would have thought professional baseball would be a reality for this skateboard/video game kid, but as we sit here today that is a real possibility. Given the odds of making it to the big leagues are slim, but today that is my son's dream. As I said before, I still have a hard time believing where he is today from where he started. His love of the game and fun he has had with baseball continues to grow. Given the odds he has already overcome to achieve his goals one step at time, and with Lightning baseball in his corner to help him on his way, who is to say that he will not accomplish this dream, as he has the others. Our family could not be more grateful for what Lightning baseball has done for our son, and if/when he does make it bigger, I am pretty sure he will know how to behave thanks to Lightning baseball. If ever a family wants to talk or ask a question about your program, be sure to give them my number, and for goodness sake, be sure to tell them, the best thing they can do is to keep their kid having fun and coming back to Lightning Baseball.
Thanks so much,
Stephen D. Crane Senior Vice President

Since the time we arrived back in the US, at the beginning of Cole's 7th grade year in Texas, we've been around a lot of baseball programs. Cole has been on a lot of teams, had a lot of coaches, and a ton of instructors. I have to tell you that I have yet to come across a program or coaching staff as genuine as Lightning. To have a program that sincerely cares about the players personally, AND deliver top notch instruction is extremely rare. You have a winning formula.
Jerry Wilie

We sat thru a seminar given by coaches that represent Div 1 all the way down to NAIA. Everything they told these boys was everything you all teach the Lightning guys. We are so thankful that Logan had the opportunity to be part of such a well run program. We just wanted to thank you all for the time and dedication you put into shaping these boys into, not just great baseball players, but respectable fine young men. They will carry every aspect of your program with them as they move on to College and into their lives beyond College, and be better individuals because they were part of the Lightning Baseball program. Thank you for 4 great years!
Fran and Sarah Kiefer

We have three boys and have been involved with the Colorado baseball community for over twelve years, either as a coach, spectator, and in general a support system for our boys and for other baseball players and have never seen a program like the Lightning. We have been promised throughout the years what Dave Tucker's program delivers. We wish we would have introduced our Senior to Dave's program four years ago, and are planning on having our younger two involved in the upcoming years. Dave Tucker delivers on what he promises!!
Beth Seeger

I was one of those parents 4 or 5 years ago. As a parent we need to step back and leave the coaching to the coaches. If the parents could have traded places with us this past week they would understand that hard work and listening and learning from you and your staff they would understand. Having 50 coaches from all over the country to watch your son is a direct reflect of Lightning Academy. We are so proud of Eric and thankful to Lightning program.
Thanks Dave for all of your hard work.
Ken and Anne

Dave Tucker and Michael Done and company have been a key factor in my son's baseball success. Having had several years of hitting lessons and having been part of the Lightning program has provided not only tangible improvements in his skill levels and understanding of the game but has also provided him with the intangible side, invaluable advice on college recruiting and dealing with high school baseball situations as well. Combine this with a high quality baseball program like Arapahoe and the results speak for themselves: All Centennial League Outfielder and signed a Division 1 National letter of Intent in the early signing period (November 2009) with a great school, St Peter's.
Robert Hutmacher


I can't thank you enough for what you've done for my son Jordan. Your program has helped him to grow into a more rounded baseball player and young man. The tools and skills you have taught him are helping him to refine and improve his game. The mental edge you've instilled in him has raised his confidence to new heights which in turn is raising his level of play. I appreciate you and your coaching staff for instilling in him a sense of ownership and accountability for his own play and his future in baseball. Furthermore, you have educated my son and our family on the college recruiting process, the do's and don'ts and the reality of life after high school. It has been our privilege getting to know and understand and ultimately appreciate what you, your coaches and the Hitmen have to offer.Sincerely,
Mark Maynard

From friends on his high school team, my son heard about a great facility to get hitting instruction. He started batting lessons with Dave Tucker and his staff almost a year ago. Thanks to state-of-the art technology and wonderful coaching, his confidence at the plate and hitting ability have improved tremendously. Our son played for Dave's fall instructional league and also improved in his fielding capabilities and pitching performance. Dave and his coaching staff have used their skills and experience to not only make our son a better player, but a better young person off the field as well. In addition to improving our son's skills, he has provided much-need information to us as well. He offered a very informative workshop for parents, giving tips on the recruiting process and procedures needed if our son wants to play baseball in college. Our son has been receiving numerous interest letters and emails from colleges around the country thanks to Dave's contacts. His objective is to motivate each player to be the best they can be in order to help achieve the player's goals for the next level His goal is to also help find the best "fit". He has been a wealth of information for us as we navigate the transition from high school to college. We highly recommend Dave and his staff to any player looking to improve their game and to any parent looking for top-knotch guidance with the college process!
John and Karen Snyder


My son Kevin's hitting success can be directly related to his work with Dave and The Hitmen. Although he was the smallest player on his high school team, he finished second in Batting Average and Slugging Percentage his senior year. Through his association with The Lightning team he was able to showcase his skills in front of numerous college coaches. He is now competing for the starting second base position at Regis University as a freshman. Dave's state of the art video equipment can break a swing down to a fraction of a second or superimpose a player's swing with that of a major leaguer. He uses live pitching , pitching machine, soft toss, and tee drills to reinforce any aspect of the swing. What has always impressed me about Dave is his ability to simplify the hitting process. His keen eye isolates problem areas and speeds the learning process He focuses on one attribute of the swing at a time and doesn't overwhelm the player. His positive approach is encouraging and leads to confidence. Over the last 30 years, I have had first hand knowledge of the leading hitting instructors in this city. Dave is by far the best.

Harold Smith


Thanks for everything Dave! Jake has been hitting the cover off the ball, wood bat or aluminum. You provide "an island of knowledge in an ocean of ignorance". You really do connect with these guys in a way other coaches can only hope to. I just wish we had come across you and your blend of discipline, fun and camaraderie earlier in Jake's HS career

John


Lightning baseball has been an incredibly positive experience for our son. The Lightning coaches not only work individually to encourage excellence with each player - but they challenge a player's work ethic and character on and off the field. We've also been very impressed with the parent information nights that allow us to plan for our son's future in baseball. Rarely will you find coaches so committed to the future of their players.

Amy Stephens


Over the past year, my son has been involved in the Lightning Baseball program (Fall and Summer Connie Mack teams) and could not be any happier of the progress he has made. This includes on and off the field which as a parent is just as important as how they perform in the sport. The coaches always took a professional approach with the players. With the players they selected to play possibly going on to play at the next level, the coaches prepared them for what is to come. Again, getting them ready for the next phase of their lives. Additionally, the caliber of play the team goes up against prepares them well for college level baseball. This is apparent by the players that are recruited within the program and how connected the Lightning coaches are to colleges (the college coaches respect their opinions). I would strongly recommend this program to a player/parent who wants to see themselves/their son grow on and off the field.

Bill Mikulka


Michael and Dave, Thank you for the summer of a lifetime for our son. The team was put together very strategically to form a talented team but with care to select young men with good character. The summer schedule included destinations that were not initially in our thoughts but turned out to be tremendous growth experiences for our son, both on and off the field. The Lightning program was able to attract multiple college coaches at all levels through Dave and Michael's networking abilities and the talent pool on the team. The Lighting coaches were extremely strategic with rotating the players when interested college coaches attended the games so that all of the players were "seen". They also mentored the players to self promote with these college coaches, and in our son's case, secure a position and scholarship with a college for next year. We would highly recommend the Lighting program to baseball players serious about playing the game.

Jim and Krista Strunc