MEET THE OWNERS
Coach Bryan Baar, co-owner and founder of Elite Baseball & Softball Training, has been coaching and training athletes for over 15 years. His professional career started in 1989 when he was drafted in the 7th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers as a Catcher. Coach Baar spent 4 years in the Dodger's organization where he played "A", "AA", and in 1992 "AAA" with the Albuquerque Dukes. During Coach Baar's 4 years in the Dodgers organization he had a .244 average with 45 home-runs, and a .983 fielding percentage. In 1995, Coach Baar founded Elite and has been passionately training, mentoring, and coaching athletes ever since. Coach Baar primarily works with catchers and hitters at Elite.
Coach Baar resides in the Rockford area with his wife, Lisa, and their three children. Coach Baar is a graduate of Jenison High School, and a 3 year varsity baseball letter winner at Western Michigan University.
Coach Mike Paul, co-owner of Elite Baseball & Softball Training, has been involved with baseball as a player, coach, and instructor for the past 30 years. Coach Paul is a certified functional strength coach as well as the head of our CST (Cross Specific Training) program. Coach Paul is a graduate of Grand Rapids Catholic Central where he was a two time all-conference player. Coach Paul then continued his baseball career at Grand Rapids Community College, and is currently a scout for the Minnesota Twins organization. While at Elite, Coach Paul has coached 25 pitchers in the professional leagues, as well as numerous pitchers at various college levels ranging from Community College programs up to Division 1 Programs.
Coach Paul is the co-author, with Tom House, of "Fastball Fitness", which proves that velocity can be taught. He also continues to research and implement programs that will continue to increase the health, physical performance, and mental performance of Elite athletes.
Coach Paul resides in Rockford with his wife, Michelle, and their son.
Jim Abbott, a 1997 graduate of Caledonia High School has been coaching and training at Elite for nearly 13 years and he continues to build our baseball program. Coach Abbott was drafted in the 24th round of the 1997 draft. Coach Abbott attended Grand Rapids Community College and Rend Lake College, and was signed as a free agent in 1999 by the Minnesota Twins organization where he played "A", "AA", and "AAA" ball. Coach Abbott spent nearly 7 years in the minor leagues, playing in the Twins and Reds organizations. While with the twins, Coach Abbott played for the Quad City River Bandits where he had 21 starts in 2002 with a 3.90 ERA, and in 2003 played with the Fort Myers Miracle and New Britain Rock Cats where in 27 games combined, had a 2.45 ERA. In 2006 he became a Cincinnati Red.
Coach Abbott is a hitting, pitching, and fielding trainer as well as the 18U Coach. Coach Abbott became a partner with Bryan and Mike in 2009.
Jim resides in the Grand Rapids area with his wife Allison, and their 2 children.
Michelle, a 1999 graduate of Jenison High School, has been training and coaching at Elite for over 6 years. While at Jenison, Michelle was a three time All-State Catcher, two time All-American, and her senior year Michelle was named the National Catcher of the Year and Miss Softball-Michigan. After Jenison, Michelle continued her career at Central Michigan University as a Shortstop and Catcher; she also graduated with a degree in sport management. During her four years at Central, Michelle was named MAC player of the Year in 2003, and named to the All-MAC team two years in a row. Michelle also played on the Netherlands National Softball Team, finishing second in the qualifying rounds of the Olympic Games.
Michelle has been the director of Michigan Elite Softball for the past 11 years, and for the 2017 season there will be 14 softball teams. She is director of our softball organization and head Softball Trainer at Elite.
Michelle resides in Allendale, Michigan with her husband, Jeremy, and their two boys.