SNSB Coach’s Corner: “Alternative Baseball” looks to power through perceptions in Shreveport-Bossier City

Local Sports

SHREVEPORT, La (KTAL/ KMSS) – Along with participation in sports comes the development of life skills and a respect for others. For Taylor Duncan, the founder and CEO of the organization Alternative Baseball, the sport of baseball is an outlet to change lives. Living with the goal to inspire by raising awareness and acceptance for autism, Duncan is helping power through perceptions in cities across the country. Now, Alternative Baseball is coming right here to Shreveport-Bossier City.

If you are interested in volunteering as a coach or new team manager, contact taylor@alternativebaseball.org for information on how to start a new team in your parish.

EmmaKate Few | NBC 6 Sports
Fill me in on how alternative baseball came about. I know you shared in your TED Talk and you’ve been featured on ESPN how important baseball is to you. Growing up, did you realize how other people could learn those life skills through baseball?

Taylor Duncan | CEO, Alternative Baseball
“Absolutely! Well it started basically when I was diagnosed on the autism spectrum years and years ago when I was much, much younger. Because of my developmental delays, I was often denied the opportunity to play traditional sports. My mother and others helped me work to overcome those obstacles, it was because of the negative perceptions. Really, with the positive experiences that I’ve gotten to participate in from instruction all the way up to Louisville, Kentucky, all the way down to Kissimmee, Florida. It’s inspired me to teach everyone else like myself, what I’ve learned not only on a game perspective, but what we can learn about life in general, through the wonderful world of athletics.”

EmmaKate Few | NBC 6 Sports
The authentic form of baseball, using the same rules as the MLB. Why was that so important, and what effect does not overlooking that have on your athletes?

Taylor Duncan | CEO, Alternative Baseball
“Well, we will all just want the same opportunity to do the same things as everyone else. And this is a great start, where as there are no assistants or anything like that in the field helping them out. Everybody plays independently. You’re going to go through hot streaks and cold streaks in sports just like you do with everything else in life, and it’s a great way to really get out there and really experiment with those skills, to keep working on the things that need to be worked on, and at the same time we’re learning to become better motivators for ourselves, and other people as well.”

EmmaKate Few | NBC 6 Sports
On learning how to work with others and the teamwork aspect…. growing up, why it was so important to find an opportunity for not only you, but others, that would provide for the opportunity to be on a team?

Taylor Duncan | CEO, Alternative Baseball
“I felt like that there was a population that was largely being shorted. After starting with only seven players we eventually filled two teams, one in Powder Springs, one Dallas, in Paulding County where I live. That’s when ESPN and The Today Show came and did their segments on the organization, and really with that, it taught me that this wasn’t just going to be some local awareness campaign anymore. I mean it is to an extent. However, it’s going to be about providing this as a national solution, for communities of those who may not feel like they have anything direct their individual needs.”

EmmaKate Few | NBC 6 Sports
How can people that maybe aren’t going to play on the team, still help out?

Taylor Duncan | CEO, Alternative Baseball
“G1 Impact is the group that’s going to be doing it and serving those in Bossier City and Shreveport, and then if we found a coach manager up in Texarkana, or we found somebody on the Texas side or in Monroe, Ruston, etc. we could start something there too. We just have to find the coach managers in those areas. But we do have G1 Impact, who is going to bring it to the Shreveport-Bossier City area.”

EmmaKate Few | NBC 6 Sports
What’s your final goal with this? Do we want to take it internationally, do you have a number of teams that you have kind of in mind as your final goal?

Taylor Duncan | CEO, Alternative Baseball
“We went from twenty in 12 states to now, 82 in 33 states now. We will keep going until we have something in every state and every city, because everyone deserves this equal opportunity to participate in this experience.”

EmmaKate Few | NBC 6 Sports
If you are encouraging someone here in Shreveport, that might be nervous to participate because they’re worried they might not be good enough, what are some of the other benefits of just being on a team, regardless of whether or not you are the best player out there?

Taylor Duncan | CEO, Alternative Baseball
“It’s all about being able to form those friendships with others just like yourself out there. There’s going to be players of all different skill levels, all different experiences, and it’s going to be something that once you do it, you love it. Once you get out there, you’re going to absolutely love it. Being able to connect with others just like yourself. We’re going to make this successful so look out COVID-19, here comes Alternative Baseball’s movement to #powerthroughperceptions.”

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