Solid Foundation Baseball School, the owner of S.W.A.T. Elite Baseball, has been conducting baseball lessons since 1997. S.F.B.S. was started by owner Mike Kingery. Mike played professional baseball for 17 years, signing right out of high school in August of 1979 with the Kansas City Royals. Mike had the privilege of playing with 6 Major League teams. He started out with the Kansas City Royals and then went on to play with the Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants, Oakland A’s, Colorado Rockies and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Mike played with 5 current Hall of Famers: George Brett, the late Gary Carter, Ricky Henderson, Dennis Eckersley, and Goose Gossage. There will be more of Mike’s Major League teammates in Cooperstown in the future with the likes of Ken Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson, and possibly Omar Visquel, Edgar Martinez, and Harold Baines. Mike learned much while playing with these and other great players. He also gleaned much knowledge and wisdom by listening to his managers and coaches, and also by asking questions. He is excited to pass this information on to his S.W.A.T. team players. The demand for instruction through S.F.B.S. has grown to such a level that Mike has trained instructors to teach the S.F.B.S. technique. Some of these instructors will be coaching for your son’s S.W.A.T. team. With a likeminded approach to our instruction, your son will be trained consistently through his years with the S.W.A.T. teams. This is one of the most important parts of the program. Hitting, pitching, fielding and throwing instruction will be consistent from one coach to the next. One instructor does not teach one type of hitting while the other teaches another. This consistency allows our athletes not to have to relearn or “start over again” as they progress up in age. Our goal is to give you the tools to not only be successful at the level you are at but at the next level that you aspire to get to. S.F.B.S. philosophy was born out of Major League experience, Major League training, and great coaches from Atwater (Mike’s hometown) and around the country. At S.F.B.S. we know that every student is unique and needs to be treated as such. There is no one technique that will work for every student. We evaluate each student and from that evaluation, we determine what will work best for that individual student. There is no cloning at S.F.B.S. Mike learned through his Major League experience that a player should do his baseball skills fundamentally sound within the individuality of the player. There are skills in baseball technique which are called the absolutes and other skills that are preferences. S.F.B.S. teaches the absolutes as absolutes and the preferences as preferences. We believe this is the type of training that is best for the player to become the best player they can be. Click here to see S.F.B.S. Testimonies
It is currently popular to put a label on the basic philosophy of baseball instructors. The two popular divisions of hitting are the rotational hitting philosophy and the linear (weight shift) hitting philosophy. We believe the truth is that the large majority of Major League hitters do both. A hitter should have a movement toward the pitcher (linear weight-transfer/shift) and you need to have proper rotation. Some hitters may have a little more weight shift than others and some may be more rotational than others, but the hitter needs to do both. This is just one example of our coaching philosophy.
Mike Kingery played professional baseball for 17 years, including stints with the Kansas City Royals, Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants, Oakland A’s, Colorado Rockies, and Pittsburgh Pirates. During his career, he nearly won the National League batting title before the strike shortened the season in 1994 (he was hitting .349 at the time), he combined with Roberto Mejia to hit the first-ever back-to-back home runs at Coors Field, and he played alongside All-Star outfielders including Bo Jackson, Ken Griffey Jr., Dante Bichette, and Larry Walker.
Mike was a highly decorated athlete when he graduated from Atwater High School in 1979, winning All-State awards in football, baseball, and track and field. He was signed as a free agent out of high school by the Kansas City Royals, but attended St. Cloud State University for his education. He progressed through the Royals’ minor league system and eventually earned a starting spot in centerfield in 1986, before being traded to Seattle, where he again played centerfield, only to give way to Ken Griffey Jr. Mike enjoyed the best years of his career in Colorado from 1994-1995.
Upon retiring from the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1996, Mike and his family moved back to his hometown. In 1997, Mike created Solid Foundation Baseball School, Inc. to answer strong demand from local baseball teams and players. Mike has trained his professional coaches to use hands-on instruction techniques he learned in the big leagues, helping players maximize their abilities and understand the basic fundamentals of the game. Mike believes that small student-to-teacher ratios are better for students, rather than cookie-cutter approaches without one-on-one instruction time.
Tom Bjellos: coach bio coming soon!
Todd Reid is a 1978 graduate of Maple Lake High School where he played football, basketball, baseball and drums. Following high school, Todd attended Willmar Community College (Ridgewater). Here he received the Dallas Kaehntopp Scholarship Award for Outstanding Freshman Baseball Player and was named co-captain of the baseball team as a sophomore. Todd transferred to St. Cloud State University in 1980, where he also played baseball for the Huskies. As a senior, Todd was the recipient of the Brainard Scholar Awards at St. Cloud State. This award recognizes excellence as a student-athlete. Todd also played 7 years of amateur baseball for the Maple Lake Lakers, participating in multiple state tournaments and conference All Star games.
After graduating from St. Cloud University in 1982, Todd spent 30 years with Kraft Foods in a variety of leadership positions. With the Solid Foundation Baseball School, Todd has returned to his passion for the sport of baseball and mentoring young ballplayers.
Jay Magnuson: coach bio coming soon!
Adam Beyer: coach bio coming soon!
Zach Dingmann: coach bio coming soon!
David Kingery: coach bio coming soon!
David Wright is a 1985 graduate of Vanguard High School in Ocala, Florida. While at Vanguard, he played basketball and baseball. After high school, he attended Bethel College (now Bethel University) in St. Paul, where he played basketball (1 year) and baseball (4 years). During his senior season he was named captain of the baseball team. For the past 29 years David has been an elementary school teacher for the Saint Cloud School District. He coached baseball for several seasons at Apollo High School. He has continued to coach at various other levels for the past 14 years.
Michael Miller is a 1979 graduate of Capital (WA) High School where he played baseball, basketball, and ran cross country. He was a 10 sport letterman, and led his baseball team to two straight appearances in the Washington State Class 3A Title Game, winning the state championship in 1979. Mike was named All-State MVP Runner Up Player of the Year.
Mike signed a letter of intent to play baseball at Washington State University. He was All-Conference and Player of the Year in basketball in his junior and senior seasons. At Washington State, he started four years in baseball, earning All-Conference honors his junior and senior year. He was named to one All-American team. Mike became the sixth round pick for the Kansas City Royals in the 1983 draft.
Mike has instructed, trained, and coached at various levels the past 28 years. He has held various positions at Solid Foundation Baseball School the last 12 years, supporting the mission statement wholeheartedly.