MEET OUR PRO STAFF
baseball + softball
Owner, former Pro player, Hitting instructor, FIELDING INSTRUCTOR, Speed/base-stealing instructor, motivational speaker, MLB scouting ties
Known in the papers as 'Mr. Automatic' in high school, Mike Just was All-State in NJ after hitting .523 for St. Joseph Regional in Montvale, NJ, then earned All-Big South Conference and All-State honors for the State of VA at D1 Liberty University where he hit .379 with 94 hits (single season hit record for Liberty.) Mike also received the single season assist record with 175 assists in a single season at second base. According to NCAA, Mike was ranked 12th in the nation in hardest to strike out and earned a national record in fielding as a four year D1 starter only committing 10 errors in four years at second base.
Mike signed professionally with the River City Rascals in the Frontier League where he received the Team Batting Title. He was then solely traded for 5 players to the Fargo Moorehead RedHawks in the Northern League where he received Rookie of the Year honors. The Houston Astros then purchased Mike’s contract where Mike hit .350 in Spring Training. He later played for the Newark Bears and then for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs where he earned the Atlantic League All-Star game MVP with the game winning hit off of former Mets/Yankees closer Armando Benitez.
Mike opened Just Hits Baseball and Softball Training facility in the fall of 2009 and has trained hundreds of players to earn collegiate status and dozens to receive pro status. Most recently, this past June, Mike’s client Aaron Sabato of Rye Brook, NY was taken 1st overall pick by the Minnesota Twins and signed for 2.75 million. Mike also trains clients of all ages some of which have gone viral to one million plus views making MLB network and ESPN. Mike is also a professionally published author of "Just Baseball" (foreword written by World Series MVP Scott Brosius) which is sold at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Target.
As a former scout for the Atlanta Braves, Mike has ties to an MLB scouting director, agents, and many more connections in his network. He is also a sought-after motivational speaker for schools, opening day ceremonies, pro fields etc. Mike has a process model for training specific to Just Hits that is math and physics based and it works. He truly cares about his players and their development and matures them into highly skilled and deeply principled athletes. Mike is dedicated and committed to their success on and off the field and the improvements are astronomical.
baseball + softball
Coach Natalie DeLuca
Softball Pitching Instructor, Baseball and Softball Hitting Instructor
Coach DeLuca is a former 4 year varsity softball starter and 2 year team Captain for Lakeland Regional. As a “two-way” player in high school, she earned the title of All-Passaic County pitcher an impressive three times of the four years and All-Big North an impressive three times as well. In college, she graduated from Rowan in three years with Dean’s list and Honors. Natalie is now a middle school teacher which allows her the flexibility of pitching and hitting lessons after school. Natalie has received pitching lessons as a player for over 10+ years and has worked with various trainers to give her more depth and knowledge on the proper fundamentals of softball pitching. Natalie was also trained by Mike Just personally for best communication in regards to the Just Hits hitting style, technique, and nuances of the swing. Natalie has an electric personality and her advanced teaching skills give her an edge in the lane.
Coach Tim Sheldon
Hitting, Fielding + Catching Instructor
Coach Sheldon (“Shel”) comes to Just Hits with over 26 years of coaching experience. Coach Sheldon attended Northeastern University, graduated Magna Cum Laude, holds a B.S. in History, a minor in Secondary Education, and a Master’s in Educational Leadership. He has been a high school educator for 23 years and has coached baseball at a variety of levels. During this time he served as varsity coach at Saddle Brook High School for 17 years earning several league titles and a consistent run of state tournament appearances. In his tenure, Coach Sheldon emphasized the importance of developing student-athletes by reinforcing the importance of academic as well as athletic success. Serving as a hitting, fielding, and catching instructor Coach Sheldon places emphasis on developing strong baseball fundamentals and mechanics within his instruction, while also incorporating a positive mental approach to the game. Coach Sheldon has a calm and humble disposition which allows for players to gain confidence and not feel intimidated.
By coaching his son, Coach Sheldon has recently transitioned from coaching high school baseball to player development through his local Little League. He has helped develop an offseason training program integrating weekly clinics that emphasize proper throwing and fielding mechanics, base running skills, hitting, and position specific drills. Another component of his work has been developing clinics for youth coaches to foster proper player development throughout the season.
Coach Sheldon’s son is a client of Mike Just and Coach Sheldon was also trained by Mike Just personally for best delivery in regards to the Just Hits hitting style, technique, and nuances of the swing. Coach Sheldon is a huge asset to the Just Hits staff and we’re very excited to have him aboard.
baseball + softball
Coach Ken Mattson
Pitching & Hitting instructor
Coach Mattson has 50 years of combined playing, instructional & coaching baseball & softball experience for players of all ages and skill levels. Ken grew up playing ball in the Bronx through high school before moving to Sam Houston, TX where he excelled as a varsity player. He was offered a private workout and tryout with both the NY Yankees and NY Mets in the Spring of 1980's and finished his career in the Met Leagues throughout the 80s when he turned his career into coaching. Coach Mattson organized the NJ Juggernauts, the Park Ridge Gators and other programs.
Ken was recently named the NY Yankees 2018 Youth Summer Camp Staff and Pitching Instructor and also holds Upmire certifications with ASA and Bergen County.
Coach Jesse Fikslin
Pitching & Hitting Instructor
Jesse Fikslin was the kid who “played up” from the start. As a 9 year old competing against 11 year olds, it well equipped him for the next levels. Jesse quickly rose to join a densely talented club team and then had to scratch and claw his way into the line-up. Jesse worked hard to overcome adversity and became one of the rare two-way players in both high school and college!
Jesse attended Wayne Hills High School (where he became teammates with Eli Sayad) and stood out athletically as well as academically. Jesse’s high school successes turned some heads at collegiate levels. He had interest shown from different divisions but wanting to two-way at the next level, felt that Albright College would be the best fit for him. He received playing time all four years as both a hitter and a pitcher and excelled academically on the Dean’s List & Honor Society.
After graduating, Jesse became a Behavior Therapist for young children with disabilities as well as Guitar Instructor, club coach, and other career choices. His knack for teaching shines through his career decisions.
Coach Jake Charnitsky
Jake Charnitsky has always been a student of the game. Physical and mental preparation gave him an advantage over pitchers and his production as a hitter showed this. Jake studied the minutia of the game to acquire a more competitive advantage. That mindset well suited him for a perfect fit when he started to train with Mike Just regularly back in 2017 through 2021. Through Mike’s tutelage and Jake’s ability to absorb, they made a solid team.
As an athlete, Jake was always versatile, but at one point, he faced serious adversity in his baseball career. This is what drove him to find out how to have success in a very unforgiving game. Through diligent practice and study, he developed a passion for the game of baseball, and strongly believed and still believes in the power of skill development. As a varsity player for Indian Hills, Jake posted a .355 batting average with an impressive .569 on base percentage. Jake currently attends Ramapo College.
Jake’s dedication to young players’ success, genuine passion for helping others, and knowledge from Mike regarding the mindset and swing is what makes Jake an excellent instructor today.
Coach Lachelle Rouse
Pitching & Catching instructor
Coach Rouse, a four-year collegiate starter in softball (pitcher and catcher), team captain and Dean's List scholar is exceptionally skilled at instructing her players in proper mechanics. She's immersed herself in the sport she loves coaching a travel team and as an assistant softball coach at a nearby high school. Coach Rouse has an amazing personality that creates a fun atmosphere for training. She brings great depth of knowledge from both sides of a hitter's perspective.