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How Landis Sims, Teen Baseball Player with Limb Differences, Is Motivating Others to ‘Live Without Limits’

How Landis Sims, Teen Baseball Player with Limb Differences, Is Motivating Others to 'Live Without Limits'

Landis Sims is just getting started. 

The 16-year-old baseball player has been overcoming obstacles his entire life. Sims was born without hands or feet, and his story is the focus of a new documentary, Landis: Just Watch Me.

Directed by Eric Cochran and filmed over the span of eight years, the film follows the Indiana native as he achieves his biggest goal yet: making the South Central High School varsity baseball team.

While there have been many difficulties along the way, Sims tells PEOPLE that his support system — mom Amanda, Cochran, and mentors like former Phillies and Yankees manager Joe Girardi, star Alex Rodriguez, and San Diego Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove — continues to play a pivotal role in his development not only as a baseball player, but as someone who others of all ages can look up to and aspire to “live without limits.” 

NO HANDS. NO FEET. NO LIMITS. Quad Limb Deficient Teen Showcases the True Power of Sport Through Inspiring Movie releasing July 12th https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/8e69b5luc09ygid9w28g5/h/Photo%20Selects?dl=0&subfolder_nav_tracking=1 How Landis Sims, Teen Baseball Player without Hands and Feet, Is Motivating Others to 'Live without Limits'

NO HANDS. NO FEET. NO LIMITS. Quad Limb Deficient Teen Showcases the True Power of Sport Through Inspiring Movie releasing July 12th https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/8e69b5luc09ygid9w28g5/h/Photo%20Selects?dl=0&subfolder_nav_tracking=1 How Landis Sims, Teen Baseball Player without Hands and Feet, Is Motivating Others to ‘Live without Limits’
Landis Sims and filmmaker Eric Cochran
| Credit: Amanda Wolfe/Taikuli Productions

Cochran was the first to introduce Landis to Musgrove.

“Eric had known Joe for a while. They had been friends for a while, so Eric thought Joe would be a good mentor for me and to, you know, help me out,” says Landis of how his unbreakable bond with Musgrove began. 

“I went and did a couple workouts with him, he kind of prepared me for the high school season and stuff. It’s been great to kind of have a guy that I can send a text to after I have a bad practice or a bad game to talk me through how to rebound and get back from it,” he continues. “So that’s been pretty big for me, just on the mental side of everything.”

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“He understands the work that he needs to put in. And clearly he’s put in a really big amount of it already to get where he’s at,” says Musgrove of Landis, who plays second base. “I feel like I could probably learn a little more from him than he can learn from me.”

While Landis has had some of the best in the business help guide him throughout his athletic career, the die hard Yankees fan is using his mentors’ example as a way of paying it forward to other young athletes who have limb differences.

NO HANDS. NO FEET. NO LIMITS. Quad Limb Deficient Teen Showcases the True Power of Sport Through Inspiring Movie releasing July 12th https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/8e69b5luc09ygid9w28g5/h/Photo%20Selects?dl=0&subfolder_nav_tracking=1 How Landis Sims, Teen Baseball Player without Hands and Feet, Is Motivating Others to 'Live without Limits'

NO HANDS. NO FEET. NO LIMITS. Quad Limb Deficient Teen Showcases the True Power of Sport Through Inspiring Movie releasing July 12th https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/8e69b5luc09ygid9w28g5/h/Photo%20Selects?dl=0&subfolder_nav_tracking=1 How Landis Sims, Teen Baseball Player without Hands and Feet, Is Motivating Others to ‘Live without Limits’
Credit: Amanda Wolfe/Taikuli Productions

“The guys that have helped me out over the years, I’ve seen how they react to it and stuff, and it seems like it leaves a positive impact on them,” Landis tells PEOPLE. “And I’ve helped some kids already, and it really leaves a positive impact on me. And I really look forward to doing that more.”

Lucky for him, Landis will be able to do just that as he embarks on Landis’ No Limits MLB Stadium Tour this summer, where he’ll team up with the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) to mentor fellow CAF athletes and give out grants to local children with physical differences, put on an Össur Prosthetics Running Clinic and throw out the first pitch at multiple stadiums — including Yankee Stadium as the team takes on the Cincinnati Reds on July 12.

The Challenged Athletes Foundation provides access and opportunity to adaptive athletes of all ages and abilities, Christy Fritts, who manages media and athlete relations for the organization, tells PEOPLE. 

“CAF is committed and focused on positively impacting athletes with life-changing grants around the world by providing adaptive sports equipment not covered by medical insurance,” explains Fritts. “We empower lives through the power of sport and believe that everyone should have access to sports and be able to pursue their athletic dreams.”

NO HANDS. NO FEET. NO LIMITS. Quad Limb Deficient Teen Showcases the True Power of Sport Through Inspiring Movie releasing July 12th https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/8e69b5luc09ygid9w28g5/h/Photo%20Selects?dl=0&subfolder_nav_tracking=1 How Landis Sims, Teen Baseball Player without Hands and Feet, Is Motivating Others to 'Live without Limits'

NO HANDS. NO FEET. NO LIMITS. Quad Limb Deficient Teen Showcases the True Power of Sport Through Inspiring Movie releasing July 12th https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/8e69b5luc09ygid9w28g5/h/Photo%20Selects?dl=0&subfolder_nav_tracking=1 How Landis Sims, Teen Baseball Player without Hands and Feet, Is Motivating Others to ‘Live without Limits’
Credit: Amanda Wolfe/Taikuli Productions

“I was in the shoes of those kids that are gonna get the grants,” Landis tells PEOPLE. “I was there, I was the one getting the grants presented to me in cool places like that. So now that I get to be the one that hands them, the giant check [or grant], is pretty big for me.”

Cochran — who first introduced Landis to the CAF — agrees, telling PEOPLE that one of his favorite parts of documenting Landis’ journey over the last eight years is watching the teen help others find CAF and Össur Prosthetics: “It’s the part that makes me most excited.”

NO HANDS. NO FEET. NO LIMITS. Quad Limb Deficient Teen Showcases the True Power of Sport Through Inspiring Movie releasing July 12th https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/8e69b5luc09ygid9w28g5/h/Photo%20Selects?dl=0&subfolder_nav_tracking=1 How Landis Sims, Teen Baseball Player without Hands and Feet, Is Motivating Others to 'Live without Limits'

NO HANDS. NO FEET. NO LIMITS. Quad Limb Deficient Teen Showcases the True Power of Sport Through Inspiring Movie releasing July 12th https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/8e69b5luc09ygid9w28g5/h/Photo%20Selects?dl=0&subfolder_nav_tracking=1 How Landis Sims, Teen Baseball Player without Hands and Feet, Is Motivating Others to ‘Live without Limits’
Credit: Amanda Wolfe/Taikuli Productions

Amanda, who found out through an elective 3D ultrasound that Landis would be born without hands and feet, echoes Cochran’s excitement, telling PEOPLE: “His mentality is, again, being able to help that little kid that maybe hasn’t been missing his limb very long, doesn’t really know how to run, doesn’t really know how he can get back into a sport, maybe he is a little ashamed of his leg, whatever it is, Landis can help those kids overcome that.”

“We’re collectively so grateful for all those people,” adds Cochran of Landis’ mentors,  “because it’s taught Landis to be humble, to work hard, to pay it forward. And I just want to reiterate how important those people have been in Landis’s life and how appreciative we are of all those people.”

“The mission at CAF is to help challenged athletes get back into the game of life through sport. We’ve sent out over 34,000 grants and we have NEVER had a quad amputee wanting to be a baseball player. This is something that’s never happened before,” says Bob Babbitt, CAF co-founder and executive producer of Landis: Just Watch Me

RELATED VIDEO: Meet These 2 Amputee Athletes Overcoming Obstacles & Going for Gold at This Year’s Paralympics

Adds Babbitt: “Landis is changing the game. He’s changing perceptions about what somebody who’s missing limbs can accomplish as an athlete and then further on, what he can accomplish in life.”

As far as what mom Amanda hopes people get out of watching Landis’ journey, the message, to her, is simple: it’s all about how one reacts to the curveballs life throws. 

NO HANDS. NO FEET. NO LIMITS. Quad Limb Deficient Teen Showcases the True Power of Sport Through Inspiring Movie releasing July 12th https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/8e69b5luc09ygid9w28g5/h/Photo%20Selects?dl=0&subfolder_nav_tracking=1 How Landis Sims, Teen Baseball Player without Hands and Feet, Is Motivating Others to 'Live without Limits'

NO HANDS. NO FEET. NO LIMITS. Quad Limb Deficient Teen Showcases the True Power of Sport Through Inspiring Movie releasing July 12th https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/8e69b5luc09ygid9w28g5/h/Photo%20Selects?dl=0&subfolder_nav_tracking=1 How Landis Sims, Teen Baseball Player without Hands and Feet, Is Motivating Others to ‘Live without Limits’
Credit: Amanda Wolfe/Taikuli Productions

“The biggest thing that I hope people will take from Landis’ story is just not to give up and that the only thing that we can control is how we react and our attitude,” Amanda tells PEOPLE. “And that’s the biggest thing that has helped Landis get to where he is: his attitude and his mentality.” 

Continues Amanda: “You can’t control the circumstances that you’re handed in life. We can’t control what happens, you can only control the way that you react, and treat everything as an opportunity to reach for your goals. You can do whatever you set your mind to.”

Landis: Just Watch Me premieres on Tuesday, July 12 on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, ATT-U-Verse, Comcast / Xfinity, Cox, Dish, Direct-TV, Google Play, Sling, Spectrum and Verizon Fios.