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2016 Regular Season Reflections

Posted on 27-05-2016

After giving close to 1,200 lessons and running several weeks of camp since the 1st of the year, I want to take a minute to look back on the Little League season before we turn our attention to Summer Camp and beyond.

Here’s my hope for every kid who played ball this Spring:

    1) That they had fun.

    2) That they want to keep playing baseball this summer, fall, and next season.

    3) That they improved their skills.

    4) That they worked hard and saw that hard work pay off.

    5) That they learned to deal with failure.

    6) That they learned to stay positive.

    7) That they learned to only worry about what they can control.

    8) That they learned to support their teammates at all times.

    9) That they respected the umpires at all times.

    10) That they thanked their coaches and parents for making it all possible!

    Notice that “had a high batting average” or “won the championship” or “made all-stars” won’t be found on this list.

    The reason?

    Those are results. Those are goals. And setting goals is important. But what we want to use baseball for is to teach our kids to focus on the effort required to achieve their goals.

    I’m confident that if every player made it their goal to achieve the 10 things listed above, that “personal statistics” and “winning” would be a natural byproduct.

    I heard so many success stories this year from my students; and almost all of them can be traced back to a solid work ethic in the cage and during practice.

    There was the student who after his first lesson ever with me hit 3 homeruns in his next 2 games.

    There was the student who worked his tail off to improve his outfield play, and then made a diving catch in the next game.

    There was the student who swung and missed 50 straight times during soft toss of our first lesson, only to be making consistent contact with overhand throws from full distance by the end of the season.

    There was the student, who after witnessing a player on the other team hit a lead-changing Homerun in the 6th inning of a playoff game, gave him a high-five as he rounded the bases.

    I could go on and on.

    The point of these stories isn’t to toot my own horn as a coach, but rather to point out that “success” can look like different things to different players, and that the constant in all of these examples is the work that went in behind the scenes before manifesting itself during the game.

    You don’t have to be the best player on the team to have had a successful season.

    Your team doesn’t have to win King of The Hill to have had a successful season.

    (That’s why the “MVP” award in the Big Leagues doesn’t always go to a guy whose team won the World Series. In fact, Cal Ripken won the award in a season the Orioles finished in LAST PLACE!)

    We can’t just want something and expect it to be handed to us. We have to work for it.

    Want to be the starting shortstop next season? Practice fielding groundballs more than anyone else!

    Want to be a pitcher next season? Work to improve mechanics and throw more strikes!

    Want to bat clean-up? Dedicate more time to working on your swing!

    Want to win a championship? Make helping your teammates a priority!

    There is nothing more fun and more rewarding than seeing the positive results from hard work.

    So as the Spring season winds down, let’s make having fun through hard work a priority over the summer and fall (in ALL sports your son plays).

    I’m so proud of the effort I saw from all of my players this season and can’t wait to get back on the field at camp in a couple weeks!

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