Maybe It’s Time For New Little League Memories

Joshua Instagram CNE Little League TournamentYesterday before we walked through the gates of the CNE for day 2 of The Ex, Trish and I stopped at the Exhibition Baseball Field to catch a few innings of Little League action.

The 57th Annual Lions-CNE Peewee Baseball Tournament is being played now and features 32 teams of 12 and 13 year olds. It reminds me of playing in tournies when I was a kid and how much fun I had on baseball fields. In fact, as I’ve written before, I was on some awesome teams when I was in Peewee.

However, something different happened yesterday when I was watching baseball. I didn’t have an urge to grab cleats and a glove and go play centrefield. I had an urge to head to the bench and talk to the Western New York pitcher who throws his pitches from his elbow. I wanted to help him throw from his shoulder, right over the top, and find a release point that is going to give him more strikes and less strain. I wanted to make him better.

I also wanted to talk to the kid who got doubled up at 1st base on a looping line drive to the shortstop with 1 out. It’s a tough play for the baserunner. He’s got to be ready to get to 2nd if the ball drops – but he ended an inning by not getting himself back to 1st in time when it was caught. That secondary lead and knowing how to lean and when to react are things that I can help teach.

I found myself paying attention to counts and cheering for the kid who got a great sacrifice bunt down. I predicted a steal attempt on a 2 ball, 1 strike count with nobody out in the inning. I felt good for the 1st baseman who hit a solid line drive single after being down on himself when his SS pulled him off the bag with a throw in the previous half inning.

2013 Lions-CNE Peewee Baseball Tournament Scoreboard [credit: Trish Cassling]I’ve thought about coaching before. I had some great coaches when I was a kid. My parents when I was really small and just learning the game. A dude named Tony who coached my Peewee teams. And my All-Star coach Jerry, who gave me the chance as the starting pitcher in my 1st game in the league.

I know that it takes a special type of person to be able to coach. You need patience and persistence and consistency in the message and the lesson. The great coaches learn their kids and how to reach them. They lift them up when they’re down. They keep them level when they’re hot. They help turn weaknesses into strengths. And they offer a level of mutual respect that many kids aren’t used to from adults.

Could I be that person? I don’t know. I’m confident that I know enough about baseball to coach. I have knowledge and ideas and tips and strategies and drills that could help players improve. I know games and tricks and incentives that can help keep things fun and loose. I think that I’m still enough of a kid at heart that I’d be able to connect and reach kids.

But still I’m unsure.

Maybe it’s something I need to think about more. Perhaps some research is in order. Maybe I just need to believe in myself a little bit and go for it.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Be awesome.Little League Baseball Field

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One comment on Maybe It’s Time For New Little League Memories

  1. This is quite interesting baseball league. 12-13 year kids. 32 team and interesting baseball league.

    Baseball bats

Comments are closed.

Maybe It’s Time For New Little League Memories

Joshua Instagram CNE Little League TournamentYesterday before we walked through the gates of the CNE for day 2 of The Ex, Trish and I stopped at the Exhibition Baseball Field to catch a few innings of Little League action.

The 57th Annual Lions-CNE Peewee Baseball Tournament is being played now and features 32 teams of 12 and 13 year olds. It reminds me of playing in tournies when I was a kid and how much fun I had on baseball fields. In fact, as I’ve written before, I was on some awesome teams when I was in Peewee.

However, something different happened yesterday when I was watching baseball. I didn’t have an urge to grab cleats and a glove and go play centrefield. I had an urge to head to the bench and talk to the Western New York pitcher who throws his pitches from his elbow. I wanted to help him throw from his shoulder, right over the top, and find a release point that is going to give him more strikes and less strain. I wanted to make him better.

I also wanted to talk to the kid who got doubled up at 1st base on a looping line drive to the shortstop with 1 out. It’s a tough play for the baserunner. He’s got to be ready to get to 2nd if the ball drops – but he ended an inning by not getting himself back to 1st in time when it was caught. That secondary lead and knowing how to lean and when to react are things that I can help teach.

I found myself paying attention to counts and cheering for the kid who got a great sacrifice bunt down. I predicted a steal attempt on a 2 ball, 1 strike count with nobody out in the inning. I felt good for the 1st baseman who hit a solid line drive single after being down on himself when his SS pulled him off the bag with a throw in the previous half inning.

2013 Lions-CNE Peewee Baseball Tournament Scoreboard [credit: Trish Cassling]I’ve thought about coaching before. I had some great coaches when I was a kid. My parents when I was really small and just learning the game. A dude named Tony who coached my Peewee teams. And my All-Star coach Jerry, who gave me the chance as the starting pitcher in my 1st game in the league.

I know that it takes a special type of person to be able to coach. You need patience and persistence and consistency in the message and the lesson. The great coaches learn their kids and how to reach them. They lift them up when they’re down. They keep them level when they’re hot. They help turn weaknesses into strengths. And they offer a level of mutual respect that many kids aren’t used to from adults.

Could I be that person? I don’t know. I’m confident that I know enough about baseball to coach. I have knowledge and ideas and tips and strategies and drills that could help players improve. I know games and tricks and incentives that can help keep things fun and loose. I think that I’m still enough of a kid at heart that I’d be able to connect and reach kids.

But still I’m unsure.

Maybe it’s something I need to think about more. Perhaps some research is in order. Maybe I just need to believe in myself a little bit and go for it.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Be awesome.Little League Baseball Field

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