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Belmont Bandits 9U baseball team

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Great practice prepares Banditos for the weekend

Mar. 21, 2017

We had a great practice on Monday night, and hopefully that propels us to big things this weekend. Our work isn't done though, and we hope to re-create the same effort shown yesterday and Sunday later this week. We are kinda demanding of our players, but without high expectations what would all this practice mean? The boys have shown a lot of improvement recently in certain areas of ball, and it's very encouraging. The infielders have been doing some high level stuff on the practice field for a while now, and we can see signs of it coming together for them. The coaches hope they can perform in games like they've been able to do on the red dirt of the South Point peninsula. Many really good ball players have honed their craft on that field over the last sixty years, and we feel like this group is doing the same. From the first Duke Power mill kids all the way up to present day, that dirt has seen more size fives stomp across it than any Pic N Pay shoe store around here can claim.

We tell the kids to go to middle school, high school and college games when they can and actually watch what is going on. We also tell them to watch and see if those guys are doing things the right way on the field. Are they giving everything they have on every play? Do the outfielders know how to position themselves and what angles to play? Do infielders have any concept of how to approach a simple ground ball play properly? We are hoping to open their eyes to a bigger baseball world, and if they like it their minds will keep expanding.  There are all kinds of baseball approaches out there - some good, some bad. I hate the new age adage of coaches talking about the ceiling of a player, or disliking 100% effort guys because coaches feel like they are giving their all just to keep up with those other guys who feign coolness and attempt to play "smooth". We talk a lot about body language. Giving your all, your 100% is a good thing...never a bad thing. There is nothing wrong with 100% effort guys. That effort says way more about where they will end up and who they are;  certainly a better trait to have than a guy who is trying to look refined in order to copy his favorite major leaguer who poses and prances. This type behavior isn't usually seen at the age of our boys, but you really see it in older groups widespread often, and they are all eyes taking it in. I recognize that group of slow-walking, strutting players as the opposite of what we are trying to develop. You say give me the same swing molded by some fella who takes your $50 per lesson because he knows some guys who got a cup of coffee in the minors using that method, and I say give me an ugly Ty Cobb or Pete Rose swing that nearly nobody is trying to sell as a hitting approach. Those two guys were 100%ers, and you can't replace or replicate those types who never had time to think about appearing "cool" on a baseball field. They didn't try to have somebody else's swing - they had THEIR swing, and it worked really well. I think they had some things figured out that present day hitting instructors all across the land haven't. Give me all the Charlie Hustles you got, I say, for that is the type of player I understand and want to spend time alongside.

The team is looking forward to getting back on the competitive field this weekend, and feel like we have gotten better these last couple weeks. Hitting seemed to return along with the warmer weather here recently. I hope they both stick around for a while. We are looking forward to the challenges that each weekend presents. There are a lot of good teams around here, and you can tell they have been practicing hard. With a lot of luck and steady preparation, we hope to increase our chances of gaining on these rock star teams around us that we keep seeing. Even with possible bad weather this weekend, we will show up and give it our all...like always.

 

 

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