Protect Your Kids...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Baseball coaches: WOODEN II going out tomorrow...

Congrats to Kim Lindquist and Todd Rolph...

FOLLOW UP TO TRIVIA QUESTION: "Since Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941, who has gone the longest maintaining a .400 batting average:"

Answer: B) George Brett. He also had a bat thrown out of a game because it had pine tar applied too far up the bat handle, negating a home run and a win for his team. People at the time either loved the ruling or hated it depending on their opinion of Yankee manager Billy Martin. Martin was notorious amongst his peers as a "win at all costs" player/manager.

What most people DON'T know is that the ruling was appealed and later reversed. The rules never stated that a bat used cause that at-bat to be an automatic out. It simply stated that that bat was to be taken from the game. George ended up getting back his dinger and the Royals ended up winning the game after all.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hitting .400

Since Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941, who has gone the longest maintaining a .400 batting average:

a) John Olerud
B) George Brett
C) Tony Gwynn
D) Rod Carew
E) Tony Oliva

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Friday, February 19, 2010

2 Grand Slams in ONE Game...

Trivia: Which Hall of Famer was the first to hit 2 grand slams in a single game:

A) Babe Ruth
B) Roger Hornsby
C) Joe Jackson
D) Lou Gehrig
E) Tony Lazzeri

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Trivia Question Answer

"Today's high school baseball lesson is about a former gang member who was court marshaled for disobeying a superior officer...he ended up becoming the most symbolic sports figure in America. Who was it?"

Way before Rosa Parks and the civil rights movement, there was Jackie Robinson...

Jackie had no problem stirring the pot for what he believed. The charges were leveled against Robinson because, when he was in the military, he refused to sit in the back of the army transport bus. Even as the sergeant threatened him, Robinson didn't back down. Cooler heads prevailed, and the charges were eventually dropped.

Congrats to Steve Beer, former professional baseball player, for correctly answering "JACKIE ROBINSON".


Coach's QuickStart Goes Out Tonight!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

COACH WOODEN highlights

Many of you are starting the first unit this week on Coach Wooden.  Here's a brief video on his accomplishments:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Challenge is coming!

    The Challenge: This multi-faceted lesson cross-trains kids via a fundamentals-based 1 hour “station to station” practice, while instilling the “Help Others” Wooden maxim as the over-arching theme.  The Challenge begins by linking “Help Others” to the  story of how Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente used his baseball talent as a means to help the poor.  

The lesson continues as the kids explain to their friends and family about how they’ve accepted The Challenge to help their team, their league, and one of three local kid-centric charities raise funds. After the Challenge Practice is completed and the funds are collected, the team makes a difficult team decision: Which charity gets the proceeds?

One of our leagues is using The Challenge as a catalyst for a two-pronged fund raising effort.  In addition to the charity, they're also using the proceeds to help rehabilitate their field's batting cages.  Cost?  $15,000....

Make each day your masterpiece!


Sunday, February 7, 2010

One more kid's career...ruined?

I met with some coaches recently to discuss BALL for some older (13-14 year old) kids in baseball.  Because the kids were older than the typical BALL youth league demographic of 6 to 12 year olds, I decided to include the physiology units that we use the in high school program as a part of this league's older kid lesson plan. The logic goes like this:  With all the misinformation out there about how a body reacts under stress, and all the guys that peddle the latest and greatest to eager parents about how to get that magical 90 mph fastball over the internet, I figured the coaches would appreciate learning what their high school and college counterparts already know.

Sometimes I figure wrong.

I made the mistake of presenting a lesson titled "Preventing Throwing Injuries and The Elbow", written by the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America.  For those that don't know, let's just say that this group is made up of the finest doctors in their field.  Period.

In the article, it tells about safeguards to prevent long term injuries to the young arm - injuries that might not surface until years after the kid actually starts hurting himself.

It was interesting to see how a few of the parent/coaches reacted when the doctors (who are specialists in this area) were advocating coaches to limit pitch counts and focus on proper conditioning, stretching, rest, etc.  It seems that there is an opinion with a few well-meaning but (in my opinion) overly-aggressive youth coaches that a 13 year old kid can handle the same kind of stressors that a high school kid can handle.

I was baffled.  And then I understood why.  Apparently, guys that sell pitching performance on youtube to these well-meaning parents know more about 13 year old kids' arms than these doctors.  Or maybe the parents just want to believe them more.  Or maybe...just maybe...the information is good, but the audience is misapplying a solid message.  Maybe a malleable 13 year old kid's body needs to be treated differently than a 17 or 18 year old prospect (with good mechanics) who is targeting a college career.

But I could be wrong...

Friday, February 5, 2010

High school presentation

Got a call out of the blue...seems that a local high school heard about BALL through the grapevine and wants me to talk to the students...FOR 4 HOURS.  Alone on a stage.

Actually, it's four different periods in the auditorium.  Maybe we'll look at some videos and discuss...

Basketball and soccer referees getting attacked by parents for "bad" calls...

Football parents going ballistic for "bad" coaching decisions...

Baseball moms berating umpires for "blown" calls...

Or maybe it will be of my all-time sports hero, Nolan Ryan, getting the best of Robin Ventura after Ventura was unsuccessful at controlling his emotions...It's a shame that Ventura's above-average career will be remembered for charging the mound after getting hit by a 46 year old legend (completely by accident).

On the other hand, it merely added more mystique to Ryan's legacy.  Sometimes, you have to defend yourself. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Points to ponder...

Fatigue makes cowards of us all. 
- George S. Patton, Jr.Letter of Instruction Number 1, Third Army

When life gets hard...
When we're hurting and weary...
We must remember what's at stake.
- Kerry Shook, One Month To Live

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Teacher's Day

So I met with a group of coaches last night to set up their league's BALL program.  Paul Escobar, one of the coaches, came up to me afterwards.  He coaches 11 and 12 year olds.

Paul: "I really like this BALL concept.  It fits in with the way I coach."
Me:  "Really?  I'm glad you think so. How is that?"
Paul: "Teachers never seem to get the credit they deserve.  Last year I got the idea to have the kids write a short essay on their favorite teacher.  Then, I personally invited the teachers to one of the games so our team could honor them.  Everyone loved it!"
Me:  "That's AWESOME! Can I steal that idea?"
Paul: "Of course!"


I feel like I've found a kindred spirit.  Here's a guy who gets it.

Sports can be used for so much more than simply learning the skills necessary to play the game.  Here's a guy who's using it to teach the kids the game of life!  I'm anxious to see how BALL helps him continue this.

In the coming weeks, I'm going to formally introduce this concept (in modified form) in a BALL lesson.  And he's going to be an honorary BALL Storyteller.  Watch for it!

Make each day your masterpiece!