Sunday, March 27, 2011

Youth Baseball: Cold Bats

Baseball started in Ohio, perhaps a week or so too early. The temps were cold all weekend. The bats were certainly cold all weekend. And yet the coaches provided some warmth.

Temperatures were in the 30's for Friday night's contest. The doubleheader on Saturday started at 4pm with cold grey skies and the final pitch of game two came at 10pm with snow falling. The biting wind was a constant companion the entire weekend.

I was only keeping score and I was in pain. I couldn't get my fingers to work to record the happenings on the field, let alone throw a baseball or swing a bat. I could only image the pain my son was feeling as the bat hit the ball or a fastball popped in his catchers mitt.

Ironically, the opposing pitchers were throwing heat while our bats were seemingly frozen to the shoulder's of our kids. Catching up to a 75-80 mph pitch in warm weather mid season is very hard, trying to do it early in the year in the freezing cold is almost impossible.

Our team lost 3 games by a total of 40 runs to three of the best teams in the US.

The most valuable player on our team was throwing heat too - a 115,000 BTU electric blast heater in the dugout. The heater kept an intolerable situation somewhat bearable. HeatMax Hot Hands helped too.

The Main Point

After a 16-0 loss on Friday night, the team gathered in the outfield so the coach could talk to the kids outside of the parent's earshot. This was nothing new for my son. His former team did this after almost every game, win or lose.

The meeting went on for 10 minutes or more. The parents waited patiently in the cold.

Finally the meeting broke up. And there was something new for my son. He emerged from the huddle with a smile and he was not the only one. The entire team looked upbeat. What? No sprints? No one was berated?

We have a coaching staff that is focused on player development and building confidence. That made me feel warm inside.





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