Hi Phillie Fanatics!
Here we are again, on the verge of another season. And this one will be special for a number of reasons. First, for all of our players, this will be our final months on the small diamond before we graduate to the 50/70 field. Second, it's our last year of Little League. Third, we have a LOT of really good ballplayers on our club. And finally, and most importantly, pretty much every person on our team knows one another and are good friends, so win, lose, or draw, every practice and game will be sure to be a fun time as we learn to become better skilled in this sport.
When I assembled this team, I did so not just on the basis of baseball ability, but more so, as I've coached almost every one of these athletes at least once on the field or on the basketball court, because I know how they play - their hustle, desire, positive attitude, good sportmanship, and the ability to be a great teammate. Along with the mechanics of pitching, hitting, fielding, throwing, and base running, these are the traits we are going to be continuing to work on each practice and game individually and as a team.
While we'll do our best to win a championship this spring, we have three primary goals that trump that aspiration. First, we want to have fun every time we step on the field and be smiling every time we step off it. Second, we want to develop skills in all facets of the game (physical and mental) to become better players not just for this season, but for this coming summer and even for high school (and beyond). And third, we want our players not just to bond as a team, but as friends off the field, so when the games are over, the camaraderie endures.
As far as games go, expect that every player will get a shot at trying every position on the field (with the possible exception of pitcher and catcher) and that they'll move around in the batting line-up from game to game (someone at the bottom of the order one game will be at the top the next). There also will be equal playing time for all.
If any adult would like to help coach, please reach out to Kevin and sign-up - the more hands on the field, the more efficient we can be with our practice time! The more efficient we are at practices, the better we become. Prior baseball experience not at all required.
As we get closer to opening day, we'll begin to discuss more of the nitty-gritty details of the season. But for now, let's just be excited that the air is warm, the field is dry, and it's a healthy time to be together.
Three final notes for now as we prepare for the season:
1) Please make sure you have all the right equipment: good quality glove (Wilson A500 gloves are the best bang-for-buck in my opinion), a USA stamped bat (must say USA on it or it's not legal for use in games/practices - feel free to ask me about size, weight, brands, etc.), a proper fitting helmet, baseball pants and knee high socks for all practices, sliding shorts and cup, and other necessities (warm under-clothing, sunglasses, batting gloves, etc.) as your player may desire.
2) Starting on Friday, April 8th, I'll be hosting optional practices for our team on Tuesdays and Firdays at the Deb Sampson fields from 5:45-7:15. This will be a good chance to shake off the rust before the season officially starts.
3) Lastly, and this too is 100% optional, I thought it would be cool if this year we looked like a pro team and had matching pants and socks for games. These are my recommendation for the team (I've already bought these for Ellis) - Socks: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B083D4LDVB/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?smid=A3HM8K4BWE43WZ&psc=1
Pants have two options: knickers or traditional: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MV43AW6/ref=ox_sc_act_title_5?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1 or https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01I0J567O/ref=ox_sc_act_title_4?smid=A4LCVG76T71OU&psc=1.
Again, do not feel obligated at all to purchase these - just an idea to make us look sharp for game days. I would, though, at least to have all the players in white pants and red baseball socks for our games.
I'm really looking forward to this season - I'm super exited about coaching all these guys (again). It's just a really great crew. I'll reach out a few days prior to our first optional get-together on the 8th. If you have any questions or comments before then, please don't hesitate to contact me! And don't forget, you can sign up any time to be a volunteer - even if it's just to help out at one or two practices or to sit in the dugout a couple of games to remd players of the batting order - every little bit helps!
See you all soon!