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Spring Has Arrived:

181840Spring training has arrived and so has the hope for every fan that this is their year.  There is something special about baseball and spring training.  Spring symbolizes life and rebirth.  The flowers start to bloom and the grass starts to yearn for a mow.  The days get a little longer every day.  The sun starts to work a little harder to break through the clouds, almost like they are all working together to bring back baseball.

As the late baseball commissioner Bartlett Giamatti said “It comes when you need it most.” There is something special about the way a baseball field looks during the spring.  The grass is still wet and the dirt is still dark brown.

Baseball is here and it will fill our days and nights until into the summer and carry us through those hot months.  It will keep us warm when the weather turns a little colder and fall hits, and it will climax when winter arrives and will leave us yearning for the next spring.

But right now, it is spring and it is baseball season.  I hope all of you learn to love this game and all the aspects of the game as much as I do.

As Brad Pitt said playing Billy Beane in Moneyball ‘How can you not get romantic about baseball.”

I hope your year and your season is filled with hope.

Enjoy running on the field every day.  Enjoy getting those pants dirty.  Enjoy diving and sliding.  Enjoy watching grown men play a game like kids.

It is spring and it is baseball season.

Until Next Time,

Chad

There’s More to Life Then Baseball

 

“Baseball is Life” is a catchy phrase for a t-shirt or maybe even a bumper sticker, but what happens to the boys or parents who live the slogan.  As a father and former player, I understand the pressures that boys and parents face with sports.

I had a conversation recently with a D-Backs executive about this topic.  Should boys’ just play one sport or should they play multiple sports and focus on one further down the road.  I played the sport depending on the season.  Spring was for baseball, for me soccer was in the fall.  In high school I played three sports my freshman year then two my sophomore year, and focused on baseball my last two years, only because I had a coach that wouldn’t let me miss summer football practices for baseball games.

The quote from the D-Backs executive was boys in Arizona are playing too much baseball and not developing other athletic skills that come from different sports.  The other sports build the complete athlete.

MLB teams want athletes that can play the game.  The strength that comes from football, the foot quickness from basketball and running and coordination that soccer gives can all help.  Don’t feel like your son is going to fall behind because he plays basketball and is not playing baseball all the time or football or soccer.  The goal for most boys is to play in high school or college.  Don’t feel like you can’t take some time off and play another sport.

Enjoy this wonderful game.  Play this wonderful game.  But remember it is Ok to miss it and take a break.  Become a well-rounded athlete and you may enjoy this game even more.

 

Until Next Time,

Chad

Burn Out in Baseball and Youth Sports

The game of baseball can be fantastic for teaching teamwork and working toward a common goal.  It can also wear down the brain because of the intense focus that is required to perform in a competitive atmosphere.

As a player, I would experience this in the middle of the season often referred to as “The dog days of August.”  Younger players are also learning this because of year round baseball.  The disappearance of seasons for certain sports is taking its toll on young player’s brains and bodies.

I have encountered many excellent ball players who are suffering from “burnout”.  They stop enjoying a game they used to absolutely love.  They want to quit not because they are not succeeding but because they start to despise it.

This is a game and must be treated as a game and enjoyed.  We must miss the game from time to time or we risk resentment.

As a player I needed my off-season to get away from the game.  Several months would pass from the end of the season before a bat was picked back up.

That does not mean that workouts for physical health and strength were neglected but time was needed away from the grind of the game.

Don’t let it happen.  Take time off from the game for a little while.  We need to miss it from time to time.  Don’t end up resenting a sport you love when a couple weeks or a month could change it.

Remember, when someone asks what position you play – you respond “I PLAY shortstop” or “I PLAY 1st base or “I play the outfield.”

The key phrase is “I play the game of baseball”.

 

Until Next Time,

Chad

 

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