Thursday, June 5, 2008

Practice makes perfect

One of our core reasons for continuing playing over the summer with a travel ball team was that Rabbit would be constantly improving from the direct supervision. That and the fact that he asked us if he could play baseball every day all summer long. He cleans his room, loves his mother and does his homework so there was no way we could say no.

During the Little League season we practiced 2 days a week and had 2 games a week. Rabbit was a starting pitcher and 1st baseman so he would, usually, pitch one game and play in the field the other. He is working on a change up right now to go with his 3 different fastballs. Coach Louis from Blue Wave taught him the grip just last week so we are still figuring it out.

Blue Wave practices are twice a week, Wednesday and Friday, from 5pm to 7pm or so. I say or so because the fielding practices tend to go a bit longer and the conditioning practices a bit shorter. These are hard-core working practices also. Lots of running and drills. It is fun to watch a group of motivated boys try to out hustle each other while maintaining a healthy competitive spirit. As an added bonus, Rabbit sleeps real well on the nights after practice.

We are spending a fair amount of money for this instruction and have had to make some internal rules regarding priorities. We have told our son these and so far (it is still new and exciting, let's see how we all feel in 6 months) he is 100% on board.

For the summer, our order of priorities is as follows:
1) Family
2) Baseball
3) Friends

Meaning that baseball practice and games take priority over sleep overs and going to the movies. In addition to the twice weekly team practices we will be going to the batting cages once a week and also continuing our Sunday morning baseball at the local fields. It is realistic that we will be spending almost 15-25 hours a week on baseball between practices and games. I must be honest and say that I am concerned about that much time and focus. We wanted to do this to help our son get better at something he enjoys and has done well at. The last thing I want to do is burn him out at the age of 9.

To avoid this we have 3 weeks of no baseball. A family trip in July and a week at his cousin's house will provide a nice break. It is very easy to toss in a mitt and play catch if you want to. It is also very easy to not play catch if you would rather do something else that day.

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