Swing the Bat
Today is May the oneth. I always look at April as Spring Training – like the Twins in Ft. Myers. But May means the start of the real season and we need to be on our game. Even though spring training is over – I want our staff to be loose and not uptight … and swinging the bat.
Many years ago when my son Ryan was in Little League, his head coach asked me to be the hitting coach. Well, this was the first year of real pitching – the year before was coach pitch, where the coach just lobbed it in over the plate. Now these kids had to bat against pitchers who were trying to get them out … and a lot of these pitchers were pretty wild.
We all know no one likes to fail – striking out is not fun. But hitting the ball is a lot of fun … and you need to swing the bat to hit the ball. But, you can also just stand there and let some inaccurate 10 year old pitcher throw 4 wild pitches and you can walk to first base. These kids wanted the walk. But my job was to teach them how to hit. And anyway, if you don’t want to hit – why play?
So I had to make them swing. And I mean make them swing – every pitch! They were too afraid to swing and all too happy to walk. I insisted that they swing at every pitch – even if it was over their head or in the dirt. You can imagine what our first games were like. Every kid struck out while swinging at crazy pitches. The parents went nuts. And the head coach thought I was crazy – but he stuck with me.
The season was divided into two halves – we finished in last place in the first half.
But, we went undefeated in the second half. We learned how to hit. In fact every kid on the team could hit, and they could hardly wait to come up to bat. Not only were we winning – but the kids were having a blast and loved playing baseball.
The story gets better. At the end of the season, the first half winner played the second half winner for the championship. It was ridiculous. The first half winner won their half because they always walked – they never learned how to hit the ball. We beat them by the 10 run rule … and our kids were confident and loving baseball. Their kids looked like scared lambs and didn’t even like to play.
Hopefully our Deer Run GC staff learned how to swing the bat in April. But I want them to keep swinging the rest of the season.
GM and Head Golf Professional