Welcome to Harris fall baseball baseball! First of all, I am very excited to help provide this opportunity and thrilled with the interest we have from the players as well as coaches who volunteered to help. I expect there to be conflicts as our lives are starting to get busy with school, work and everything else again. Regardless if you are listed as a coach, if there is anyone else willing to pitch in occasionally please let me or one of the other coaches know before a practice and we can definitely put you to use. I have taken the reigns to organize the fall season in a clinical fashion. Each practice will have a series of stations for which drills will be laid out in a progressive fashion so that no one will be expected (except me) to plan or do anything special other than help run a station. So don't let lack of experience or ability to commit full time stop you from helping out!
If you received Andy's email, you know we are slated for Wednesday evenings 5:30 - 7:00 and Sundays 4:00 ~ 6:00. We start TOMORROW (9/2/2020). However, this Sunday the 6th we will take off for the Labor Day weekend, and next Wednesday the 9th the fields are not available - so no practice then either. We will resume Sunday the 13th. We do intend to work in some scrimmaging/games, but no scores or standings will be tracked. In fact, the teams will vary week by week to give kids the opportunity to play and get to know eachother and evenly match the teams. My plan is to post a bulletin like this (and email) on the web page after Wednesday's practice (sometime before Sunday) assigning each player a team color to wear for the game that week. Please notify me if your child cannot make that week's game by Wednesday so I can divide them up accordingly - maybe 2 teams, maybe 4 pending numbers. Hopefully the weather permits us to go until Nov 1st, but we'll see. Also, players can wear shorts for practice, but try and make sure they wear pants to games.
Yes, we still have a Covid pandemic going on. So let's not forget that when you are all at the park. It can get crowded along the sidelines - please try and distance OR wear masks if you come out to watch. The kids will be broken up into small groups, staying out of the dugouts and no equipment sharing allowed - just like the summer season. If you or your child is not feeling well or have had recent first hand exposure to someone with Covid PLEASE STAY HOME. I noticed things getting pretty lax down the stretch of the summer season in those regards, so pleaes be very cautious and respectful of others especially since many kids will start going back to school in person soon. I would hate for the season to have to shut down early due to irresponsibility on our part.
Lastly, I want to share with you my philosophy and why I am so excited to be doing this. I am a strong believer in youth sports programs and hate to see participation in so many parts of the country receding. I feel there is too strong of a push for kids to partake in travel teams and not enough support for recreational or instructional opportunities. Cost, time commitment, and lack of opportunity drive so many away at such a young age. Many parents are under the impression that if they really want their child to get better at a sport, it can only be done via travel team. A lot of it comes down to the volunteers/coaches who are willing to make opportunities like this happen. Obviously there is a vast range of ability/growth/talent at this age, and it takes a lot of effort and patience to reach all players simultaneously. The spring/summer season does not allow much time for practice and coaches are scrambling during game time to try and teach/coach kids on the fly which is successful for some, but others get lost in the mix. My plan for this fall is to coach to all ability levels, work them along the same progression of skill to succeed at the next level, but at their own pace, so that no player gets either slowed down or left behind. I believe every player out there will get better as the weeks go by. In addition to that, they will feel successful and proud of their progress, creating a positive experience and excitement about the game of baseball. My goals as a coach at this level are to have fun, teach necessary skills and hope that every player signs up to play again. With some trust in me by each of you, I believe I can organize a fall baseball clinic that achieves those goals.
Reach out to me if you have any questions, comments or concerns. If my ambition holds up, I also will put together some coaching guides and post some YouTube videos of some drills and tips you can work with your kids at home on. Looking forward to seeing everyone on the fields!