the family brag thread . . .

sec realist
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Joined: August 29th, 2012, 6:09 pm

August 29th, 2015, 6:32 pm #151

The first games of the season were today, and the team got creamed. Our pitchers couldn't throw strikes, and it can be difficult to find kids this age able to throw strikes.

G started at short and batted clean up in both games.

He had just four opportunities to make defensive plays but he made all four.

The first was a thing of beauty. The ball has pretty hard right up the middle. G was moving to his left, but had to stop and change directions due to the pitcher getting a piece of it. G then barehanded it and threw the guy out at first with a rocket shot. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Text book.

The others were easy plays. A pop up, and two more easy grounders with throws to first. Routine.

Plus, he looked really good controlling the infield and directing traffic. He just has a natural feel for the game defensively. It's like watching a great quarterback that has that "instinct" to just do the right thing at the right time. Couldn't be prouder.

He only had four plate appearances on the day. Three walks and a hit by pitch. He stole three bases but didn't score.

My favorite part of the day? He was warming up in the bullpen, getting ready to go pitch. One of the balls got over his glove and busted his nose. Blood everywhere. His shirt and pants were bloody messes. The inning ended, the coach asked if he was okay to pitch and G looked at him like "get the fuck out of my way and give me the damn ball." He only pitched one inning, but it was a good outing. Love the competitive edge. Love it.

I was fearful that the coaching staff would put their kids at the premium spots and use the other kids to fill in the gaps, but that's not what happened. After the two games were over, the manager said he really liked G at short and his son in center as that created a really good up-the-middle defense. And it does. It's smart.

A couple of tweaks here and there and they'll be competitive. This is not a team that's going to win a league title or any tournaments any time soon, but it's not about that.

Oh yeah, I'm drunk. Kentucky bourbon, the Buffalo Trace kind. Superb.
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Joined: October 3rd, 2013, 4:59 pm

September 1st, 2015, 10:37 am #152

Have any of you used Hudl.com and if so do you know how to post video of it? It is a great site and shows every play from the game for high schoolers. My nephew had a sweet touchdown run last Friday I would love to post.
"Gentlemen, touchdowns follow blocking as sure night follows day" -Gen Neyland
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sec realist
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September 5th, 2015, 6:29 am #153

I haven't tried hudl yet, but I'm sure it's something that will be considered as times goes by.

Three structured practices this week. Two were of the team variety and one was with the hitting instructor.

Team practices were fine. Agility, speed and conditioning drills were the main focus. Some speed ladder, some cones and lots of running. Tired kids.

The pitchers on the team threw it 60 times on Wednesday. They're trying to get the kids to focus on form and follow through and not so much about accuracy right now. We'll see how that works.

I've been working with G on his footwork coming out of fielding a ground ball this week. Sometimes he get too quick and doesn't have good form throwing across the infield. So we worked a lot of shuffle steps and following through. Big gains in short order. He's like a sponge - he's just so easy to coach. He gets what you tell him almost immediately and then starts doing it the way you told him to.

Hitting was interesting. He's still has a tendency to have a long swing so his coach suggested I have him swing next to a fence to prevent the bat from getting long. I set up a pallet in the garage and let him have at it. He did fine for a while and then hit the pallet, which caused the bat to bounce off of his knee. It hurt. He kept at at though and I don't think has touched it since. Neat drill, and seems to have the impact the coach was wanting.

Quiet week.
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sec realist
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September 15th, 2015, 7:17 am #154

Here is an eight slide cut up of G's swing:

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sec realist
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September 15th, 2015, 7:18 am #155

Live with egrets, not regrets.
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sec realist
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September 15th, 2015, 7:19 am #156

Live with egrets, not regrets.
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sec realist
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September 15th, 2015, 7:20 am #157

Live with egrets, not regrets.
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sec realist
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September 15th, 2015, 7:20 am #158

Live with egrets, not regrets.
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sec realist
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September 15th, 2015, 7:21 am #159

Live with egrets, not regrets.
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sec realist
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September 15th, 2015, 7:22 am #160

Live with egrets, not regrets.
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sec realist
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September 15th, 2015, 7:23 am #161

Live with egrets, not regrets.
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sec realist
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September 15th, 2015, 7:44 am #162

He's doing really well and has taken to the coaching that he's received over the last several months. He needs to improve on a few things, but he's way ahead of most kids his age.

He's working on:

1.) Being quieter in his stance. He has a tendency to get a bit "happy" while waiting for his pitch. The dancing moves his head up and down, and that's not good. He needs to be still and completely balanced.

2.) He sometimes lets the bat get "long" early in the swing. The barrel of the bat really shouldn't extend too far behind his right heel. He's improved some, but this swing shows there's more work to do.

3.) The contact is great here. His hands are equal and opposite (to the sky, to the dirt), his eyes directly on the contact point, his right elbow is "connected" to the body and he has pretty good weight transfer.

4.) We'd like to get his right leg to come off of the ground and inch or two during the rotation. It helps to generate power.

5.) The follow through and balance is good. You could draw a triangle from his shoulders, down his arms and through the bat, which is pointing directly at the pitcher. That's a nice finish.

6.) We'd like to get that left knee pointed in slightly (as he recoils) so that his right hip rotates more easily. Keeping the knee straight or slightly pointing forward limits his torso twist.

I think you can see that he generates quite a lot of power for his 78 pounds.
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sec realist
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September 20th, 2015, 4:50 am #163

They had two games scheduled yesterday, but the second one was a rain out. (That makes three rains outs so far.)

He started at pitcher, and went three innings allowing two earned runs. He did pretty good, but "left some meat on the bone." He didn't throw it as hard as he usually does, and that allowed a couple of the better hitters to smash the ever-living-shit out of the ball. One kid almost went yard on him.

Still, lots of strikes - he forced the issue and made the kids swing the bat. At this age, lots of kids try to get walks. Their coaches instruct them to crowd the plate and to not swing the bat very often. Take the first strike, get lots of walks and the steal bases. I've told him to not be afraid to throw inside, and so he drilled one pool bastard. Dropped him to his knees and made him cry. After that inning, I asked him what he was thinking (I was actually asking him if he was okay from hitting the kid, but he didn't take it that way) and he said, "He shouldn't have standing on the plate!" Love it! He's a competitive little fucker, that's for sure.

He's still trying to get the feel of pitching, but he likes it a lot so far.

He was 1-1, with a walk and a bloop single. Nothing special at the plate. He did bat in the four-hole, though. He eats that shit up.

He made a couple of defensive plays. Nothing special, but the same old Mr. Automatic. Ball gets hit to him, he picks up and throws your ass out. Damn near every time.

Good times. No games this coming weekend, but then a stretch of four out of five weekends with doubleheaders scheduled.
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sec realist
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September 26th, 2015, 4:30 am #164

Practice in about two hours.

This one is supposed to be mostly about hitting and having the kids shag balls. We'll see.

He's been playing around with one of these now for a few weeks:



It's a ball that bounces in crazy ways, and so works on his hand-eye coordination and reflexes (I guess). He's a little wizard with it, but I have to be careful because he'll develop a bad habit using it if I'm not careful. In baseball, you want to field the ball on the balls of your feet and with your weight moving forward. With this ball, he'll often be sitting back on his heels, waiting to see which direction it's going to jump. It's something I watch and correct. The idea is for his hands to get quicker, but if he develops a bad habit of falling away we'll have something else to work on.

And then it's get back and watch some football. Go Gators!
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September 26th, 2015, 6:06 am #165

Maddox has his Bowl Day today at noon. They had their first game Monday night and won 52-6 and starters only played 3 series. That was great for him because all the scrimmages have been against elite level teams around the upstate so it was the first time he played against kids on his level. He played majority of the game and had two sacks and played really good. Playing sort of a strong safety position that they call DE. When they split out a slot he slides out and covers but the other night they ran a TE set so he comes up and makes it a 6 man front and has outside contain. They use the fast guys at that position because they can cover and/or speed rush the QB and blow shit up in the backfield.

Then tuesday night they were challenged by the champs from the county next door to us to a "scrimmage" game. We scored with a minute left to win 18-13. The only game they have lost was a scrimmage against Dabo Swinney's son's team by 1 score but they played up an age. That was a 13/U team and we are 12U.

I am telling you...this team he is on has some future college players. The little RB looks like Barry Sanders out there. He is so smooth in his cuts, tremendous vision, quick bursts, and just refuses to go down. He is the head coaches son and you can tell that they have spent a lot of money on training. He does everything well.
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sec realist
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September 26th, 2015, 10:37 am #166

I bet it's an amazing experience watching your kid play football. It's going to be a while, but I can't wait. He's dying to get after it.

Baseball today? Awful. His mind was on another planet this morning.

If he starts a practice off NOT throwing the ball hard, he might have a bad day. I could not get him to throw it hard today - he just wouldn't do it. Weird, really. The ball would get hit to him, and he'd just lob the ball wherever it was supposed to go. His coach isn't the kind of guy to "ride" the players, but he should probably have with G a little bit today.

Oh well, it happens I guess.

I had a good talk with one of the dads on the team today. He played pro ball in Puerto Rico and then coached some for their national team. He was a pitcher and then a pitching coach. His son isn't very good, by the way. Just very little coordination or physical skills to develop. We talked about the process for teaching a young player how to properly pitch, and he gave a few good tips. He said that he was going to help out with the team much more going forward (change in job, increased availability). Should be some good coaching.
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September 26th, 2015, 12:03 pm #167

Baseball today? Awful. His mind was on another planet this morning.
My nephew could hit the hell out of the ball, but in the outfield he watched birds and chased butterflies. Once there was a ball hit to his position and he was over in the corner trying to catch a chipmunk It just bored him. He played football like crazy though and must have gotten over the concentration issues - he's now a surgeon at Johns Hopkins.
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 11:23 am

September 26th, 2015, 4:47 pm #168

So today was a tough game against the Seminoles. We are up 3-0 early in second quarter. They are driving...Our bad ass little DL (who will play on Saturdays if he keeps on track) blows up the play, causes a fumble, we recover, and the QB be toom out starts punching him. It gets broken up...he gets up and knocks the shit out of the kid. Hard shove not a punch. Both are ejected and the other teams coaches get pissed and quit.take their ball and go home.
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Joined: August 30th, 2012, 2:29 pm

September 27th, 2015, 7:29 am #169

classy.
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September 27th, 2015, 7:33 am #170

brown_DOG_US wrote:classy.
the parents were yelling at our parents, our coaches, and yelling at the kid. They said "we will remember that #36. We will see you in the play offs and you will pay for that"

It was embarrassing in what was nothing more than a "Bowl Day" fundraiser and the game didnt even count for anything other than pride. Emabarrassing
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sec realist
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October 3rd, 2015, 7:52 pm #171

Doubleheader today.

G started game one at pitcher and hit clean up. He pitched three innings and allowed only one hit and no walks. Only one base runner! That said, it's just about throwing strikes at this age. he wasn't somehow overpowering, he was just accurate with decent velocity.

2-2 with a walk in that game. Two singles.

G started at short and hit in the four hole in game two.

Three beautiful plays at short and one error (bad throw).

1-2 with a walk. A double and a strike out looking (he said it was inside, and he has a good eye so he was probably right).

And he turned eight today.
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sec realist
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October 7th, 2015, 6:17 pm #172

G just keeps improving, seemingly with every swing of the bat.

One of the things that makes him so good is his ability to be coached. He just listens and then does what you tell him. Not everybody has that ability. And he asks why, too.

His hitting coach on Monday said that he was about to start the process of teaching him to get his right foot off of the ground during his swing (for increased power). He said this is a process usually reserved for much older kids, and that it can take six months or more before the movement becomes natural and the hand/eye coordination match up to it. He said to expect a decrease in contact and a short term increase in frustration, but that it will come. And when it comes, it will be with much more power. It can be difficult to knowingly do something that is going to make you worse at something, huh?

We've been working on keeping the bat closer to his should and quickening the bat path. He's finally started to do it consistently. We have two drill to work to make it happen. First, high tee drills with a low target on a fence. Second, top hand drill with the bat starting off on his shoulder. And I've added something to it in terms of process. First he'll hit a ball on a high tee (aiming low), then he'll do a top hand swing, then he'll slowly bring the bat - with the correct bat path - to the ball (sitting on the tee) and then he'll swing away. Three movements prior to a free swing, and he'll repeat it over and over.

Today at the field, he just fucking murdered the ball. Damn-near took my head off a couple of times. I stopped counting how many times he was hitting a 200 foot fence. At one point, he just started smiling, knowing full well he was crushing the ball.

At this age, he's fucking Ted Williams.

Team practice tomorrow, team practice on Saturday, more hitting lessons on Monday and stuff in between with he and I. The process continues.
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sec realist
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October 8th, 2015, 11:28 am #173



Some improvement in this pic. Notice his left leg "dip" to his right, allowing his right hip to"coil" back. This action allows for a more powerful swing.
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sec realist
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October 8th, 2015, 11:32 am #174



This pic (same swing) shows a quicker bat path and a more violent swing. The angles are getting better and better, as is his consistency worth solid contact.

His lower body is damn near perfect at this stage., at least for his age.

Next step is getting that back foot of the ground.
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sec realist
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October 15th, 2015, 7:42 am #175

The place where G gets his hitting lessons is a great resource and a wonderful place to make contacts. It's a hub of topnotch talent among all age groups and a place where coaches come to recruit and network.

There 's a coach that is putting together an "All Star" team just down the road from us. He's well-respected, having coached an older son on a dominant travel team and played minor league baseball.

We're supposed to meet on Monday to discuss what his idea of a team will be, what kind of kids (and families) he wants on it and what the expectations would be.

This sounds like a great opportunity for him to receive good coaching and to be part of a highly competitive group of kids (who will likely push each other).

We'll see.

Also, we went down to a local park last night to throw the ball some. There was a PAL football team for his age group practicing, and so we walked over and watch a bit. He was very excited to watch and told me he wants to play next season. When he got home, he went online and looked up the team on their website.

I think it's really good for kids to play multiple sports (for all sorts of reasons), but worry that the enormous advantage that he has over kids his own age in baseball right now might dissipate some if he were to miss a season. Plus, I'd like to see him a bit older before he plays football. Decisions, decisions, decisions.
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sec realist
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October 18th, 2015, 4:51 am #176

Had a doubleheader yesterday.

Was 1-2 with four walks. He blasted the first pitch off the outfield field for a triple. Opposite field, too. Hit the fence midway between the center and right field. Struck out looking the second time up with a ball that was probably above his ears. Crazy bad call, but that's part of the game. Then four straight walks over the rest of that game and the next.

Played short stop and pitcher and hit in the three-hole.

He got ate up on a line shot that bounced about four feet in front of him. Shit happens. But he made a few other plays and looked very good.
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sec realist
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October 24th, 2015, 1:22 pm #177

Only one game today, but what a game it was.

He was the starting pitcher - lasted three innings, striking out eight, walking one, allowing on hit and giving up no runs. He was the (little) man today on the mound.

Went 2-2 (with a double), had a walk and got hit by a pitch. No runs scored, though.

Good times.
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sec realist
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October 26th, 2015, 5:54 am #178

Two scrimmage games yesterday.

5-7, with three doubles, six rbi's, a strike out and a deep fly ball that was caught (and he was pissed that it was caught, I mean furiously angry).

Nothing special in the field, just routine outs. No errors.

The gap between his level of play and everyone else's on the field is growing, seemingly every week.
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sec realist
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October 26th, 2015, 6:47 pm #179

He was in full on Beast Mode tonight, just killing everything near the plate.

There was a 10u team that had rented out some cage time this evening. There must have been ten or 12 of them, and lots and lots of parents too.

I think I've said before, but they almost always put G in the cage that's front and center. (On some levels it's got to be good for business to have such a young kid that's working with one of their coaches murdering ball after ball.)

Anyway, as his lesson progressed people started to coalesce around the front desk, watching G hit the ball. I shit you not, there must have been eight parents and six or seven kids intently watching him hit the ball. And man was ever on - damn near every ball he hit tonight was squared up, and with authority. He has bad intentions swing a bat.

While everyone was watching, G's coach purposely (and loudly) asked me how old G was. Too funny.

As we were walking out the door a father asked, "Is he really only eight?" He was a rock star for a few minutes there, that's for sure.
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October 26th, 2015, 7:02 pm #180

Maddox and his team just finished his regular season undefeated. Had a great sack tonight. Nasty, rainy game against the Seminoles who are second best team in league.

Our kicker (11 years old) had a punt that went over 40 yards and and 35 yard FG. This kid is the best kicker in he state and was on Panthers field for divisional play offs as winner of punt/pass/kick. Kid is unreal
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sec realist
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October 27th, 2015, 5:01 am #181

One of G's friends plays on a 8-9 PAL football team.

He really wants to play next season.

I just don't know.

How old is Maddox? He's a bit lighter than the rest of the kids, right? Any worries?
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October 27th, 2015, 6:32 am #182

sec realist wrote:One of G's friends plays on a 8-9 PAL football team.

He really wants to play next season.

I just don't know.

How old is Maddox? He's a bit lighter than the rest of the kids, right? Any worries?

Maddox just turned 12. He is fairly tall for his age but yes much smaller. But now worries and maybe that is because I was always the smallest kid on the field growing up until I hit a growth spurt after my sophomore year. I was still just 5'9 150 pounds as a senior starting as option QB and CB. I guess maybe I should be concerned but I just never have been. He absolutely loves it and really developed as the season went on. Still a long ways to go if he wants to play high school ball but he developed into quite the natural cover guy. Still needs to work on tackling and gain confidence in that area.
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October 27th, 2015, 6:57 am #183

5'9"? Is that with your high heels on?
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sec realist
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October 27th, 2015, 7:27 am #184

He's also a swimmer too, right?

Can you see that playing football maybe helped with his swimming, too? I hear often that parents see the benefits of their kids playing football and just wonder what you think.

My concern with G is that he's in the 90th+ percentile in terms of height and weight, and so they're likely to be licking their chops to stick him on the line. I'd prefer he didn't play up front, but also don't necessarily want to be one of those dads that's an asshole to the coaches about their kid's playing time and position.

I think the competitive nature of football would be very helpful for his baseball. I also think the conditioning would be a great byproduct.

We're going to start a structured long-toss program this week. We've been just sorta winging it to this point, but it's now time to start something a bit more formal and structured. We'll go 10 throws from 10 yards, 10 from 20, 10 from 30, 10 from 40 and then figure out his max, and then work it back in with crow hops until he gets to 40 feet. At 40 feet, he'll throw 25 times from a pitching stance on flat ground. Three times a week to start.
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October 27th, 2015, 4:14 pm #185

brown_DOG_US wrote:5'9"? Is that with your high heels on?

And I am 5'10 now bitch
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October 27th, 2015, 4:16 pm #186

sec realist wrote:He's also a swimmer too, right?

Can you see that playing football maybe helped with his swimming, too? I hear often that parents see the benefits of their kids playing football and just wonder what you think.

My concern with G is that he's in the 90th+ percentile in terms of height and weight, and so they're likely to be licking their chops to stick him on the line. I'd prefer he didn't play up front, but also don't necessarily want to be one of those dads that's an asshole to the coaches about their kid's playing time and position.

I think the competitive nature of football would be very helpful for his baseball. I also think the conditioning would be a great byproduct.

We're going to start a structured long-toss program this week. We've been just sorta winging it to this point, but it's now time to start something a bit more formal and structured. We'll go 10 throws from 10 yards, 10 from 20, 10 from 30, 10 from 40 and then figure out his max, and then work it back in with crow hops until he gets to 40 feet. At 40 feet, he'll throw 25 times from a pitching stance on flat ground. Three times a week to start.
We will see if it helps him in swim...he took fall off to play football. I think some of the kids have surpassed him honestly so we will see if he catches back up
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October 27th, 2015, 5:02 pm #187

It's that "coming back to the pack" thing that I'm worried about.

Any football scenario would include continued batting lessons, and would probably also include pitching. Then, we're looking at four days of football and two with baseball. That's probably too much for a 8-9 year old boy.

Plus school. (We have a meeting with the SLP at his school this Thursday. He's developed a very slight problem with stuttering over the past few months. It's not and unless you know him you probably wouldn't really even notice it, but it's a thing we want to knock out before it becomes a bigger problem.)
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sec realist
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October 30th, 2015, 5:44 am #188

The meeting about G's "word finding problem" was yesterday.

The SLP had already completed a couple of observations, and so the process really had already started.

It was agreed that a formal evaluation will take place over the 60 days. Apparently, there will be weekly meetings with him to figure out the best path forward. And then we'll meet again to determine a treatment plan.

Also, while the group was gathered his teacher formally recommended the gifted program for him. His math and reading are way above grade level, and so the teacher is trying to figure out ways to enrich what she's able to do with him. So they're going to do an evaluation, which will include an IQ test and a series of other test to determine where he's at with respect to other kids his age. This process can take up to 90 days. We'll see.
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October 31st, 2015, 12:31 pm #189

Doubleheader today.

He was the starting pitcher in the first game. He went three innings, striking out six and walking one. Gave up two runs. He was throwing gas today, too. He LOVES pitching.

He went 2-5, with a double and a strike out. Nothing special at the plate today. He smashed one straight to the shortstop, who promptly tagged the runner that was a second base for an inning ending double play. He was pissed, but that's baseball.

He only played first base today (after pitching). The coach tries to think through where he plays kids after they pitch, which I appreciate. Taking care of the arms is a big deal.

Good times.
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November 14th, 2015, 7:14 am #190

Leaving for a game shortly.

He's the starting pitcher today against the team with the best record in their division. Will be interesting to see how he pitches today.

I recruited a potential team for him earlier this week. It was mostly a joke. I did quite a lot of research on the team and its coach, and thought it might end up being a pretty good option going forward. After watching practice and talking to the coach, I think we'll pass. He needs to be pushed, and there's nobody on that team that threaten him.
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November 14th, 2015, 2:16 pm #191

He played well today.

Went 1-2, and got hit by a pitch. Scored a run and stole three bases. He faced the hardest thrower he's ever seen today, and roped one about five feet over the short stop's head. He just missed the second one, sending it about fourteen miles straights up.

Pitched three innings, allowing two runs. Stuck out six and walked one. The runs shouldn't have scored, but his team can't catch fly balls and field grounders with any regularity.

He keeps getting better.
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November 17th, 2015, 5:43 am #192

Last night, we were asked to have a private workout from perhaps the state's best 8u team.

We'll probably take the workout, although we may not elect to join the team.

The problem is that 8u and 9u have different rules (and he's playing up at 9u right now). 8u pitches from 42 feet while 9u pitches from 46. That might not sound like much of a difference, and it ultimately might not be, but G is pitching very well now at the longer distance. Why take a step backwards? Plus, the level of play he'd be playing against isn't likely to be as good as it is now.

The team apparently plays a good deal of its games against 9u competition, though. I'll have to take a look at the schedule, I guess.

The 8u team is part of a larger organization that has high level teams in multiple divisions, and that's a big plus. They're one of the most well established, long-term programs in the state. High level coaching for years to come if we pick this route.

The coach of the team I scouted last week actually mentioned this team by name. I had asked the question about how good their team was. He said, "We're never going to be as good as [they are] because they cherry pick the best players from all of the teams."

One thing we don't know is the cost. That, and how much travel will we need to commit to. Hotel rooms and eating out all of the time is costly.
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November 19th, 2015, 5:51 am #193

When it rains, it pours. I was contacted by three separate teams yesterday about having my son join their team for the spring season.

We now have six different options on the table (and apparently counting) for teams for the upcoming spring season.

The first is a newly forming group about half an hour south of here. G would be on "scholarship" and so there would be zero costs for us. This is a well-funded, sponsor-backed team with two paid coaches (who don't have kids on the team). The guy who is putting it together is financially loaded (sold a popular restaurant chain a few years ago), and is trying to put something together for his son going forward. Plus, if G joins this team our costs for his hitting instructions will go away. He has worked out a a deal (to the same place G currently goes, by the way) where he pays for every kid on the team to have weekly individualized hitting lessons and cage time, and the pitchers on the team will also get private lessons weekly. This option would literally save us thousands of dollars yearly. How in the hell could I ever hope to beat this deal? Our only costs will be travel and hotel.

The second team is just finishing its first season together, and they're looking to get better. Not sure about the costs for this one. We're supposed to meet in early December for a workout. The main coach is the grandfather of one of the players and was a high school coach for 19 seasons.

The third is going to be a new team as well, made up from the best parts of two existing teams. The main coach played at USF. We're supposed to meet in early December for a workout.

G is a hot commodity right now.
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November 21st, 2015, 12:58 pm #194

Two games today.

Three innings pitched - seven K's, one walk and one run allowed.

2-3, with a double and a single and two walks. Two RBI's, four stolen bases, three runs scored and a caught stealing (bad jump).

A bad error at short stop - he just let the ball go right between his legs, without much of an effort. Almost lazy.

Good times, though. I don't recall ever having as much fun.
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December 1st, 2015, 5:33 am #195

So my son's hitting instructor is sort of becoming his agent. It's funny, if not a bit strange.

He told me last night that he'd like to invite three coaches (from competing teams) to come watch him work out. His thought is, "why should G have to go try out for all of these teams, let them come to his work out instead."

I actually like the idea because it will save me a lot of time.

His thought is to have an hour and a half session, split into thirds. He'd split the time hitting, fielding and pitching.
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December 8th, 2015, 8:20 am #196

Well, this weekend G has two tryouts - one on Saturday and one on Sunday, both in Tampa. He will most likely be invited to be a part of those teams, and it's also likely that we'll refuse those invitations.

I think the process of trying out for a team is something that will be good for him going forward. Experience is a great thing.

The really big tryout is next supposed to be next week. It's for one of the best teams in the state, a team that is planning on playing in some sort of World Series in Los Angeles over the summer. I'd like him to be on the top of his game for that one and for him to not be nervous. We'll see where it goes. (Even if he makes this team, I'm not sure it we'll join. This is a team that likes to travel a lot, and we'll have to see how much that schedule would cost in terms of hotels, eating out and team costs.)

Big couple of weeks.
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December 13th, 2015, 11:56 am #197

Well, two tryouts down with a few options still out there.

The first one was confusing. The coach seemed competent but a bit too eager and very much wanting to impress me with his baseball knowledge. There were 15 kids giving it a go, and a few of them were pretty good players.

The coach started out by timing the kids running the bases, which I found odd. Why tire the kids out at the beginning of the workout? Weird.

Then they loosened up their arms and went straight to fielding. They had the kids line up at short stop and then field a series of balls and throw to first. G did what he always does, which is excel.

Then they moved out to the outfield so they could field fly balls and make some throws.

Then they had a few of the kids pitch on the side. This is what I was most interested in as I'm a firm believer that the best teams at this age have the best pitching. G has really come on lately in regards to pitching, and he did very well. He threw 25 pitches and probably threw 22 strikes. The coach offered him a tip in terms of his grip when throwing his two seam fastball, and it worked. He wanted him to try to throw a cut fastball, and it moved about 6 inches. Really cool to watch him learn.

Then they went to hit inside the cages. G didn't have his best session, but he was still a top performer for the day. Dropping his hand a little bit today, which is something that we have to work on from time to time. He wants to hit the ball so hard that he sometimes tries too hard.

The coach extended the offer for a roster spot. We'll see.

The tryout for today had better players and a much more structured and thought out set of drills. There were a few good players out there today.

G was his normal self out there, just sucking up every ball that got hit near him (including a beautiful diving forehand). Then he bashed the cover off of the ball during the hitting session. He was very sharp with his pitching again today, throwing the ball hard and accurate.

G has three major advantages: he's a great hitter, an exceptional fielder and a very good pitcher.

They offered him a roster spot as well. We're not going accept this one. It's just too far away for two practices a week.

Next up is a tryout on Wednesday night. This is the probable landing spot, but we'll have to wait and see. I need to see the other pitchers before I commit.

Anyway, interesting times for my son. These are good experiences for him to go through.
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December 15th, 2015, 3:13 pm #198

G has another tryout tomorrow night and then another in scheduled for Thursday.

If we like what we see at tomorrow's tryout, we'll probably just shut it down and stick with that option. It's the closest, it's a "scholarship" deal in that there are no out of pocket costs or fees for this team and it will provide each of the kids on the team some weekly time at the same baseball training facility that G goes to now. I don't see a downside to this option right now. Two practices a week and three tournaments a month. All free sounds good to me.

He had another lesson last night, and did very well. The coach offered him a deal. He told G that if he were to get 20 hits out of 30 pitches (in the simulation) that he would give him a new wrap for his bat. G started off slowly, only having two hits in his first eight "at bats." But then he turned it on, finishing 22-30. He's a fighter, for sure.

Good times.
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December 16th, 2015, 7:15 pm #199

So, the team search is over (at least for this season).

This option:

1.) Is completely free. It will very likely be sponsored in part by a baseball company Combat, the maker of high end bats (the $400 kind). That means that all of the kids will get bats - free of charge - as well as just about every other kind of equipment that could possibly be needed. We're talking jerseys, pants, cleats, helmets, gloves and anything else you can think of. All free. There will be zero charges in the way of tournament fees, umpire fees, field rental costs or anything else.

The other part of the sponsorship is a father on team and his deep pockets. He owned a very popular local pizza chain that he apparently sold for an absolute fortune. He's doing this for his son. He wants this to be a long term deal, going out seven or eight years. He wants to do the Cooperstown tournament, the Disney's Wide World of Sports tournaments that happen with some frequency and other big time tournaments that get put on.

2.) It will rent out a local baseball training facility two hours each week, including all four coaches! This has to cost, at the very least, $500 a night - and it will be done every week of the season. We're talking four to five months here! We're talking somewhere in the neighborhood of $8,000-$10,000 in total cost.

3.) There will be two practices per week and a tournament on the weekend.

I feel like I walked into a golf mine, really. There are two other "well respected" team in the area that we've considered, and both have monthly fees (between $175-$200).

The tryout was pretty impressive. There were probably seven really good ball players on the field tonight, and there's another kid that couldn't make it. Five guys look like really good pitchers.

Looks good so far.
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December 27th, 2015, 5:44 am #200

One thing all successful people have in common is goal setting, and so G and I sat down to figure out what he wants to accomplish this coming season and to put those goals on paper.

He has three.

1. He wants to hit three home runs this season. (This is very doable, perhaps even likely.)

2. When pitching, he wants to have a strike out to walk ratio of 8 to 1. (This is going to be a challenge. His pitching is getting better and better, but the kind of control needed for this goal might be a stretch at this age.)

3. He wants to be able to hit a ball 200 feet in the air. (This is all about off the field work. How much is going going to invest? How many times a week is he going to want to do plank? What about jump rope? What burpees? This is hard, physical work.)
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