Sunday blog: What summer ball has become

first_imgby Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — My son, who is 11-years-old, asked me a few weeks ago if he could play baseball. I was a little surprised. He had never showed interest in playing the game. He hadn’t played since his T-Ball days. He said one of his buddies wanted him to play with him.I was OK with that, but feared my son may be a step behind with some of his teammates coming in so late to the game.It didn’t work out for a myriad of reasons. Ultimately, it came down to the fact Quinn is a busy boy, at least during the evening, and baseball got cut from the schedule. It didn’t help, the coaches were in game mode before the season started. I, nor my son, was not. I had registered Quinn in the developmental league – the most basic league the Wellington Recreation Commission has to offer. Still it felt like a tournament type team with a list of teams that included out-of-town squads.After leaving the team, I still wanted Quinn to learn a little about baseball. I asked him if he’d like to go to a baseball skills camp – like a week long, hour long rec program where he could learn some fundamentals about the game – like how to hit, or catch a ball, or where to throw it from a specific position. But after thumbing through the rec program, I couldn’t find that such a class existed.We have swimming lessons, we have tennis camps, we have pottery classes, we have Zumba. But there is nothing in the rec program to sharpen the baseball/softball skills of our young men and women. This is baffling to me when our youth play a zillion games over the summer. Heck football and basketball coaches have camps.I would love it if the rec could find a baseball/softball guru, who would host a small class, maybe five or six kids and work with them for an hour Monday through Friday during the morning or afternoon.You could level the classes like swimming lessons so some of the more experience players won’t be lumped with the novice players.It has proven to be very effective for the tennis program. Allen Keller, a tennis guru, has been sharpening the skills of our youth tennis players for years. It is of no coincidence that the high school tennis program has been the most successful WHS sports program over the past 10 years.I personally think Wellington, as a community, has lost its mind when it comes to youth baseball and softball. Even the WRC officials are gravitating toward more of a tournament travel league setting. For the first time this year, an open league is offered through the rec in which a coach can put together his/her own roster and play in various tournaments. WRC Director Cody White said this was done in hopes to slow down the exodus of players leaving town to play ball.Youth summer ball has become a huge industry for 20 or so years now, and we now have a generation of coaches and players who have grown up living the traveling league tournament baseball/softball circuit. It’s part of our culture. My family has been part of it to some degree with my eldest son.But the reality is, travel/tournament baseball has not improved the quality of play. Ask any old-timer who once played baseball what they think of the quality of youth baseball these days. Look at any high school box score in the paper. Chances are you’ll find a plethora of games where teams are committing more errors than hits.I’m not asking that we do away from travel league baseball. That’s a decision for the parent.I’m just asking for a class that can teach my kid some fundamentals.He asked to play baseball and we adults failed him.•••••Quinn’s thoughtsSpeaking of the devil, Quinn has some thoughts for this week…Quinn McCue1. I got some water mellon today. I’m Planning on eating at least a quarter of it…. 0_o I know I really do love water mellon.2. I might do a fund raiser but I’m not sure. I’ll give you a hint about it. pop tart Rainbow Space.3. Since i can’t run for president i might run for state representative. (Editor’s note: Quinn was born in Guatemala).4. I hate mother nature, first she freezes us with cold, wet, and freezing weather. Then she scorches us with heat and humidity. Some times I wonder if this has to do anything with global warming.5.I’m making a summer bucket list (thing to do by the end of summer) but i only got two things. Leave in the comments below what i should do before the end of summer.Well thats all for me good bye Sumner County friends, peace! Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (20) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +10 Vote up Vote down Citizen · 377 weeks ago Would love to see Nate Cornejo rise to the challenge of Mentoring our youth with his baseball knowledge! Report Reply 0 replies · active 377 weeks ago +2 Vote up Vote down WHS Grad · 377 weeks ago Sports are the only things that matter. My 11-year old daughter has requested to work in the community doing volunteer work for the summer. Maybe someday she will realize the importance of character building and life skills that only sports can offer. Report Reply 0 replies · active 377 weeks ago -8 Vote up Vote down Motherofkids · 377 weeks ago As a softball mother it is hard to even put a team together because most people are traveling to other towns to play. The rec also needs to back these teams up, updated equipment and organization within the rec. With many times leaving the coach to handle all the details from tournaments entries, calling other towns to schedule games to covering the cost of game balls and some fees. Traveling teams in other towns have months of practice before us and we stand hoping that the limited number of girls we have show up so we can play. Do I think disorganization is in the rec YES. Report Reply 0 replies · active 377 weeks ago +6 Vote up Vote down ProRec · 377 weeks ago This could get comical. Only if citizens were knowledgeable about rec baseball or softball. I have been around both programs for years, coaching both baseball and softball and have had great experiences. Being a head coach pretty much volunteers you to help out as much as possible. There is quite a bit of planning that goes on with a summer ball season. SOME teams start practicing in February to get ready for the season. As for you softball mother, if you want facts go down to the rec and find them out, other than spouting off an uninformed or maybe in this case an uneducated remark. Report Reply 1 reply · active 377 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down Larry · 377 weeks ago They don’t do little league in Wellington anymore. We have the traveling teams here in New Mexico also, but also still have little league and pick an all star team at the end of the season with hope of working up to Williamsport for the little league world series. If they have given up on that, that is really to bad. Report Reply 0 replies · active 377 weeks ago +7 Vote up Vote down CueballSumnernewscow 94p · 377 weeks ago If anyone is misconstruing my column as anti-rec then they missed the whole point. Our rec rocks. It’s the lack of priorities amongst all of us in not providing the best learning environment for our kids when it comes to baseball/softball. Report Reply 0 replies · active 377 weeks ago +5 Vote up Vote down sportsfan · 377 weeks ago To those who blame the Rec, lets give Cody a chance. Remember he has just taken the position at the Rec and lets give him ideas. Agree there is other things that we all would like to see but not everything can be done. Also, think about how competitive all sports have got. I grew up playing ball for fun but as I got older it got very competitve and now we teach our children to be competitve. Lets get some positive role models for these kids to get basic skills but learn to have fun as well. Report Reply 0 replies · active 377 weeks ago +9 Vote up Vote down Parent · 377 weeks ago Why don’t you take your son down to 9th St. and toss him some baseballs in the cage? Your oldest son was a ball player, get him out in the yard and practice. Its not the recs fault that kids aren’t learning the skills. Its lazy parents! Report Reply 1 reply · active 377 weeks ago +3 Vote up Vote down Reality Check · 377 weeks ago I’m guessing what Cueball is probably saying there are too many dumbass dads coaching baseball. Report Reply 1 reply · active 377 weeks ago +4 Vote up Vote down anonymous · 377 weeks ago i would rather be a dumbass dad with character and heart enough to take on a kids ball team than a dumbass dad doing something truly dumbass… or nothing at all for kids or nothing charitable for this community which, by the way, would be a lot better off if more people had the integrity to be a “dumbass coach” or help out (or even attend) the Great Race or some of our other opportunities for involvement. Report Reply 0 replies · active 377 weeks ago 12Next » Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. 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