December 10, 2015

“Watch and Learn!!!”

A year from today you will wish that you had started today..START NOW!!

The 2015 World Series was fun to watch, but most importantly, an excellent exhibition on basic baseball mechanics, fundamentals of the game, and how a group of players trying their best and working together won the ring! The Royals have proved that it does not take high-priced players, long ball hitters, and an ace on the hill to win it. They won with good sound fundamental play and with all the team on the same page playing their own way…the Royal way! The manager, Ned Yost, put his players in a position that allowed them to play their game, at their speed, and with emotion and grit. Too many teams spend the big dollars and come up short, as many times the big dollars create complacency and kill the hunger to win and join with others for a common goal! Go Royals!!

The MOST important lesson and takeaway of this particular Series was the ability and understanding of the Royal hitters to make adjustments with each pitch and count. The Royals were OUTstanding with two-strike counts and made the proper adjustments. By making changes in their approach and swing with 2 strikes, they did not strike out, but put the ball in play. This put pressure on the other team and you saw what happened in the ninth inning of two games…how making contact turned out…errors that gave the Royals another chance and VIOLA!, they won it 4 games to one!!!! Making contact(in any at bat) with two strikes is a result of changing your mind set and going short to the ball. This means eliminating a BIG swing and replacing it with a short and quick swing. A batter simply turns his/her hips with swiftness, and the arms and bat follow. If this is done quickly and with a strong swing, the ball will be in play, and there is less chance to miss it and strike out. Striking out does nothing but give the other team the advantage!! See attached: Two Strike Hitting. Simply a word to the wise and those who wish to play on!

Remember: The best hit balls are when the ball makes contact with the sweet spot…and the easiest way to get that to occur is to shorten your swing and quicken your hips!!

VERY IMPORTANT: The first half of the Klouter fees are DUE NOW! Please send your check for $250.00 to PO Box 497, Medina, WA 98039 Thanks

The Annual November Pitching/throwing and Hitting Camp is November 21-22nd. ALL Klouter players are highly encouraged to attend. We understand that schedules are busy but a player may attend a single session(there are 4, 2 of each) if it is the only one that will fit. You may sign up for 1, 2, 3 or all(any combination)..sign up now!! This is our most important camp/clinic in that we review fundies and teach the basic drills a player can do in order to prepare for the coming season. Players going to Vietnam MUST attend!!!

ALL Klouters, please send the information to other players, families, coaches, etal…we really want to have a full house! GAGPTH! KWTP!

Team Parker solved the acronym for the 2016 season: TYT…COM! Trust Your Teammate…Count On Me! Nice job!!

Those attending the camp, please bring any books, sports cards, DVDs, gobots(and similar)and/or legos for our friends in need. We are collecting these items for the local kids as well as for the needy when we take “Baseball Connect” to Hanoi in the spring..THANK YOU!!

HEROES of the MONTH: Ryan and Logan P. (11U) for their community service work in teaching kids to play ball! Andy B (Alum) for his two years in the Peace Corps in distant Peru. Carla B. for her UNBELIEVABLE hard work for FirstSwing and the Klouters for the past years!

DRILL of the MONTH: Procure a 3-4 foot plastic tube and begin a regular regime of tube stretching. Even the simplest stretching exercises will help develop arm strength, tighten the CORE, and help develop stronger hands and wrists.

QUOTE of the MONTH: “Listen up, because I’ve got nothing to say and I am only going to say it once” Yogi Berra

FACTOID of the MONTH: On September 3rd, Bryce Harper had the following box score: 0-4-0-1 NO official at bats, four runs scored, NO hits, and one RBI!! He had 4 walks and became the first MLB player to score 4 runs and drive in one without recording an at bat.

BASEBALL TALK Of the MONTH: A “Labrador”: a player who goes for every ball!

RULE of the MONTH: In order to be a true Klouter, you must eat five(5) colors at every meal and hydrate every day!! KWTP!!!

BOOK of the MONTH: The Matheny Manifesto, Mike Matheny. Mike wrote this book prior to his stint as the St. Louis Cardinal manager. He had coached a 10U team and wrote a very interesting 3 page letter to the parents of the youth team. After the letter went viral, he then wrote this book to iterate some of the lessons needed to be taught by youth coaches. Very similar to our mission and FirstSwing beliefs! 5 Gloves

MOVIE of the MONTH: “Havana Curveball”(2001). The true story of a young boy who wishes to send balls, bats, etc to Cuba. This story has some religious overtones but really tells a great tale of “connecting countries with baseball”. Sound familiar?

PROFILE of the MONTH: Minnie Minoso

Please do encourage all friends and family to use the AmazonSmile connector on our firstswingbaseball.org website…each and every penny is most important in maintaining our philanthropy and helping others..Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving.

GAGPTH! TYT…COM!!! Coach Phil