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Thread: Little League

  1. #1481
    Quote Originally Posted by Sparksdale View Post
    We're not playing any ball right now but I will post later on how I'm really proud of little sparks (although he aint so little anymore).
    Sparks, glad to hear from you again, and - while I assume your 'really proud' comment portends a report of good tidings - I hope you're always proud of him (even during those times when you want to wring his neck, as happens to all of us with teenagers). Most importantly, has he had any contact with college coaches? If some kind of recruitment commitment hasn't happened by the end of September, he may find himself fighting an uphill battle to get hooked up with a college program other than as a walk-on.

  2. Ursa,

    Our school has hired a new baseball coach. He was a surprise hire as he was highly sought after from many other schools. To be honest no one really knows why he chose our school but we are very proud to have him.

    This new coach is tough and hard. I mean he is really tough. They have started workouts which are 5 days a week 4 hours a day. The coach flat out told the boys he's trying to make most of them quit. He wants to see who has what it takes to play for him. I think about 6 kids have quit so far.

    To say I love this coach is an understatement.

    It's a long story but I fully expected little sparks to quit. We've been having some trouble with him and in my mind I had just given up him playing baseball anymore. So I knew this coach and my boy would "clash" and I figured he would just quit.

    Something triggered in my boy..... he has bought into this new coach and my boy would never say it but I think he really loves him.

    The other day they were doing long toss, and this new coach came running across the field in a full sprint and ask little sparks this......

    "Where did you get that"?

    "Get what" little sparks asked

    "that arm" the coach replied.

    Confused little sparks gave a smart ass answer "I got it on my shoulder....why?"

    The coach looked at him and touched his shoulder "how fast do you throw?"

    "85 or 86" little sparks answered

    The coach looked confused..... "son when we clocked everyone a few weeks ago you were throwing 81 and 82....why?"

    Sparks told him his arm wasn't feeling good that day.....I know the real answer.... Little sparks was in one of his pissy moods and he wasn't about to show this new coach his arm. I was there that day and sparks was just lobbing the ball.

    Anyway, the coach looked at my boy and said.... "if you listen to me and do everything I tell you I'll have you at 90mph by Christmas. I think I can get you to 95 before baseball season."

    Regardless if this coach can get him to that speed all I care about is my boy has really bought into this coach and is doing everything he says. These workouts are really really tough and he's coming in everyday about to fall from being tired and sore. But he's sticking it out.

    Sparks

  3. #1483
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    I never cared for coaches who wanted to drive off players. But he might be the right coach for your son. He's not going to get him to 95. That's absurd. If there are mechanical flaws he might increase 4 mph.

  4. tg643

    Give you an idea..... at the first meeting with the players, our coach told the boys he got phone calls from several other high school coaches. All advised him not to take this job.....one coach told him our school had the worst baseball team he'd ever seen. I'll tell you this...it was not an exaggeration....last year we were really really bad.

    The coach told the boys he loves a challenge.

    Our new coach currently has two sons playing in the major league's.....one is a very big star and the other a quality major league pitcher. He also has another son in the minor's.
    (for those of you who can figure out who this coach is I ask you not mention his name here)

    Can this coach get my boy to 95? No.... no way.....but just to get my boy to work hard to reach that goal is enough. Can he get my boy to 90? I think he can easily..... my boy is popping 85 to 87 while being lazy and not working. I can't imagine what he can do if he put 100% effort into it......we'll see.

    Regarding the players who've quit....to be blunt this coach needed to get rid of some dead wait and boys with bad attitude. This coach has had several several state championships and last year 9 of his players got scholarships. So this coach knows what it takes to improve.... I"m just glad my boy has bought into his program and it's my hope he sticks it out.

    Sparks

  5. #1485
    Any updates?

  6. #1486
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparksdale View Post
    Ursa,

    Our school has hired a new baseball coach. He was a surprise hire as he was highly sought after from many other schools. To be honest no one really knows why he chose our school but we are very proud to have him.

    This new coach is tough and hard. I mean he is really tough. They have started workouts which are 5 days a week 4 hours a day. The coach flat out told the boys he's trying to make most of them quit. He wants to see who has what it takes to play for him. I think about 6 kids have quit so far.

    To say I love this coach is an understatement.
    My HS Varsity swim coach had this same philosophy: you'd better not be able to climb out of the pool or you know you didn't train hard enough!

    This type of coach is great for some and horrible for others, but can really teach hard-work and dedication to your craft.

  7. Winding Down:

    Now the end is near. I started this thread so long ago and now the time has come as we come into little sparks final season.
    He is a senior in HS and no doubt will be his last year of baseball. I think he had the talent to go to the next level but simply did not have the desire. He stopped working hard long ago and now he just plays but with little or no passion.

    We've played two games thus far and my boy has decided (against the wishes of his coaches) to do nothing but pitch. He could be the starting SS but just doesn't want it anymore. He doesn't even want to bat because batting practice takes away from his "fun" time.

    In the two games we've played he has one save and a no decision from last nights game. Last night he started the game on fire and struck out the 5 of the first 6 hitters. We had as 7 run lead and it was going to be an easy victory. In the 3rd inning little sparks blew up and couldn't throw his off speed pitches and they sat on his fastball. He gave up 7 runs in the 3rd and the coach pulled him.

    You know I don't care if he gave up 7 runs or 700 runs....baseball humbles the best players.....what disappointed me is my boy got mad and would not support his teammates as they had an incredible come from behind victory and won the game 16 to 9.

    I'll try to update more as the final season and the end to this journey comes to a close.

    Sparks

  8. #1488
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    If this year is the end make sure you enjoy it. You never know what might happen. He could have a good year and change his mind. He might finish the season and decide he wants more. A coach of a local JuCo could approach him. But whatever the case, enjoy the ride. Good luck on the season.

  9. Of all things to happen!!!

    Life is so funny......

    Tonight is the night we've waited for since my boy was 9 years old......he did something tonight he has never done.

    Tonight against the defending state champions my boy threw his first no hitter and struck out 13 while only walking 1.

    It was quite literally the best game he has ever and I mean ever played.

    So if it all ended tonight it was sheer joy to watch him perform at such a high level. Believe me....it wasn't one of those nights where the pitcher got lucky.... he was unhittable. I have no idea how hard he's throwing but it he is simply throwing fire. It has to be somewhere around 90mph....

    Thank you God for tonight..... it brought back memories of when he was 11 and 12 and dominated teams. It was simply joy.....

    Sparks

  10. #1490
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    Congratulations to your son.

  11. #1491
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    SoCal
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    Pretty impressive since he started Tuesdays game went deep into the 3rd inning probably threw at least 50 pitches and to be able and come back on 2 days rest to throw a complete 7 inning no hitter.

  12. #1492
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    WOW!! That is fantastic Sparks....congratulations.

    Who knows, that may just be the little spark that he needs to relight a passion....but if not, at least he has a wonderful memory from his senior year that he will take with him the rest of his life.

    Very happy for the both of you,
    mud -
    In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

  13. Quote Originally Posted by Standballdad View Post
    Pretty impressive since he started Tuesdays game went deep into the 3rd inning probably threw at least 50 pitches and to be able and come back on 2 days rest to throw a complete 7 inning no hitter.
    We were surprised he got the call to start tonight. He had been told he was going to be the closer for tonight's game but for some reason his coach texted him and informed him he was starting. I think the plan was for him to pitch two maybe three innings because one of our other pitchers was told he would be the relief pitcher for tonight game.
    I will say, the last two innings the coach told my boy he would take him out when he gives up a hit.
    So I think tonight was just one of those things that happens when no one expects it.

    Sparks

  14. #1494
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    What awesome news! I hope it is the catalyst for more good things to come this year for little Sparks.

  15. #1495
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    May 2010
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    Glad to hear hes still playing and that things went well the other night, Is he getting any sniffs from colleges? Do you think if he did it would renew his passion for the game? Good luck this season.Tryouts for varsity start next monday here. Little Chevy gave up basketball to train all winter, hope things pay off for him. Its amazing how fast they grow up.

  16. Quote Originally Posted by ctheusa View Post
    Glad to hear hes still playing and that things went well the other night, Is he getting any sniffs from colleges? Do you think if he did it would renew his passion for the game? Good luck this season.Tryouts for varsity start next monday here. Little Chevy gave up basketball to train all winter, hope things pay off for him. Its amazing how fast they grow up.
    No. No colleges no one has ever called us.
    His size is a big drawback. They list him at 5' 8" and 185 pounds.
    Besides his grades are terrible.

  17. #1497
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    Congrats to Sparks on the No-Hitter! That is fantastic....

    He may regain the extreme love for Baseball and play college ball. It has happened before where after a year off guys realize they miss it so much and return to the game. There are always Community College teams, Junior Colleges, etc. In the meantime, enjoy the ride of this Senior season. Sounds like it is off to a great start

    Sparksdale, you always said that you felt like little Sparks could step up against the best competition, if given the opportunity. By no-hitting the defending State Champs, he proved you right!

  18. #1498
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparksdale View Post
    No. No colleges no one has ever called us.
    His size is a big drawback. They list him at 5' 8" and 185 pounds.
    Besides his grades are terrible.
    If he gets the bug to play past high school look at JuCos.

  19. #1499
    Sparks, congrats to you both on the great game. As you know, folks here have implored you to write the whole journey up as a big, seeing as how you're a writer and all. I think with this we might even be able to make it into a movie - but who would believe it, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparksdale View Post
    No. No colleges no one has ever called us.
    His size is a big drawback. They list him at 5' 8" and 185 pounds.
    Besides his grades are terrible.
    First of all, if you don't ask, you don't get. Few colleges will come looking for a kid who's not made a big name for himself or shown up at showcases. So, you may have to search them out and talk to them. But, most schools' application dates have ended and, if his grades are weak, a JC may be his only real option. So, assuming that there are probably no more than a half-dozen within real commuting range, those are your targets. Are you planning for him to do some college next year, or was he thinking of taking some time off? And, the best you may be able to do is to get a promise of a serious look-see from a coach when he gets there, since JC's don't offer scholarships.

    I think the best approach would be to contact the coaches of those schools via an email and a mailed version of the text of the email that he writes that introduces himself, states his interest in the school, points out that he's been a little inconsistent because of injuries but think he can help the team, throws a fastball/curve/whatever and his fastball has been clocked at ____ MPH, and then briefly but modestly note that his recent outing shows what he can do, with a few specifics the way you described it to us. Include a video link to a YouTube video with him pitching (with a radar gun reading in the foreground if possible), and any video from his big game, if you can. Also, if his new HS coach is as respected in the area as you think, it's probably fair to for him to approach the coach to say that - while he knows that he's been inconsistent - his chances of pitching at the next level are never going to be more promising than they are this week and he'd appreciate any advice the coach might have about how to bring it to the attention of local college coaches. Normally I would say that it would be okay for you to make the approach to the HS coach, but I'm guessing that any reluctance the coach might have to use up his credibility with colleges would stem from his concern that your boy doesn't care enough and might flame out when he reaches college. So, the boy will need to look the coach in the eye and persuade him that he's dedicated to making him proud.

    This all assumes that the boy is excited enough to make that commitment. The hard part is getting him to realize that - if he doesn't take this step now - this will be his last hurrah and the cleats will come off for good in three months and he'll just be one of those guys that his teammates will talk about 50 years from now to each other and say, "Gawd, remember that game that short kid threw back in 2014? He coulda beaten any HS team in the country that day, and then he gave it up and threw all that talent away. Pretty pitiful."

    Oh, and Sparks, check your PM's.

  20. #1500
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    Your HS coach has connections with JUCOs. Use him. Talk to him about what opportunities he might see for your son in college.
    efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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