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Sparks Journey from Little League to College

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  • Just wanted to say how much I love this thread. Here's hoping this young man continues to find the competitive fire within

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    • I think we can find a bit of our own son's in this thread.

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      • Originally posted by tradosaurus View Post
        I think we can find a bit of our own son's in this thread.
        3and2Fastball said: "Just wanted to say how much I love this thread. Here's hoping this young man continues to find the competitive fire within."
        Trade, both you and 3and2 raise good points that are sort of implied by the mere fact that this thread has gone on so long and continues to draw so much interest. Distilling years of posts, we have a youngster coming from an originally difficult family circumstance now being raised by his grandparents who hope to have baseball instill some of the values and incentives that any structured endeavor - whether it's sports or music or academics - that we all hope our kids (and the kids we coach) find in some way. Perhaps because of this youngster's upbringing and undeniable skill, we see the rollercoaster ride of sports with greater and clearer contrast than in most kids, and of course we see his caregiver/grandfather's thoughts because he has bravely chosen to share them with us. This makes great fodder for both debate and learning, while all the while hopefully not leading Sparks astray.

        What also makes this story compelling is because this young man - as with so many - is riding the razor's edge as to whether he'll stay with baseball or not, as his HS years are soon to end, and playing beyond that is hard to do, if for no reason other than sheer numbers - only about 10 percent of HS players go on to play college varsity ball at any level. So, it's not a tragedy for a youngster to stop playing competitive sports; for many it frees them up to take that spirit that they've acquired in sports (or music or chess club or whatever) and transfer it to their next set of objectives. As I often tell it, I was sad to see the best 10 y/o outfielder I've ever coached or seen decide to give up the game, but he's now a nationally renowned jazz vibraphonist at UCLA, so I guess he had a pretty decent back-up plan. But I think most of us see that Sparks' grandson isn't yet ready to leave the game, and the game still has much to give him in terms of structure, self-esteem, and incentive that nothing else in his life will be able to fill in just yet. So, let's stay tuned.
        sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

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        • I think another lesson I learned from reading this thread is the importance of raising your children with strong moral values and incorporating punishment at an early age.

          I see too many grandparents raising their grandkids and that is something I don't want.

          Of course when kids have their parents ripped away by this country through divorce it makes it very difficult to have consistency in raising kids.

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          • Originally posted by tradosaurus View Post
            I think another lesson I learned from reading this thread is the importance of raising your children with strong moral values and incorporating punishment at an early age.

            I see too many grandparents raising their grandkids and that is something I don't want.

            Of course when kids have their parents ripped away by this country through divorce it makes it very difficult to have consistency in raising kids.
            A minor quibble, but I prefer the term discipline over punishment.

            Discipline to me conveys a more complete avenue of learning and character building. This includes instruction, practice, punishment, reward and this dad attempting to live the standards he asks of his children. Punishment unfortunately does not always include instruction, alternative choices, or a living witness of the desired behavior.


            In my corner of the world, I am witnessing more mothers with multiple kids with different absentee fathers. It breaks my heart.

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            • Thread derailed.... I deleted the posts associated with the derailment. Stay on topic and lets not destroy one of the best threads in the E-world.
              "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
              - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
              Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

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              • Update:

                Not a lot to update....the legion season is going along. We are losing more games than we are losing. For some reason our Legion team doesn't have a coach and a few dads have been doing the coaching. They are doing the best they can but a team without a coach is like a band without a singer.

                Anyway, we had our first meeting with the new high school coach that is coming to our school next year. I love love love this guy. He is very hard nosed and tough. He's won several state championships with his previous school and he currently has two sons playing Major League baseball and another in double A.

                He told the players that most of them will not make it. He said he runs a very tough program and most of them will quit. He does not put up with anything and is hard core hard nosed get in your face kind of a coach. I love love love this guy.

                With that said I fear my boy will not make it. Instead of being excited when he got home he was complaining about all the rules and stuff. I just shook my head. It is my hope this coach can tear him down and build him back up. He's a good kid and all but he has really gotten lazy.

                Till next time....

                Sparks

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                • Wow, Sparks, what a post. Thanks for sharing.
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                  • Yeah!!! the thread is back!!!!!!

                    I know a lot of hard work has gone on behind the scenes and I want to thank those that are putting a lot of time and effort into this site.

                    Wow, when this thread was lost I thought 10 years of post were gone......THANK GOD THEY ARE STILL HERE!

                    I have some things to post in the next few days as my boy enters his senior year of school.
                    Can you believe he is a senior? My goodness how the time has passed.

                    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

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                    • Originally posted by Sparksdale View Post
                      Yeah!!! the thread is back!!!!!!

                      I know a lot of hard work has gone on behind the scenes and I want to thank those that are putting a lot of time and effort into this site.

                      Wow, when this thread was lost I thought 10 years of post were gone......THANK GOD THEY ARE STILL HERE!

                      I have some things to post in the next few days as my boy enters his senior year of school.
                      Can you believe he is a senior? My goodness how the time has passed.

                      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
                      Thanks Sparks! Keep those updates coming!!
                      "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
                      - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
                      Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

                      Comment


                      • 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.
                        sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

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                        • 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

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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.

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                            • 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

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                              • Any updates?

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