Tball was back in full swing this season in Sparwood. Fifty-two players aged 3 to 8 registered with Elk Valley Minor Ball to learn some new skills and have fun. The Sparwood Titans team learned and practiced the sport as well as made many new friends along the way.
Head Coach Renee MacCormack implemented the Rally Cap Initiation program. Rally Cap is a Canada program that has been designed specifically for young baseball players and aims to increase interest in baseball at young ages. Players participate in combined practice/game structured events while progressing through six skill levels. As they progress through the levels, they earn a different colored cap.The goals of this program are to create a fun baseball environment for both children and adults, teach baseball skills, rules and strategies to our young players, model and teach good sportsmanship andto promote increased self-esteem among our young athletes.
MacCormack feels this season was very successful and was very appreciative of all the support she received from the many parents that volunteered at each practice. “It would not have been possible for one person to coach 52 kids at a time. I organized stations at each practice and many parents volunteered to run a station for the kids. Then the kids would travel from station to station. These stations worked well as it kept kids moving and they didn’t get bored.”
Each of the baseball players made advances in their skills this season. “It was amazing to see the progression of the baseball players from day one until the end. They improved all of their skills from throwing and catching to base running. The things we as adults take for granted, like running the bases, is so new to many of these players and by the end of the season 90% of the kids had base running mastered,” says Renee.
Renee is looking forward to next year’s season and has taken what she has learned from this year and will put it in to practice next year. The most important thing she learned is that 3-4 year olds are only interested in baseball for about 30 minutes so practices will be split next year based on a combination of age and skill. Younger players will have a 30 minute practice and the older baseball players will go for an hour.” Next year, we hope to be able to focus a bit more on strategy and game play with the older players. Skills will always be practiced but we can shift a bit of the focus to how to “play” the game of baseball,” she says.
Renee would like to extend her thanks to all of the players for trying their hardest and having fun at each practice. It made her work a lot easier when she was able to see their smiles and know that they were having fun while learning. Thanks also goes out to the East Kootenay Community Credit Union in Sparwood for helping pay for team t-shirts. She hopes all of her young baseball players will continue to practice their skills over the summer playing catch with friends or their parents and looks forward to another awesome season next year.