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Talking to a baseball coach: Don’t blink

June 21, 2013

I’m checking out the surf and wind up in a conversation with a guy I know named Buddy, who has been coaching baseball for over 30 years.

“So is T ball a good thing?” I ask.

“It teaches kids to run in the right direction.”

“Anything else?”

“Younger Moms.”

“What’s a mistake most hitters make? Misconceptions.”

“Okay,” he said, shooting his fingers at me. “See how you blinked when something comes at you? When players see the ball coming at them, they blink just before they hit it. You have to keep looking. And don’t just swing at the ball coming at you, track its path and swing at that.”

“How can you tell if a player has it?”

“Speed. You either have it or you don’t. And if you’re twelve and you don’t get a home run every time, give up. Baseball is a game people learn to leave. In softball the adults are too aggressive, a guy banging a nail, then drinking a beer between hitting the next nail is going to take it out on you in softball. And the clanging bats hit homers all the time, now in leaguers after you hit more than three home runs, they call everything else a double. It’s stupid.”

“How about parents?”

“some woman was trying to get me to put her fat son in the game. I say,’He doesn’t have it.’ And they say, ‘But he’s good!’ I say no. And she goes, ‘You’re ruining my son.’ I say, ‘Lady, you already ruined him. They’re throwing 90 mile fastballs out there. You want to get him ruined that way.”

So much for a game.

Afterwards, my conclusion, cut down on your blinking!

“Do you ever have weird parents?”

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