This is from an email that went out to summer campers August of 2018. This time of the year is full camp-go around the Dugout Captain household and one of our differentiating factors is communication. Yeah, I like to talk. Got on a good rant and shared our daily themes.
On a related note, we’ve got a really cool project in the works for Spring 2019 that involves Life Lessons. Think a parent-to-athlete, coach-to-player companion for the spring season. Uhhh, more on that later. Stay focused Keller! Here ya go:
Quick follow up for those that want to hear more about what we put into camp… Here are the daily themes we are following:
- Day #1 – FUN
- Day #2 – HARD WORK
- Day #3 – COMPETE
- Day #4 – FOCUS
- Day #5 – FEAR
I’ve been hammering these points home. Building upon each one day by day.
Fun – We start with fun. It’s the primary goal of a camp like ours. Teach a LOVE for baseball so the athlete returns to play again. The longer they stay on the field, the more the game can teach them. Especially such a difficult game loaded with so much stinkin’ failure. It’s Life 101 in my opinion, and we aim to foster a love for the game.
Hard Work – Second theme: Learn to love the grind. Have fun working hard? You bet! We start with fun, and then explain that one of life’s precious goals is learning to enjoy the process. The hard work, the grind, the boring monotony that is fundamentally required for greatness. And greatness is only defined as being the best YOU. Yesterday we hit that theme hard trying to make Hard Work something that is “cool.”
Compete – Work to avoid any stigma associated with losing and turn that into losing. I’ve consistently said that mistakes are the fastest way to learn. We involved loads of competitive games into the itinerary and allowed athletes to win/lose/play again. Life is full of competition and I see it as a skill that needs to be practiced.
Focus – Huge challenge at ALL levels. For my kid (5), it’s just simply paying attention to what’s going on and what’s being asked of him. For HS and college athletes, that means playing a good (focused) game of catch, having a plan (any plan), playing with intent, anticipating the play ahead, thinking the game! FYI, I use a term “Five Seconds of Focus” to describe baseball. This game is played if focus-bursts. A single pitch is about 5 seconds. After which, hitter, pitcher, defense, coaches… they all reset, reevaluate, anticipate, and then step back into action for the next pitch (compete).
Fear – Overcoming the fear of failure is a challenge to all of us. We’ll slide head first on Friday. As a matter of fact, let me bold/italic/underline that so all parents can tell their athletes: WE ONLY SLIDE HEAD-FIRST ON A SLIP-N-SLIDE (feet-first slides result in back-of-heads being bonked on the grass). I’ll do my best to show how fear is a part of everything that we do, and day by day, moment by moment, we are faced with a choice: Step forward into growth… or step back into safety.
If you haven’t yet checked out Dugout Captain yet, please do. It’s a free-membership site that I started a couple years ago. We support youth baseball parents and coaches with a similar developmental philosophy that runs through drills, practice plans, and training workouts. It’s important that we maintain a big-picture perspective as we grind through youth sports. And I think it’s pretty well documented that we baseball parents and the most nuts of all!!
Ha. See ya tomorrow.