Youth baseball camp signals start of season
BRECKENRIDGE – To be young and in love … with baseball.
Hope sprang eternal Saturday afternoon at Kingdom Park during the annual youth baseball camp. It was opening day for the Kingdom Park south field after winter hibernation, and about 15 young ballplayers were there to enjoy the sun and grass and prepare for the upcoming Summit County Youth Baseball League season.
“My goal is to improve my batting average and to be an all-around player,” said 11-year-old Jordon Dismont. “I’m trying to work on my catching abilities, my batting and my first base.”
Dismont dreams of one day playing professionally, and he knows it starts with the basics. At Saturday’s camp, he and the other players spent about an hour honing their swings with a tee and a hitting machine.
Success is in the details, stressed volunteer coaches Todd Aronson, Rob Margison and Terry Cochran. “Take a controlled cut at the ball, let the speed of the pitch do the work, turn the hips, don’t just keep your eye on the ball, focus on a small spot on it.”
This is the minutia that leads to line drives.
“I don’t want to hit a lot of pop-ups,” Dismont said. “I usually have a habit of stepping my foot out, when I’m supposed to step toward the pitcher. This camp is really helping me break that habit.”
The desire to improve that the kids showed throughout the four-hour camp – a desire proven just by the fact that they were there – made the instructors’ jobs fun and easy.
“When kids want to learn it’s so nice to teach them,” said Aronson, a Boston native in his first year in Summit County. “I love being outside, playing around and having fun and just helping people out, so that brings me here.”
The camp attracted players hoping to get a jump on the competition for the little league season, which begins next week. The league is for players ages 5 to 15 with divisions from Tee-Ball to the travelling Junior Division.
Despite the short season that is a part of Summit County baseball, the league provides a viable path for young players with big dreams.
“None of the teams here are going to Williamsport (Penn., – site of the Little League World Series),” said Cochran, Vice President of Summit County Youth Baseball, who, along with his son, Elliot, volunteered his coaching for the day. “What we’re trying to do is to show these kids how to play good ball and to make them want to continue playing.”
Jason Starr can be reached at (970) 668-3998 Ext. 231 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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