Reflections After Two Weeks of Camp
“My child had a horrible experience last season, but after coming to Legends camp all he wants to do it play baseball!” -Anonymous (Summer 2010)
These were the words which hooked me on coaching during the summer of 2010. I hear similar sentiments at the end of every week of camp when parents tell me all their kids want to do is talk about and play baseball after camp… It was because of this feedback, back in 2010, that I decided that working with kids and coaching them to be their best was why I was put on this earth. To this day, what I am most proud of is how our programs cultivate a genuine love of baseball.
Fast forward almost a decade and I am still rolling ground balls to 7 year olds at Burgess Field (the same location I played Little League games at 20 years ago). Being out in the sun with 6-13 year olds for 6.5 hours/day every day of the summer can be challenging, but I can honestly say that even after all of these years I am still having a blast coaching kids in the Menlo Park area.
I have been on the field every minute of every day of camp these first 2 weeks of summer and I came to a realization recently… I promise you, this is not some shameless plug for Legends Camp. These are my true feelings about what camp can really do for a developing athlete…
If we are talking about pure, unadulterated fun, there is NOTHING more fun than summer baseball camp!
I truly mean it. I have coached professionally, elite collegiate, local high school ball and travel ball from 9U-18U; I enjoy coaching kids in the camp environment more than any other. AND, nothing is better for your developing child than playing loosely structured baseball in the camp environment. There are no parents, politics, statistics, time limits, umpires, playoffs or pressures. YOU JUST PLAY TO HAVE FUN!
You can spend thousands of dollars on lessons with the best instructors around, but NOTHING will replace what your child will learn at camp when he is stepping in the box with the Legends Baseball Olympics on the line and the entire camp is watching. THIS is where mental toughness is built – not in the batting cage.
Travel baseball is great, but have you considered what happens when kids only know how to play structured, high level baseball with the goal of winning games/championships? Too much of this can easily where away at your child’s love of the game as it’s not about playing for fun – it’s about getting hits and winning.
If your child is a playing competitive baseball more than half the year, or if your child has had a difficult last season, I HIGHLY encourage you to place him in a fun based, baseball camp. It can do wonders for how they perceive the game. I feel things are getting WAY too serious WAY too young. Camps allow kids (and even adults like me) to be kids again. Thanks for getting to the end of this article! 🙂
-Coach David Klein
PS. Food for thought… Next time you get a chance to talk with your child’s coach, instead of asking them about your child’s swing or how they are playing, I urge you to ask them how they are interacting with others. Are they supporting others? Are they listening? Are they leading? Are they asking questions? Dont forget, what is really important is what type of person they are becoming on the field… not how their swing is coming along.