During my first two weeks at The Register, I have found myself at Riverside Park quite often. Most often, Im there for the rec ball games hosted by the Iola Recreation Department. Im the guy with the camera taking pictures of the kids, as Im sure you have already seen. The atmosphere has been fantastic for the most part! It has been great to see the smiles on the kids faces as they field a grounder, get a base hit or snag a fly ball. Rec ball is really just sports at its purest; its all about having fun while competing against others.
With that said, there have been a few instances that have rubbed me the wrong way. Sometimes, given that the athletes are still children, the intensity level has gotten a little bit too high. The reason why these sports exist is to get the young ones to fall in love with the game, keep them active, and most importantly: to have fun! No matter the result, your success in life is not going to be determined by recreational baseball at Riverside Park.
For coaches, it is about motivating your players through positivity and teaching them the fundamentals of the game. If a kid makes a mistake, dont put him or her on blast in front of all of Iola. If he or she makes a play, say good job. Parents and family members have the job to support and help their kids work to improve their craft. No young ballplayer is going to go 4-4 with 12 Ks day in and day out. At the end of the day, theyre just kids.
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