3/9/07

Rain, Baseball and MSP Intervals...

Spring has been increasingly poking its head through last week's blizzard blast. Most of the snow has melted, temperatures have risen and it is raining today with 50 degree temps. Don't forget that the time change kicks in this weekend where we gain an extra hour of light in the evening.

Which leads to that other spring activity - baseball. I will be head coach of my son's 13-14 year old Little League baseball team this year. I coached for 3 years and then took the last 3 years off of Little League coaching. It is my turn to coach again which makes for an intense upcoming 12 weeks. Tuesday night is "draft" night and I always dread those events. There are no try outs for the 13-14 year old league, so I need to do some study between now and Tuesday.

Ah....why not just have a blind draft and keep Little League fair for the kids and not make it a breeding ground of abuse and competitive gamesmanship for the adult coaches in the draft? Blind drafts are great and I have seen them work wonders. The blind draft is when the coaches get together and assemble all equal teams without knowing which of those teams they will be coaching. This forces everyone to work together and really balance out the teams in a fair and even manner. It does wonder for the kids and makes for a much more rewarding season. Then we draw numbers out of a hat that tells us which one of those teams we will coach. Takes all the abuse out of the system and ends up being the most fair for everyone involved. Oh well, no dice of that happening here as if you even mention "blind draft" - everyone just chuckles.

Even if I throw statistics at the other coaches such as....

• on average, only 1 player on every Little League team will end up playing baseball in high school
• based on the statistics, a coach would have to coach baseball for 641 consecutive years and in only one of those years would he have a player that would make it to the professional major leagues

....everyone still insists on going crazy during the draft and trying to assemble a team by abusing the system. It doesn't help the kids and it just irks me. Grown men arguing about the quality and level of play of each kid in the draft. Unless you know each and every kid and have seen them play for a season or two, you end up being at a disadvantage going into the draft. My goal is simply to give all the kids on my team a greater appreciation of the game. 95%+ of them will not ever play baseball again after the 13-14 age level, so my methods are a little different than other coaches. I want them to appreciate the game on the big diamond (this is the first age level where they play on the full sized diamond).

Spring Chicken Legs

I will do 1 1/2 hours of zone 2 this morning before heading off to work. Spring Break at Simpson College begins for me at 5 pm.

Sunday I begin the three week MSP interval phase. Legs are feeling good and seem ready to go. I have managed to avoid all infections and bugs related to the nose, throat and lungs this season. My kids are sick. My students have been sick. Colleagues have been hacking and coughing. I made it through (knock on wood) to this point. I figured the SMSP intervals would tear me down and I would catch a bug, but I was religious about snarfing down the Recover-Ease capsules after every session and ate the most nutritious food I could to feed my system. I will do the same during the MSP phase.

Here is a link to a very interesting read regarding cleat position at Joe Friel's Blog.

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