Monday, May 28, 2012

Tournament Weekend One, Perfect Game Memorial Day Classic

TP started their season off with a bang this weekend in the Perfect Game Memorial Day Classic in Fort Myers.  This was a huge tournament, with 70 16U teams competing.  Ours boys finished the tournament with a 3-1 record, with a total of 30 runs scored over four games.  They just missed being in the top 16 teams to advance to the playoff rounds.  Coach C is very pleased with their performance in this tournament.  Perfect Game runs some of the best tournaments in the country, so the fact that they did so well is a huge accomplishment for the team.  They can only go up from here!  Here's a quick recap of their four games.

Game one was theirs from the moment they took the field.  They pounded out the hits, scoring 12 runs and winning the game 12-1.  Their defense was rock solid and they never gave the other team an inch. We had a three hour break, then it was time for game two.  Unfortunately game two was the one that tripped them up.  They fought hard, but some costly errors turned the tide in the other teams favor.  They lost that one, 7-5.  On Sunday, they had two back to back games starting at 8:00 in the morning.  Game three was a nail biter, scoreless for five innings until the opposing team snuck in and scored a run.  TP kept pushing though, and in the top of the 7th inning, one of our boys cranked out a double with the bases loaded.  Three runs scored off that hit, giving TP a 2 run lead.  The bottom of the 7th was tense, with the other team scoring another run, but in the end, TP triumphed and won that game 3-2.  Game four they again owned the field from the first pitch.  Their bats were lit up, defense was solid, and they won 10-2.  In fact, the ump cut the game short in the 5th inning due to the mercy rule.

A was in heaven being back on the road with the team.  She ran tame in the dugouts, wearing her one of a kind TP shirt made for her by my friend C.  Here's a picture of her in it:


 It has her name and the number 1 on the back.  The number was Coach C's pick,  She was so excited to have it to wear for the weekend.  As soon as we all got to the hotel she had to put it on and go down to show Coach C.  She wore it to all the games and is convinced her sparkles brought the team good luck.

I spent the weekend running the scoring app on Coach C's ipad.  I had a little experience with it since I have the same app on my iphone and used it to score a few of J's high school games.  I was nervous doing it this weekend though because there are a lot of details and rules of the game that I don't have a solid grasp of.  However, Coach C handed me the ipad, saying he was confident I would pick it up quickly.  I think I did okay.  I was able to enter everything accurately with a little help from a few other parents helping me keep track of what was happening.  At least Coach C hasn't called yet to ask what the heck kind of scoring I was doing!  I'm hoping that means everything was accurate and made sense.

Next weekend we head to Kissimmee for our second tournament.  I'll actually be missing the first day of that one since A has her recital for dance and baton.  It's an all day affair so J will be catching a ride to and from the tournament with Coach C, and I'll be requesting texted updates throughout the day from the two of them.    I'll be there on Sunday cheering TP on as they hopefully play for a championship trophy.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Hitting The Road At Last

At long last, it's time for TP to hit the road for their first tournament of the summer, the Perfect Game WWBA East Memorial Day Classic in Fort Myers.  It's a huge tournament with about 70 teams competing.  They're really starting the summer off with a bang.  Are they ready?  I think they are.  I've been watching them practice for three weeks now and to my eyes they look pretty solid.  Coach C has been pleased with them.  Roughly half the team are returners are from last summer and the other half are new.  They've quickly forged a team bond and an outsider would have a hard time picking out the returners from the newbies.  I have a good feeling about this weekend.  I think they're going to do really well, displaying that trademark TP heart and fire.

I've spent the day running around getting ready to leave tomorrow.  The bags are packed, the cookies baked, and the van is loaded.  We'll depart after lunchtime tomorrow once A's end of the year party at school is over.  Hubby and N are staying behind this trip.  Hubby has to work over the holiday weekend and N elected to stay home with him.  So J, A, and I are hitting the road along with my parents and J's teammate C, who's family was unable to attend the games this weekend.  The hotel is catering a team dinner for us tomorrow night, which will be a nice way to get to know everyone.  Our first game is Saturday morning at 9:00.  I'll be posting updates, so check back to see how TP does in their first 2012 tournament.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pondering the Future

When it became apparent to hubby and I that J was not going to give up the dream of playing baseball, we made the decision to allow him to pursue that dream as far as he possibly could.  It wasn't a conventional decision, nor one we took lightly.  While allowing him to dream big, we also have to make sure he keeps a grip on reality.  While J is certainly a talented player, he's not one of those one in a million players who has so much natural ability that it simply outshines every other player on the field.  J has a mix of some God given talent, a passion for the game, and a good work ethic when it comes to achieving his dream.  It's been nearly a year since hubby and I first sat down with Coach C and talked to him about mentoring and coaching J on this unique journey.  I remember my eyes tearing up that evening when Coach C said he felt J had a shot at his dream if he was willing to work very hard.  J has had many ups and downs over the years with his baseball.  Some wonderful experiences, and some not so wonderful, including being told he would never be good enough to get anywhere with it.  As a mother, to have someone who not only believed in J like I do, but to be willing to help him make his dream a possible reality meant the world and more to me.  It still does.  Which brings me to the point of this post.  This summer is an important one for J.  He really needs to step up his game and polish the rough areas in order to take his game to the next level.  He needs to really give serious thought to where he'd like to go to college.  He also needs to try and match up his college choices with his baseball possibilities.  Being a Florida baseball player is both a blessing and a curse.  Everyone wants to come play in Florida, while northern schools love to get Florida players.  At this point, Coach C feels J's best chance for college ball is a division 2 or 3 school, likely up north.  If J continues to work really hard and starts to separate himself from the pack, who knows what can or will happen.  At this point, I feel like he should keep all of his options open, while doing some hard thinking about where he sees himself in two years time.  Over the course of the summer, Coach C, J, hubby, and I will have some serious discussions about the future and what J wants and the best plan of action to make it happen.  There are so many options out there, and it's time to start narrowing the choices and possibilities down.  For me, this is hard to think about because I know J will be leaving the nest soon.  He'll potentially go thousands of miles from home to pursue his dream.  And I'll let him go, no matter how much it will break my heart to watch him leave.  I never want him to have any regrets when it comes to this crazy dream he's been chasing since he was four years old.  I never want him to feel like I held him back simply because I wanted to keep him close for a little while longer.  Wherever he ends up, I'll send him off with a smile and a heart full of tears, knowing that he's making the best possible choice he can for himself.               

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Surprise For A

Regular readers of this blog know that A is crazy about Coach C.  She's been impatiently waiting for him to be finished with school for the year and get back home.  He got home a few weeks ago, but A has not gotten the chance to see him since I don't usually take her along to TP practice.  For a while now, she's been saying that she wanted Coach C to pick her up from school one day.  Well, today he did. Sort of.  Several weeks ago I asked Coach C if he would be willing to come and do a little baseball clinic for my daisy troop so they could earn a baseball fun patch.  He agreed and we decided that we would keep the clinic a secret from A.  All she knew about today was that Coach C was coming for dinner,which is not an unusual occurrence.  I always pick the girls up from the dismissal line on meeting days and today when I arrived, Coach C was with me.  When A looked up and saw him, she was actually speechless for a minute, her little mouth dropping open and her eyes blinking in disbelief.   She recovered quickly and happily gave Coach C a hug. Once in the classroom we use for meetings she was quick to announce to all the other girls that Coach C would be coming over to our house for dinner after the meeting.  I guess she wanted to make sure none of the other girls tried to take him home!

The baseball clinic was a success.  Coach C taught the girls about pitching and hitting, then played a game of wiffle ball with them.  Here's a group picture I took at the end of the clinic.


Friday, May 11, 2012

37 Weeks

It's been a while since I updated on J's training program. Would you believe today he completes a whopping thirty-seven weeks of training?!  I continue to be so proud of him for the effort he's put into training.  His dedication and hard work to achieving his goals are a true inspiration.  That being said, there is still work to be done.  Coach C is pleased with his progress overall, but there are things J needs to focus on now to take his game to the next level.  Currently the two of them are working on J's approach at the plate and breaking some bad habits that are keeping him from reaching his full potential when it comes to his hitting.  It's so nice having Coach C here to work with J, not only in practice, but one on one.  J is like a sponge, soaking up all of Coach C's instruction and working hard to achieve his goals.  I believe Coach C is getting ready to change his program up now that the TP season is starting.  Whatever he has in store for him, J is ready.  He's looked forward to this summer for so long,and is willing to do whatever it takes to have an outstanding season.      

Thursday, May 3, 2012

At Last

As everyone knows, J loved playing for TP last summer.  He has been eagerly awaiting the start of this summer season since the day the summer season ended last July.  For the past nine months he's trained, swam, played baseball on other teams, and looked forward to the 2012 summer season.  And it's finally here!  TP has their first practice tonight, and tournaments start in three weeks.  Ever since Coach C sent out the email with the date and time of the first practice, J has checked with me daily to make sure there hadn't been a postponement.  Countless times he's said he can't wait to get started and take the field with his teammates.  Last night he actually slept in one of his TP jerseys.  His quote to me this morning, "Finally, practice tonight!  I can't wait!"  I guess you could say he's excited about the season starting!