Hartselle head baseball coach William Booth helps a 10-year-old with his pitching form at Hartselle Baseball Camp on Monday. | Clif Knight
Hartselle head baseball coach William Booth helps a 10-year-old with his pitching form at Hartselle Baseball Camp on Monday. | Clif Knight

Archived Story

Hartselle baseball camp teaches basics of game

Published 2:56pm Tuesday, June 11, 2013

When baseball coach William Booth speaks, kids listen and learn.

The process was repeated often Monday morning as Booth and his staff of assistants and varsity players worked with 70 young players at the first of two camps for youngsters of ages 5 through 10. Boys 11 and over will participate in the second half of the camp on Wednesday and Thursday.

“Camp is going very good,” Booth said, ”even though it’s a little damp.”

The players were split into three groups: 6 under, 7-8 and 9-10. They worked at different areas in Sparkman Park, rotating from one area to another at one and one-half hour intervals, beginning at 9 a.m. and continuing until 1 p.m.

Coach Booth spent the first session with 9- and 10-year-olds, teaching them the six points of proper pitching form. He worked one-on-one with the young players, moving them from one point to the next until he felt they were ready to demonstrate their throwing form. Varsity players served as a catchers and as they caught the pitchers’ throws Booth moved from one to the next making observations, corrections and passing out words of encouragement.

At the same time, other coaches were working with the 5- and 6-year-olds in a pitch and catch drill and with 7- and 8-year olds in the batting cages.

“We want them to develop good form at an early age,” Booth pointed out. “That’s very important. The hardest thing to do is undo something that has become a habit.

“We’re a teaching camp,” he pointed out. “We want the kids to leave here with a better knowledge of the game than they had before they came.

“These kids are listening and working hard,” he added. “If they keep it up it will pay off in the future.”

Assisting Booth with the camp are coaches Jerry Childers, Bryant Whitlock and John Hall. Visiting coaches were Mark Lewis of Decatur, a former professional player and baseball instructor, and Charlie Rogers of Huntsville.

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