Winter camp teaches kids baseball’s basicsPublished 12:39pm Monday, January 20, 2014
Hartselle head baseball coach William Booth introduced about 65 young baseball players to Hartselle High School’s new indoor training facility Monday, as they attended coach Booth’s annual Winter Baseball Camp.
The focus of the five-hour camp was teaching kindergarten through eighth grade students the fundamentals of baseball. Hitting, pitching, catching and fielding drills were included.
Refreshment breaks with cookies and soft drinks were offered between drills and a pizza lunch was served at noon.
Along with assistant HHS baseball coaches and varsity and junior varsity baseball players, former Hartselle High pitcher Chad Girodo served as an instructor.
Girodo was drafted in the Major League Baseball draft and is a member of the Class A Lansing Lugnuts, a farm system team of the Toronto Blue Jays. He appeared in 14 games last year and had 24 strikeouts in 23.2 innings pitched.
“We’ve got a great group of kids this year,” said Booth, “and we’re happy and excited about giving them the opportunity to work and learn in our new indoor facility.
“Teaching hitting and pitching techniques is what this camp is all about,” he added. “We tell the campers we want them to learn one or two things while they’re here. If they do that, they’ll become better players and have a lot more fun competing in the city’s organized youth programs this summer.
“Most of our varsity and junior varsity players grew up at camps and playing youth ball,” Booth pointed out. “As camp instructors, this is an opportunity for them to give back something to the community. To teach others will also make them better players. They, too, will benefit from the coaching experience. When they re-teach what they’ve been taught, the important of retaining the basic skills really sinks in.”
“I participated in lots of camps when I was younger,” said varsity baseball player Jake Shelton. “I learned that all of the hard work pays off. I hope these kids understand that the more reps they get in the basics the better player they will be.”
“I looked forward to camp,” said camper Brett Gillette. “I like to do the hitting and fielding drills. They will help me be a better player.”