Sign up Now for 2014 Baseball/Softball
Registration for the 2014 Baseball and Softball seasons is going on now. The Sign Up Form can be located under the "Downloads" section on the left side of this site. The deadline is quickly approaching so get the form in ASAP!!!!
Donít Try So Hard
Strike 1 (Swing the Bat)
Strike 2 (Keep your eye on it)
Strike 3 (You are better than this)
Strike 4 (I need more from you)
Strike 5 (You are never going to amount to anything)
Strike 6 (I have taught you better than this)
Strike 7 (You are letting your whole team down)
Strike 8 (I canít believe you are this bad)
Strike 9 (I am so embarrassed)
My daughter recently had a game that every athlete endures in their career: one to forget and to forget immediately. Above are the 9 strikes my daughter either stood and watched or swung and missed out during a game on Sunday morning that her team won. All the remarks in parenthesis are comments I have heard from parents this year while sitting at the park watching my 10U daughter play. As I begin to read these comments over and over, I begin to understand how much pressure our kids are under to perform at such a high level.
I was challenged the week prior to this tournament to hug my daughter when she has that bad game and tell her I love her and just love watching her play. Wow; I was in this position 4 days later as my daughter strolled over to me with emotions of being happy because her team had done well but sad because she just had a game that she really wanted to forget. I could either tell her what she was doing wrong and how to fix it and encourage her to do better next game, or I could just hug my daughter, tell her how much I loved her and how much I just loved watching her play softball. I chose the latter, and she smiled and said, "But DaddyĒ and I said, "How about we go get a drink from the concession stand?Ē We proceeded to talk about our dinner plans and where she wanted to eat after the tournament. The next game she hit three ropes and had four RBIís and had her best game ever at the plate since she has started playing ball.
I donít write this story to make me look good or to brag on my daughter (but that is fun to do) but to write about what I learned that day. I learned the power of encouragement and the power of love. I learned that she already knew she had a bad game and already knew what she was doing wrong for the most part and what she really needed was her daddy. Some might say, "But you won the game and if you didnít win and would have lost by one run that your reaction would have been different.Ē To be honest, prior to this moment, maybe that would have been true, but after seeing the results of encouraging words and not words that tear someone down, I would hope I am never seen as a parent that is embarrassed by my childís performance.
I touch on this word, performance, because everything we do in life is based on performance and how well we do it. The pressure is put on by society to be the very best at everything we do. There is so much truth to go all in or give 100%, but at what sacrifice? Is it worth the sacrifice of your relationship with your child? We are seeing parents and kids not having fun with youth sports because we see our children smiling after a strike out and interpret that as not caring enough or committed enough. But what if your kid knew it was okay to strike out and have the confidence they would get them next time? What if the error in the field where he/she pulled her head on the hot shot, they just smiled and knew they would get them next time? Instead, too many times we hear from coaches and parents everything that player is doing wrong, and it puts the pressure on them to always perform at such an unreachable high level.
You go to work during the day and most of the day is spent with criticizing remarks on everything you did wrong, and more needed to be expected from you. You come home from work to a marriage that is condemned with comments that are anything but encouraging. Your kids that you love dearly many times are hearing only the negative and everything they could do better. Thinking long and hard about this, I feel 99% of parents want nothing but the very best for their child, but many times this is defined by performance based attributes instead of their character. We live in a society where our ability to parent, by many we believe, is judged on how well our child performs at their activities. The passed ball by the catcher, I see the mom squirm as the other team scored a run because of this passed ball. The strike out with bases loaded in the last inning down by one and itís your kid; how do you react?
I write all this because we are at that time of year where so many are unhappy. The season is long and roster changes are in abundance; many for good reasons and others simply because the season or the game is not about these kids but about us as parents. This is the time of year that every player that puts their time in wants to play. You have State and World events that should be about the team aspect of the bonding and the overall experience, not the wins or losses of these events. These kids will not remember the World Series win this year, that I promise, but they will remember the hotel swim parties and the times with kids their age playing something they love. I beg coaches and parents to make this July about nothing but the kids and the experience. I personally believe winning will be a byproduct of the kids playing loose and having fun. And even if they donít equate into the number of wins you think they should, enjoy the journey with them this July.
A recent surveyed showed that 70% of kids are done playing the sport or activity they truly love by age 14 because of adults, because of coaches and parents making it about them and not these kids. We have great coaches and parents investing into these kids and loving them and my prayer is this becomes more the norm. I truly believe that many of you reading this right now donít think this article had much to do with your style of coaching or parenting, and I hope that is the case. I just ask that we all really dig deep in these areas. I know I am speaking to myself when I say that also. Nobody is perfect and there are so many traps for each of us to fall into daily, but we all are only given today to live to the highest and fullest potential. None of us know what tomorrow might bring.
In closing, you might ask why the title of "Donít Try So Hard.Ē For me, life here on earth is very short and I donít want or need my days to be all about growing a company or having the nicest things in life. For the first 33 years of my life it was about pleasing parents and people around me, being business minded, and chasing things of monetary value. Recently, I have found my peace and rest in just investing into people and taking what each day throws at me. I think too many times we all get caught up on the next best thing or next best team or the next best job, or the next best whatever. Instead, just go home tonight and find the rest that we all need and just love your family and your kids. Tell each of them how much you love them, and if you are going to try really hard at something then make that investing into your family.
A song that resonated with me recently: http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=116658575&msgid=801790&act=6E1S&c=639972&destination=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DOfGvXfe9LK8
USSSA KS Fastpitch State Director
Midwest Sports Production
Managers, Coaches, Parents,
Please email the scores of your games to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please tell me the date of the game, the 2 team names and the final score. We will be using these scores in order to seed the teams for the end of the year tournament. I would rather get several emails with the score of a game then not receive the score at all.
Message from City Parks Dept
Park employees are working on the
diamonds to prepare for the upcoming season. Unfortunately with the
previous weather this was not completed prior to practice beginning.
Please advise your coaches if the diamonds are being worked on and have not been completed, to please stay off the diamonds and practice in the outfield areas.
We have signed up for the Schnucks "Escrip" program. This is a fund raising program where Schnucks will donate money to the league every time you shop at their store. You simply swipe your "Escrip" card when you check out and Schnucks will donate to the league. Simply contact us at 636-239-7908 or by email at email@example.com and we will get a card to you. This will be a great opportunity for the league to raise funds without raising fees and at NO COST TO YOU!!!!!!!!!!! Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
History of the League Part 3
1957 Glenn Wood took over as President in 1957. And if 1956 was the season for records, then 1957 was the year for a strange event. In July, the manager of the Blue Goose team suddenly left town, taking with him all the team equipment etc. Donations from the community were received to help the team finish the season. In light of those donations, the team name was changed to "The Citizens Team".
On Monday, July 24th, Dick Stratmann threw a No HItter for the Knights of Columbus team defeating Asel's 603. He struck out 8 batters in 7 innings. Stramann would later become a teacher at Washington High school where he retired and in 2002 was elected as the Mayor of Washington.
The Missourian recognized Floyd Vandegriffe, commonly known as "Van", for his 30 years of umpiring. He umpired locally in Khoury League, American Legion, and local softball leagues.
Future lawyers were seen playing in the league on the 1957 Dairy Queen team, which included future Circuit Judge Gael Wood, and the Gross Market team which included future Asst. Prosecutor Jack Meyer.
I read this about 4 months ago and filed it a way for another day. I got it out today and thougth about all the teams beginning winter practices and as the 2011 season rolls around, Doug and I wanted to ask that you please stress character and sportsmanship to your team. Below is a true story and really felt it was relevant in our sport. Thank you for allowing Doug to serve as MO State Director and myself as the KS State Director. We have had a blast doing this and it is so many of the great people we get to meet and be around.
"I'm an Ump!"
Donald Jensen was struck on the head by a thrown bat while umpiring a little league game in Terre Haute , Ind. He shook off the blow, and finished working the game, but that night he went to a hospital with head pains. While being kept overnight for observation, the umpire wrote the following letter to parents of Little Leaguers everywhere.
"I'm an umpire. I don't do it for a living, but only on weekends for fun. I've played baseball, coached it and watched it, but somehow nothing takes the place of umpiring. Maybe I feel deep down that I am providing a fair chance for all kids to play the game without disagreements and arguments.
But, there is one thing that bothers me about my job. Some of your folks don't understand why I'm there. Some of you feel I'm there to exert authority over your son. For that reason, you often yell at me or encourage your son to yell when I make a mistake. How many of you really understand that I try to be perfect? I try not to make a mistake. I don't want your son to feel he got a bad deal from an umpire.
Yet, no matter how hard I try, I can't be perfect. I counted the number of calls I made in a six-inning game today. The total number of decisions on balls and strikes or safes and outs was 146. I tried my best to get them all right, but I'm sure I missed some. I could have missed eight calls today and still got 95 percent right. In most occupations that percentage would be considered excellent.
Let me tell you more about my game today. There was one close call that ended the game. A runner for the home team was trying to steal the plate on a passed ball. The catcher chased the ball down and threw to the pitcher covering the plate. The pitcher made the tag and I called the runner out.
As I was getting my equipment to leave, I overheard one of the parents comment, 'Its too bad the kids have to lose games because of rotten umpires. That was one of the lousiest calls I've ever seen.'
Later, at the concession stand, a couple of kids were telling their friends, 'Boy, the umpires were lousy today. They lost the game for us.'
Well, I heard that and felt terrible. Those kids had made a lot of mistakes, which had cost them runs. A parent or adult leader who lets a child blame his failures on an umpire is doing the worst kind of injustice to that youngster. That irresponsibility is bound to carry over to future years.
As I sit here writing this letter, I am no longer upset, as I was this afternoon. At one point, I wanted to quit umpiring behind that plate for a pitcher who pantomimed his displeasure at any close call. One could sense that he wanted the crowd to realize that he was a talented player who was doing his best to get along, and that I was a black-hearted villain who was working against him.
This kid continued for two innings at the same time yelling at his own player's mistakes. For two innings the manager watched this. When the kid returned to the dugout to bat in the top of the third, the manager called him aside.
In a voice that I was able to overhear, he said, 'Listen son, it is time you made a decision. You can't be an umpire, an actor or a pitcher, but you can be only one at a time when you are playing for me. Right now it is your job to pitch and basically you are doing a lousy job. Leave the acting to the actor, the umpiring to the umpire, or you won't do any pitching here.
Needless to say, the kid chose the pitching route, and went the game. When the game was over, the kid followed me to my car. Fighting back tears, he apologized for his actions and thanked me for umpiring the game. He said that he had learned a lesson that he would not forget. I can't help but wonder how many more young men are missing their chance to develop into outstanding ball players because the parents encourage them to spend time umpiring, rather than working harder to play the game.
The following morning, Donald Jensen, part-time umpire, died of a brain concussion resulting from the blow by the thrown bat. Please pass this on to any and all who might get something out of this. It is a good letter that really shows the reality of today's youth sports. Being around sports as much as I am, I see stuff like this all the time. Not only in baseball, as this story depicts but in all sports. We all could learn a lesson from the story.
Remember this: Youth sports builds good character, only if the adults show good character.
Doug Morrison (USSSA MO State Director)
Jeremy McDowell (USSSA KS State Director)
Info from City Parks Department
As new parents take on existing projects sometimes
information does not get passed on so we would like to explain the agreement on
the use of the concession stands at the athletic fields.
Currently the City lets the organizations use the concession
stands at no charge. However to be able to do this, the organizations
that use the concession stands are responsible for picking up trash in the area
they are selling to. This would include around the concession stand, in
the bleachers, under the bleachers, dugouts, etc. Ė any place your
participants and spectators are at during your event. The concession
stands must also be kept clean. The City currently pays for electric,
water and building maintenance. The organizations are responsible for any
The Parks Department is cleaning up the areas today at Ronsick Field since we were not sure if the information had been passed down in the last few years. Please from this point on the areas must be cleaned in order for the City not have to spend additional funds in manpower to clean the areas up.
Thank you for your understanding and your prompt attention.
Cindy Frankenberg, SecretaryDepartment
Pitching Machine Settings
We have been asked to post the pitching machine settings in case someone changes the machines without permission so you can know what the settings should be. We have also placed tape measures in the boxes for use with the machines.
The settings are:
BB. Micro-4. Release block -3. Power level 7
SB machines Micro-2. Release block -4. Power level 5
visitors since 07/08/2008