The St. Ansgar baseball/softball clinics were this past weekend on Saturday, April 7 in the Elementary Gymnasium as the high school baseball and softball teams put on a great learning experience for up and coming athletes.
The day started with baseball in the morning. During the two sessions of baseball, 85 kids signed up to work on their baseball game. Kids were able to work on their swing, throwing technique, how to slide properly, and a lot of other things throughout the session.
“Our main goal of the clinic is to help with the three important skills in baseball/softball, catching, throwing, hitting,” said Saints Baseball coach Devin Schwiesow. “It is a simple game when you master these three, often easier said than done! We talk about proper arm position, hitting stance, moving your feet when catching to be in position to throw, and all the “little things’ that help you become better at these three skills. We stress arm position, so we hope they will remember this the most as it plays such a vital role in developing proper throwing motion. In reality they probably remember the sliding the most!”
In the afternoon, the softball clinic was held and had a good turnout as well, with 60 girls signing up the day of the clinic. During the course of the session for softball, the girls worked on their game in five different stations. Stations included throwing, hitting, fielding, baserunning and catching.
“I feel it went really smooth,” said Head Softball coach Lance Schutjer. “I had about 20 girls on the high school team that helped teach the kids. I think that with the number of girls we had helping, everybody really had the chance to be really involved with what we were doing. I think the girls all got good one on one attention.”
This clinic has been a great thing for younger kids over the years. This is now the 18th year that the clinic has been held and it has done wonders developing athletes early on. Since the start, what are some of the things that the coaches like to see and what keeps them doing it?
“I think to just see the excitement in the younger players and their passion for the game and that they want to get better,” said coach Schutjer. “I hope some of the excitement in some of these younger players carries over to the high schoolers to show them how fortunate they are to be able to play this sport and to always remember that they were that young girl once trying to learn how to play softball and looked up to the older players and had that spark in their eye to want to play. Just mainly that the kids are excited about softball, it’s really nice to see.”
“All of our high school athletes remember going to this clinic when they were young, so it is fun for me to see the development over the years,” said coach Schwiesow. “This clinic helps our high school players realize they are leaders and role models on the field and off. It is a good day for all age groups…our high school players learn leadership and communication skills and our youth learn more about the game. A huge thank you to St. Ansgar Schools for letting us host this when the weather is not quite ready for outdoor baseball and softball. Also, thanks to the park and recreation board members that help with registration for our little league programs.”