Sunday, August 17, 2008

Uncle George & Aunt Joyce

Uncle George
Aunt Joyce

These dear folks are Dan's Uncle and Aunt. They have taken to us. We love them. They found out that our kiddos did little league softball and baseball this spring. Uncle George is an assistant baseball coach for Roosevelt High School in Des Moines. This man is full of knowledge.
He gave a little bit of his knowledge to our kiddos today.

He brought with him a net... a big enough net fit on our big garage/shed thing from floor to ceiling. We park our car in there. Well... now we've got a battling cage thing. I know -- my verbiage is so technical... I hope I'm not losing you. He also brought a "Tee". Tees are not just for t-ball apparently. Amazing... he stood Mansel up to the tee... showed him how to hold the bat in his hand. Hand him relax. Demonstrated how to lift the bat. Get ready. Elbow down... Relax... tense muscles are not as reactive as lose muscles. Get your bat off of your shoulder. Keep your legs relaxed. Get ready... swing... WHILE twisting your hips. Turn your back foot on the ball of your foot. Swing the bat so the heel of the bat "breaks the window" and then follow through with your wrists. Hit the ball with the sugar. Ever hear of the sweet part of the bat... that's your sugar. Let's do it again. Let's do it again. GREAT swing. Let's do it again. Good hit. Let's do it again. Did you feel that? The sweet of the bat? Let's do it again.

I mean -- he had a steady stream of information... just flowing out of his mouth. He stopped once and said, "I'm coaching them like I coach my Senior High kids." It was GREAT! He coached Tori, Mansel and Milo. When he was done... finally took a seat and sipped some tea... Milo, the 6yo was hitting the ball off of the "T" every time. He never ounce hit the rubber part of the "T". Amazing... It is amazing what good coaching does. I really am amazed.

He showed Tori and Mansel how to "soft toss" the ball to each other. One crouches down and tosses the ball and they hit it into the net. Did I mention he brought bats and balls and gloves for the kids? He found a left handed glove for Mansel. It's a Nokona brand. Leather... I did a search that glove new is worth over $100. This is stuff kids leave laying around. Can you imagine that? I can't... We were blessed today.

He left a bat bag, full of bats. One is a neat bats that is weighted so you can feel if you are swinging correctly. If not the weight slides to the end of the bat early, if so, then the weight slides to the end of the bat at the right time.

Ever hear a bat go "woosh"? Well -- if you hear the sound too early -- you are not swinging correctly...

He pointed out that good coaching is about teaching young kids correct technique. He named a baseball coach who didn't even play professional baseball... but he is a wining coach. That reminded me of Tony Dungee... he wasn't a FANTASTIC football player, but he IS an OUTSTANDING coach. I'm pretty sure Uncle George has athletic ability -- but I know for SURE he is a great coach.

I found an article in the Des Moines register about his Roosevelt Team. He was an assistant coach... he helped turn that team around.

I feel so blessed that we could squeeze a little bit of wisdom out of him today. In just a few short hours he poured himself into our kids! Thank you Uncle George.

Those photos above -- they totally capture their personalities. Uncle George -- layed back, deliberate, OK -- what's next. Aunt Joyce -- happy go lucky, laughing and hugging!

We really enjoyed their visit!

We can't wait to see the fruit from the seeds you planted today.