THE BOREDOM

THE BOREDOM. Because it’s baseball.

If you’re unsure what I’m talking about, ask your parents about the fifth inning of that marathon double-header two years ago. Just after the twelfth pitching change of that inning, I’m pretty sure someone saw your mom sneak a yawn. Or ten. (The ugly truth is that you could probably get both of them to confess to having yawned at almost every game you’ve ever played.)

THE BOREDOM happens to players too. In other sports such as football or basketball, a coach can correct wandering attention or fading enthusiasm by blowing a whistle. Not bringing the right intensity to a drill in practice? Here’s fifteen sprints to get your heart jacked up and your mind and body shocked into readiness. Adrenaline can be the perfect quick-fix.

But baseball is, well, different. Continue reading “THE BOREDOM”

Take a Stand for Outs by Standing Differently

As long as you’ve played team sports, coaches have instructed you to stay in an athletic position and square to the action so you can react and use the appropriate line of attack as the play unfolds.

A basketball defender epitomizes this advice. He’s prepared for the ball-handler to drive to either side and reads the chest of the player he’s guarding, his feet and shoulders square to the opponent, just like the guy below.

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Same with a soccer goalie preparing to defense a penalty kick. He’s positioned in the center of the goal, square to the kicker, and capable of diving to either side, which makes sense given the unpredictable path of the ball.

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But what about a shortstop or second baseman? Continue reading “Take a Stand for Outs by Standing Differently”

Hop to It with the Two-Hop Drill

It rained yesterday, it rained today, it’ll probably rain tomorrow. It’s spring in Chicago, after all, so don’t act surprised that you’re not outside or on the field. Instead act motivated to improve your footwork and fielding using the two-hop drill explained and demonstrated in the following video. Watch twice and then grab a friend and get your infield skills to the next level.

A Swing and a Whiff(le Ball Bat)

For a moment, jump into the way-back machine with me and think about tryouts two weeks ago. Remember your nerves while stepping into the cage to hit for the first time in front of unknown coaches with clipboards and serious expressions? We do. And while we didn’t record any video of your swings, I’ve done some research and found clip that nicely simulates your walk to the batting cage that fateful Monday afternoon.

If that was just your approach to the cage, you can only imagine what your ensuing swings looked like.

Right. Even more painfully robotic.

To be fair, who wants to be evaluated? And who wants to potentially get cut and pushed into early retirement just months after buying those new batting gloves at Dick’s? Nobody. So being a bit tense made you normal. There was a lot on the line, after all. And being tense can certainly rob your swing of some fluidity. But your swing didn’t change much as the week progressed–or as we entered and exited the following week, because your roboticism is not merely about nerves. Continue reading “A Swing and a Whiff(le Ball Bat)”

Uniform Day

A uniform announces to the world that a group has formed over a common cause and pledged to support one another in the face of adversity, often representing a greater community. That would-be strangers are now allied and that the welfare of one member of the team cannot be separated from the welfare of the others.

When I played at Barrington High School, the team hat was a familiar red but featured an oversized, unadorned white “B”as opposed to the fancier one of today. Rumor has it my varsity coach, Kirby Smith (a man both helped and hindered by extreme attention to detail), had a slew of hats mocked up with Bs in different fonts and sizes and then, like an optometrist, field-tested each at a distance of 90 feet until everyone said, “Definitely not an 8!” That hat won because, for reasons that remain elusive to me, an 8 would have been a very bad thing. Continue reading “Uniform Day”

Welcome! Two Days and Counting….

We’re thrilled that you’re interested in playing baseball for BHS. I played baseball for BHS once upon a time (when dinosaurs roamed and ruled the earth), and those were some of the happiest and most meaningful years of my life, which in no small part explains my decision to return as a coach a few years ago. I didn’t think it possible to deepen my feelings for the program, but the sands of time have made my second tenure even more meaningful.

This upcoming week is always the most challenging of the season for me and the other coaches, however. A lot of tough decisions need to be made, and there’s no sugar-coating the reality that most years there aren’t enough spots for everyone. Just as you’ll show up and give your best in each drill, we’ll do our best to evaluate your skill set as objectively as possible while we consider the countless other variables of building a team that can excel on and off the field. Continue reading “Welcome! Two Days and Counting….”

Tryout FAQ! Read before February 29!

What’s the official tryout schedule?

Click here for the most up-to-date version of the freshman tryout schedule. Coaches may divide tryout sessions into smaller groups of players and shorter sessions to better evaluate everyone. Any adjustments to start and end times will be within the blocks on the attached schedule and communicated to players as soon as we’ve made them. This website as well as our Twitter account (bhsfreshtryouts) will reflect changes, and you should expect an updated schedule to be published here during tryouts. Cuts will be finalized and shared in private with each player immediately after school on Friday.

What must I do before tryouts start?

You must provide the athletic director’s office with documentation of a physical within the last calendar year. The office, which is located down the hall from the wrestling gym, will then provide you with a colored photocopy to be submitted to the coaching staff before tryouts begin. NO PAPERWORK, NO PARTICIPATION. Failure here is an unfortunate way to become memorable in a sea of hungry and detail-oriented players eager to jump past you. Those who’ve played another sport this school year must also submit a colored copy. Continue reading “Tryout FAQ! Read before February 29!”