January 9th – It’s hard to believe as cold as it is outside, but it won’t be long until we’ll be on the baseball fields enduring the hot summer heat of St. Louis.
Hopefully you’ve received an email explaining the online registration process with the OCAC. If you haven’t received an email with “invitation code” from either Coach Ashby or Coach Harris, please email us HERE so we can resend the invitation.
We’ve been busy preparing for the upcoming season and everything appears to be coming together nicely.
Beginning Saturday, January 17th we’ll begin hosting practices at The Batting Cage in Cottleville. These practices are purely voluntary and available to those of you who are free to join us. Clearly the more of these practices the boys can attend the better prepared they will be for the upcoming spring, but please don’t fret if you miss one or a few of these sessions. We’ll have ample opportunities to get in the batting cages prior to the season starting outside of these Saturday Winter Warm-up sessions.
The Saturday sessions will take place, 5pm – 8pm. We understand the timing is a bit inconvenient for dinners and / or any exciting Saturday night plans, but we were limited to certain times when we could get a 3 hour block.
We have multiple teams interested in participated in the Winter Warm-Up so we’ll schedule each age level for a one hour block. We ask that each team be prepared to start their practice promptly at their scheduled time.
January 17th Schedule
- 9u – 5pm – 6pm
- 7u – 6pm – 7pm
- 8u – 7pm – 8pm
January 24th Schedule
- 7u – 5pm – 6pm
- 8u – 6pm – 7pm
- 9u – 7pm – 8pm
PRACTICES AT WESTHOFF PARK
We’ve reserved Westhoff Field #2 for our in season practices scheduled to begin March 15th (weather pending). We have the field 2pm – 5pm each Sunday through August 9th. The only Sunday’s we don’t have the field reserved is April 5th (Easter Sunday) and July 5th. Coaches will schedule practices at their discretion, realizing some may elect to skip Mother’s Day (May 10th), Memorial Day Weekend (May 24) or Father’s Day (June 21).
Once we get rosters finalized we’ll have a Coaches meeting to discuss the most efficient way to utilize the Westhoff Park practice field time.
In the past we’ve made available to each team some general baseball equipment. I think it’s important the boys are provided quality equipment creating the safest and most comfortable playing experience possible for the boys. That doesn’t mean we purchase the most expensive make or model, but I would like to see the boys have something more than what would be provided complimentary by the OCAC.
Currently we have batting helmets of varying sizes. Last year we had a parent who kindly painted existing helmets in our Bombers Green and the boys really looked sharp. Items we’ll need to consider purchasing prior to the season includes:
- Baseball Buckets w/ carrying bag
- Catcher’s Gear
- Equipment Bag (Used to carry helmets and catcher’s gear)
- Helmets (to fill in the missing sizes)
- Batting Tees
- Training Aids (Heavy Balls)
- Bases for practice
Ideally each team would have their own set of equipment, however I’ll be able to manage using one set of equipment for multiple teams as the teams won’t be playing games at the same time. I’ll coordinate with our respective Coaches to inventory what we have available to start the season and outline a plan for acquiring the equipment we need prior to the start of the season.
Once we have rosters finalized we’ll begin the process of getting the boys uniforms ordered. Some will need full uniforms and others will be merely be replacing items as needed. I’ll have more information about the timeline for ordering uniforms and fan gear in a subsequently blog post.
For those new to the program, our goal with the uniform is to purchase something of good quality so it has a chance to last at least one season. Depending on growth spurts most players are able to get more than one season out of the pants, jersey or both. Our 5/6u and 7u teams wear a nice moisture wicking t-shirt, baseball pants (elastic), socks, belt and hat. Our 8u and 9u teams wear an actual baseball jersey, baseball pants, socks, belt and hat. I’ll have pricing for the respective uniforms on the website in the next few weeks with pictures.
Based on the interest of returning players and new players I expect the 2015 Bombers program to feature the following:
- 2, possibly 3 teams in the 9u Kid Pitch Division
- 1 team in 8u Machine Pitch
- 2 teams in 7u Machine Pitch
- 1 team in 5/6u Coach Pitch
A question I’ve been getting from returning and especially the new families to the program is – what will the season cost us?
The answer will depend on the experience each particular team chooses for the upcoming season. The program will have costs for the following:
- Winter Warm-Up (The Batting Cage Rental)
- Westhoff Park Practice Field Rental
- Team Equipment
- Tournament Entries (determined individually by each team)
Clearly each of these costs are variable and can be managed appropriate to the experience the respective coach and participating families desires. Our goal is to provide an affordable baseball experience while giving the boys access to high level instruction. I hope parents will find the level of organization and thought that goes into each practice and game preparation to be “best in class”.
I’ll elaborate more on the expectations I have personally for the program’s culture, but for those new to the Bombers I’ll share the philosophy from the 40,000 feet perspective.
The Bombers Baseball program focuses on skill development of the individual athletes while providing the boys an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than any one individual. If the boys attend and actively participate in practices and games they will gain a solid understanding of the fundamental skills of the game. Most importantly at this young age, our goal is to create an atmosphere that gives the boys every opportunity in the world to fall in love with baseball.
Once it’s clear the player is falling in love with baseball and is embracing the competition the game itself can provide, we’ll then customize an experience to fit the individual player and / or a team of players.
Simply put, there is absolutely no room for negative energy around these kids and it’s on us as coaches and parents to create a positive environment for our children to experience the trials and tribulations participating in a team sport provides.
As the season gets going, inevitably you will spend more time directly with your individual team and / or coach. At any time during the season, I encourage you to reach out to me directly if you have questions or concerns about what we’re doing or why we’re doing it a certain way.
It’s my hope to involve as many of you as possible during the season, whether it be helping on the practice field, assisting at games or helping to organize an off the field social activity. Regardless if you have one child or many, the journey you and your son take with youth sports is a unique one and should be cherished. I look forward to sharing this journey with you, your son and extended family.