As a kid I always had a favorite sport and that was baseball, it’s not the easiest sport but it is fun. Growing up my grandfather always wanted me to be a ball player, so that meant baseballs all around, cones out front to practice hitting off of and as the years went on plenty of things got brought in. There wasn’t a day that I would miss practice, I would always attend, it would really have to be an emergency to get me away from the field. One thing my grandfather would always tell me is “keep your eye on the ball” and that paid off. First it was learning how to throw the ball and hit the target that I was aiming for. Secondly it would be hitting, as grandpa always said “keep your eyes on the ball” to make a connection. Lastly it was learning how to catch, and some people are just naturals .
When I was a kid I was always told I had the best arm, from throwing rocks behind the house to practicing with the friends and family. I Always would go behind my house into the wash and throw rocks with a few of my buddies, we would aim at one thing and see who could hit it first or the most times out of five. When we were all younger that is what we would do for fun, it would take hours out of our day or even days out of the week. One time the family was at the lake and we were all throwing rocks in, skipping aiming at different things, well a duck caught my eye and I threw a rock hit the duck and it dipped into the water, took a bit to come up and was shaking his head as he came up. That was a long time ago back when I was seven or eight so my family was very surprised I was capable of doing so. As baseball came around that started to really benefit the aiming and following through with the throw. I knew being the best wasn’t going to happen overnight so I put a lot of time into it, countless hours of playing catch under the streetlights, until I got the text “it’s time to come home”. Grandpa would gather buckets of balls so that I would be able to practice with him. He would also set up things around the house for me to practice like, pitching mounds, nets to throw into, and other things to practice my eye hand coordination. My grandpa and I would go around the corner to the baseball fields if it wasn’t to busy and get some practice in, knock out a few exercises. I feel having the pitching mound in the back really did benefit me a lot, just being able to pitch at home really helped me learn and retain a lot.
Having the cones out front of the house as a kid I would say really paid off, keeping a level swing is one thing that got me on base. As years went on the balls starting getting thrown at you, faster and faster and eventually its normal to have a ball flying towards you at eighty Mph. At times you may get hit you just have to brush it off and walk away, after getting hit with the ball you may take a free base so you get to advance to first. Over the time it may of taken some getting used to, as you advance to the next stage the players and now getting better, so it goes from in farm they used to throw 40 Mph to now stepping in to juniors and they are pitching to you at seventy to seventy-five MPH. After hitting off of the cones, came the pitching machines then live ball came at you with an actual pitcher. My favorite was the pitching machine because it through the ball in the sweet spot almost every time. That means you get to connect and hit it over the fence just about every time, I actually hit my first homerun off of a pitching machine. As is comes to the games it gets a little more nerve racking having people stare at you while you hit, cheering you on and everyone depending on you to make a hit. You just have to take a deep breath connect with the feild and make a connection to the ball and run is fast as you can praying you are safe.
One time I was playing catch with my grandpa and the sun was right in my face I got hit smack in the forehead. From playing catch with friends and catching pop flies at practice as the time went on I got better. The position I enjoyed playing would be shortstop, with the most attention and action towards you. Which means there was no slacking and losing focus on the feild, if you were playing shortstop you had to be on it, ready to stop anything coming your way. It was nice to be able to catch, especially if a line drive gets hit in your direction and can just about knock your head off, at times they did come pretty fast your way. It was my job to get in the way and to stop the ball however I could with the body, glove, hand whatever works. As the coach and my grandfather would say just stay in front of the ball. I would have to say a hard hit grounder was one of the funnest parts of baseball, I feel it really made you feel like a tough guy if you can get in front of the ball and take a hit, and still get the play done by getting the batter out. At times you may mess up, but you get up and you try again until you get it done.
I always enjoyed playing baseball growing up and watching professional games. Once I seen what my arm can do there was no turning back, I was throwing things at anything. You can never go wrong when your coach asked if you wanted to go to the batting cages and hit some balls. There was the times I may of stuck out or missed a play, but I never gave up and kept trying to better myself. Then when the pitching machines got broke out it was like the batting cages at your home field. It was honestly a blast and I looked forward to every second. Then catching comes around and that wasn’t to fun learning, getting hit and having something flying at you but, it’s something you must learn to be a ball player. It might not always go your way at the beginning but it all form’s in the end.