NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With sports seasons put on hold this spring, coaches are coming up with creative ways to motivate their teams.
As CBS2’s Scott Rapoport reported Sunday, some Little League kids are still getting their practices in.
But for some kids cooped up in their homes, there is the next best thing.
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Jordan Baltimore, the founder of New York Empire Baseball, is taking a swing at bringing baseball back into the lives of his Little Leaguers through online sessions.
Throwing, swinging, and exercising, the kids are drilling at home to coaches’ instructions via social technology like Zoom.
“It’s who we are. We live for this. Our entire team of coaches, we’re not moonlighting coaches. This is all we do every day,” Baltimore said.
Baltimore said he came up with the idea when the season was put on hold, and he was left with 500 kids signed up in his league raring to go but with no way to play. He said he knew what he had to do.
“To continue what we do all year round, and really bring a sense of normalcy, not only to us as an organization bu to the children in our program and their families,” Baltimore said.
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He said the sessions last an hour and he’s now running 18 of them per week. The focus is on technique, conditioning, and teaching, bringing the kids together and sharing the experience safely. The kids do it in their bedrooms, their driveways, and sometimes even with their parents.
Some of the setups are very elaborate. For 8-year-old Little Leaguer Max Miller and his mom, Marissa, it’s a big league boredom beater, and a blessing.
“I like them because you can still can train about baseball,” Max said.
“Just to be able to count on these classes has been pretty instrumental in structuring our whole day,” Marissa added.
It’s baseball in the coronavirus age, where the kids are “safe at home.”