Saturday, December 5, 2015

Second Day of Baseball Practice Means Choosing Your Bat! Learn more from Coach Keviin Christofora!

When I got to school, I saw some of my teammates
in the hallway. [They all had their uniforms on!]

It was Monday morning, and it was my second day of baseball practice. I woke up before my alarm clock rang! I was so excited to go to school to show off my new uniform. I washed my face, brushed my teeth, combed my hair, and got dressed. Mom was so proud of me for getting dressed all by myself. She said, "You're acting like such a big boy! This baseball team sure has you excited.

Magic Bat Day

By Kevin Christofora
Illustrated by Dale Tangeman

This Indie approved reader is written for ages 3-7 and should be considered "a primary" in acquainting children with the game of baseball. The first story in the series appeared yesterday, so do click over if you missed it! Magic Bat Day
is actually the second day of practice, so, first, everything that was learned then was repeated--you got it! Those exercises we all love to do! So they are repeated every day to learn them...and those same exercises will always be done before a big game!
We all spread out around the pitcher's mount, just like the first practice. I still had the white hat, and I got to be the leader. "Okay everyone, let's do our jumping jacks. Ready, one two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine and ten."
"Next, helicopters! One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight nine and ten."
And now our stretching. Up, up, up, and down, one, two, three. Again! up, up, up, and down, one, two three. Last time ! Up, up, up and down, one two three."
I handed the white hat to Flo. "You can be the next leader," I said.
"Let's go, boys. Follow me around the bases." she said.

After warm-ups, Coach split us into two groups, and I
went to the dugout. I got to pick out a bat that felt good.
It was my favorite color, too. This one looked like it had
magic in it because the name on the side said "Bolt"
and had a picture of lightning on it.

The Coach announced that he would be teaching them how to hit the ball. But first, each player had to pick out their own bat!

First, though, the Coach showed them a baseball card of Babe Ruth and shared his history--letting them know that he was a role model that they should look toward, and that they could maybe someday play like him...

Nick, who narrates the story headed over with the rest of the team to find the perfect, perhaps magical bat, to use. Then the coach led them to the practice area where individual hitting stations were already established. Billy Ball showed up to explain why two white circles had been drawn near each hitting station...Do you know why?

Everybody was surprised that the Coach used a black marker to show how their knuckles were to be placed on the bat! Then when Nick tried to make his first hit, he missed! The coach used that marker again and Nick was able to make his first hit! 
 Boom! I felt the explosion in my hands! It made the coolest sound when I hit the ball. I did it! I hit the ball so far. That black dot really helped me see the ball. 
"Good hit, Nick. That's how you do it." Coach said, as he put another ball on the tee. "Let's do it again."

Each day the Coach called the team members together and talked to them about the day, asking what they liked best.

I continue to be so impressed with these stories and already wonder what will be taught next! The coach reveals in his actions his goals for teaching the game correctly, to allow the members to participate fully and equally, to gain feedback for future reference, and most of all to go slowly and at the pace the individual member needs, with help provided as needed...and to inspire their team in sportsmanship, good morale as well as acting as a wonderful role model...

Nick was so tired that he went to sleep in his uniform...But I couldn't help but think he was already dreaming when he was older, in high school, and totally experienced and playing real games--with a little bit of swagger to make the game fun! That's going to be sooooo cool!
Readers, you can't help but enjoy these books. While being very educational in the time-honored step-by-step process of learning, the author has inserted fun stops, such as another game of finding the balls in a page...or letting the kids think they must have hit a million balls in their practice...  There are places for autographs of favorite players...and a continuous check of what new words have been learned and remembered. For instance, do you know what Babe Ruth's full name is? I sure didn't! So baseball trivia and history of the game is also coming into the learning process...

No doubt about it--This series could be a must-read for many children out there! All you have to ask is if they want to..."Play Ball!"


BRH's opinion? This coach's actions will never
lead to miscommunication! LOL

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