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"News" Sept-Nov '03

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Date :  Thu, 06 Nov 2003 16:37:09 -0600
I feel compelled to remind you that participation and maximization of the programs I coordinate demand 100% cooperation and participation year round. I refuse to run a "buffet" or provide a "country club".
My efforts do not begin at 5:30 with the first training session and do not end on days when there are no classes scheduled. I constantly have you on my mind and thinking up strategies and "mediums" to better educate, teach, instruct, and prepare each player.
In today's baseball climate players are excelling and maturing at a pace that will leave many on the outside looking in.

Last year ABC beat the odds by having 10 ballplayers commit to Division 1 schools. Statistics say that less than 6% of high school seniors play Division 1 baseball as freshman. This year we have two already:
LHP Brady Robbins - Taylor HS; C Todd Gilfilan - Westwood.

Quit "tip-toeing" around with me and look YOURSELF in the mirror. Are you in or are you out ?
I wish every ball player the best and tremendous success, but please respect my efforts to concentrate on those who "have it in there blood" to be the best they can be and "ENJOY the RIDE"...how ever far it takes them. This program is not about professional or collegiate baseball or "how many times..." or "how far" or whatever. It's about life and the lessons that America's Pastime can teach us. It's more than a hitting session or defensive training and games once a week. If you have'nt picked up on that by now you're not breathing. I want to look into the eyes of people who I know I'm going to see every week for the next few YEARS not months. If I wanted it any different I would design it that way. Get into more conventional "lessons". Rent batting cages. Take a job with a major league organization full time.....or what ever.

This is not directed at "attendance" or "how many times" you must show up. That's for you to decide.
I just find it incredibly amusing when the words "burn out" come out of ball players who "take their game seriously". Talk to your high school coach about "burn out" or bring up "burn out" to that college coach you are trying to impress. Those guys are baseball 24/7. Take a minute to ponder what they go through to provide the quality of baseball experience that you enjoy or hope to someday.
FYI- one of the top 5 questions I am asked by HS coaches, college coaches, and scouts are who's workng when no one else is ? Who's down at the shop in Nov & Dec on a Thursday night ?
Actions speak louder than words.

Someone that I respect and who is very wise reminded me recently as he quietly listened to a frustrating situation in front of me and said "remember, you are in this and involved with others because you choose to be. With that comes responsibility and a willingness to serve. BUT, you DO have a choice and a say in who those people are".
A bit "harsh", but I took it to heart.



All is well with PRATERBALL. Just looking for a few good men.

thanks for listening
AP
 
Oct 2 2003
I wanted to let you know how exciting this week of workouts has been. You should have had a chance to review the "notes" from the SWINGTHERAPY sessions and I would like to take a minute to review our defensive sessions this week.
Pitching coaches Mike Anderson and Forest Martin have begun to meet with pitchers this week. This time is proving to be invaluable and I have already heard several positive comments back from them regarding each pitcher. Please take advantage of their time and knowledge.
At NW Pony field yesterday we had the chance to get some much needed reps and game situations. I am making a conscious effort to continue to impress upon each player the importance of playing "a good game of catch". Games are won and lost by a teams ability to throw the ball accurately and efficiently. Strong and accurate throws are essential to a players "profile".
Also, each time we gather, I am challenging our ball players to continue to separate themselves from the competition, not only between the lines, but as soon as they enter the "gate". Many times we fail to realize that when we are being evaluated or "scouted" (whether by a high school coach, college coach, or scout) ALL eyes are on us the minute we show up. How we go about our business pre-game  (stretching, playing catch, relating to teammates, coaches, etc..) to how we go about our business during the game (hustle, execution, etc..).
ABC desires to develop skills as well as how you "present" or "showcase" those skills.

Many of you have begun to journal your experiences during workouts and games (as I have asked all ABC players to do) and I wanted to share with you an excerpt form a book I am reading called
"Simple Secrets of successful people" by David Niven PhD

on page 23 he write:
"If you were taking a complicated route out of town, you would write down the directions. But if you were considering the future path of your life, your goals, and what you needed to do to achieve them, you probably wouldn't write any of it down. Think of it - the most significant journey of your life, and you probably won't put a word of the directions on paper. Writing down your plans, goals, and ideas makes them more real for you. Every step you take to define what you want and what you need to do to get it increases the chances that you will actually pursue these goals and someday achieve them".
**It is suggested that you keep a journal because he believes that in your journal your true quest will come to light. "If you write down whatever comes to you, you will be able to see the patterns of your thoughts, discover things you didn't even know about yourself, and discover how you fit into your quest".
People who keep journals are 32% more likely to feel like they are making progress Howatt 1999

Oct 1 2003
As many of you may / may not know, each week during our SWINGTHERAPY sessions, I strive to create a learning environment as well as a working environment so that we can balance good information with repetitions. During our time together, I often challenge players to consider, "ponder",  and  answer questions related to hitting "in general" as well as different hitting philosophies.
This week's focus has been on creating a SOLID foundation as well as having a PLAN when we get to the plate for each at bat. A ball player must have a solid foundation from which to work from allowing him to create a consistent approach, swing path, head plain, etc...
This solid foundation must be maintained through out the swing !

Last night I ran across an article while researching (as I often do) on the internet.
It relates to what we have been working on this week and I thought you might enjoy hearing from another baseball educator.

Have a great day and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to spend time with you and your family:)

Coach Prater

article:

"The ideal kinetic link produces high bat velocity by sequential transfer of energy from the stronger and heavier body segments (legs and trunk) to the arms and finally to the bat. This energy generation begins at the feet, the base of support. This energy is sequentially transferred through the legs, hips, trunk, shoulders, arms, hands, and lastly out into the bat as velocity. Energy increases through the "linked" body segments, so that maximum velocity is transferred to the bat."

In a nutshell, this means the swing starts at the feet and works its way out to the bat by correctly transferring energy through the body parts in specific sequential order. The order is very important or the energy stored is partially wasted.

 

*taken from article written by Ed Howell on www.thepitchingmound.com
 
September 2 2003
How about those Longhorns !

I trust that you had a nice time with family over the weekend. The Snappers finished up a road trip in Dayton,Ohio and then headed back to Beloit on a 7 hour bus ride......
Yesterday though, I got my first win a the "Skipper" of a professional baseball team. I coached third base and we won the game 7-5 !!!!!!

The Brewers have asked me to move ahead and stay on board for a few more days and continue coaching. This team is LOADED with future major league players and I have really been challenged professionally to guide them into this exciting time of their careers. Playoffs in professional baseball are a special time and to be asked to be a part of it with this team is an honor. My willingness to stay a few more days did not come without  heavy consideration and prayer and I want you ALL to know how "torn" I am.
ABC is my first priority and love and I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed soon and going to my own "office" (training facilities) for a change !

I have attached a document to this e-mail that I would like you all to take a look at. Over the next several training sessions, all players will be asked to fill this form out at one time or another (feel free to fill it out at home and bring to next training session). It is the first entry to our fall training journals that I have spoken of several times in the past. I would like for each player to bring a notebook to be kept at the training facility that will serve as a "log" or journal of activities. I would like you to have a journal at the facility by next week. Players will be responsible to answer questions like :
What did I learn or improve upon today? What was one area I recognize I need to continue to improve upon? How many reps did I perform today? Etc......

The Wednesday and Thursday training sessions will be conducted by "Rock" (Mark) who coordinates speed and agility training for the Adam's Course. Many of you indicated on the ABC survey that you would like to have more of this type of training introduced into the ABC program and we feel that Mark is the best in town. He and I have developed a training program designed for baseball players and he will be coordinating the Wed / Thurs sessions this week. COME READY TO SWEAT !!!!!!

The last item of business that needs to be addressed is the fall tournament fee of $300. Please make arrangements to mail a check to our PO Box before Monday, Sept 8th. Tournament fee's must be received before a player may participate in fall games / tournaments. Make checks payable to ABC.

I will see you soon and thank you for allowing me to spend time with your family !
Prater
*call if you need me :)

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