We already have a few confirmed absences. Please indicate your status so we know whether or not we need to borrow players from another team to fill the roster.
Please RSVP for last game (from MBA website)
Hello Team Sota-Licious,
Please RSVP for our last game this weekend (via either the app or email) if you haven't already let us know.
Last Practice Tonight (from MBA website)
Team Sota-Licious is having their last practice of the season tonight at 6:30, so we have some water fun and treats planned for the last half of practice. Please have your player wear something they can get wet (and maybe a towel if you want to keep your car seats dry) :)
Update 4/22: Pictures On, Games Off, & Homework (from MBA website)
Hello Team Sota-Licious,
I had planned on sending this out a little later, but shortly ago, there were notifications preemptively cancelling each of our games this weekend due to unsuitable field conditions, so it seemed like a good time for an update. Please be aware of that change and enjoy one less activity both Saturday and Sunday.
However, the Association has also just confirmed that our team photos, scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday 4/23 at 10:45 ARE STILL ON AS PLANNED. (At least their uniforms will be clean and dry for the photos, right?)
In addition, thanks to those of you who were present at yesterday's practice. We were trying to move at a pretty rapid pace to make assessments and get some fundamentals down, but I promise there will be some additional opportunities for you to interact with the players in fun ways in the future, should you decide to help.
I am planning on requesting a make-up practice in the same time and location as our practice yesterday to compensate for our first cancelled practice. If the slot is still open, I'll send the update once it is confirmed. I'm aware that this would be two practices in one week and that this is not at our regularly scheduled time, so I understand if there are conflicts. I can't think of a better time, however, to get our makeup practice in than before our first game.
If you have a first-year player or if your child might not be that familiar with the game, I'd highly recommend just trying to watch some baseball. The Twins play every day this weekend--starting tonight at 7. I wouldn't expect an 8 year old to make it through a full game, but if you're able to take in an inning or two with your child, it might be a great way to start a dialogue about how the game works, positions, and why players do what they do.
If your player is a little more experienced or has a strong desire to lead, they may be interested in being Practice Captain for the practice. Practice Captains are players who show that they want to lead by example by listening, learning, and trying their best. Our first Practice Captain yesterday was Bryce Carron who did an excellent job helping with warmups, demonstrating drills, and showing how to work hard. Milo Makinen has some big shoes to fill as our next Practice Captain, but I'm confident he'll do a great job. If your player is interested (or conversely, if they are specifically not-interested) in a role as a Practice Captain, please reach out to myself or the rest of the coaching staff so that we're aware, and let them know that they can show the coaches that they're ready by being good role models in practice. (There are 11 practices (including the makeup) and 11 players on the team, so it's entirely possible for everyone to have an opportunity as Practice Captain if they're interested.)
Also, I'd also encourage you to ask your player what they worked on in their first practice and to demonstrate for you. Ask them about ready position ("READY 1, 2!"), the Fielding Triangle, saying "Yes!" when throwing, and pulling and then snapping/popping the bat.
Good luck, and we'll see you at pictures.
Practice change, team photos, and competitive play (from MBA website)
Hello Again Parents,
I wanted to pass along a few items this week prior to our practice and first game(!):
Just to clarify, the practice that had originally scheduled for tonight (Tues, 4/19) has been changed due to unsuitable field conditions at our normal practice site, Cathcart Park. This week's practice is now scheduled for Thursday 4/21 from 5:30pm to 7:00pm at Manor Park. We've got a lot we're going to try and fit in, so please arrive on time and ready to play!
Additionally, please note that our team photos are scheduled for this Saturday the 23rd at 11:00am, so I've added the event to our team calendar. (We also have a game that morning at 8:15, so fortunately, everyone will be in uniform already.)
Lastly, as this is the first year keeping score and calling strikes (swinging only), we need to acknowledge that there will be team losses and individual strikeouts. If your player is not used to competitive sports or is unfamiliar with dealing with disapointment or a loss, it might be a good time to have a conversation about how to handle things like strikeouts, getting called out on a close play, or a team loss. For perspective, remember that a .300 batting average, which is considered excellent in baseball, still means that a player is getting on base only 3 out of every 10 times.
Update 3/26: Practice Schedules and Uniforms (from MBA website)
Hello Again Team Sota-Licious,
Sorry to all about the double-post last week--I scheduled it to go out twice by mistake! Regardless, I'm sure everyone's mind is already on Spring Break, but we do have a few quick items to which I wanted to draw your immediate attendtion regarding uniforms and practice schedule.
First, our league is requesting that we return uniform size and personalization information very quickly. (Yes, there is just about a month before the first game, but our league administrators need the information as soon as possible to get the entire group order for 110 teams(!) configured and off to the apparel company, personalized (which carries it's own lead time), and then back into your hands before the first game. So, needless to say, time is of the essence.)
**Myself and our Team Manager, Tricia Stolz, are asking that you please respond before the end of the weekend!**
You will need to confirm to Tricia at 612-386-1807 orthe following:
Jersey size preference (Youth M-XL)
The name you wish to have printed on the jersey back (should be last name, no first names or nicknames please)
Preference of hat personalization (not necessary, but really useful if you have a player that forgets things...)
No personalization (No cost)
Name only OR Number only ($7 additional)
Name AND Number ($10 additional)
Secondly, our Practice Schedule is now available on the website under the "Team Sites" dropdown menu. Our practice schedule will be Tues evenings from 7pm to 8:30pm at Cathcart Park in Shorewood. (I feel like this is pretty late, but 90% of the Community 8 teams have this same schedule, so we'll just have to work with it.) In the interest of ending practice on time, I would ask that you please try to arrive before the scheduled start time so that we can get everything in by 8:30 and finish up on time. I've already checked, and the sun is scheduled to set at 7:55 on our first night of practice, so those first few practices will already be tough to finish before we lose the light.
Finally, in years past, some of the families have asked to have a small informal get-together prior to the first practice so everyone can get to know each other. If there's enough interest, I can look at grabbing a room at a pizza place or something--if that's something which you might find beneficial, please let me know, and I can try and put something together for the week of the 4/4.
Thanks--and have a safe and restful Spring Break!
Welcome to the team...Let's Play Ball! (from MBA website)
Hello, and welcome to team Sota-licious!
My name is Justin Winterhalter, and I'll be coaching this year along with fellow coaches Casey Wright, Scott Harvey, and Brendan Cahill. First and foremost, let me say that we're very excited to start playing some baseball, and I'm sure our players are going to have a wonderful time while learning some important skills. There's lots of information here, but I promise it's valuable and that I'll be (pretty) concise.
For those of you with players in the 7YO league last year, note that there are some major changes this year as 8YO baseball is the first year in which players participate in truly "competitive" play. If you haven't already, I strongly urge you all to take a moment to familiarize yourself with the rules this year; they're available on the league home page, or here is a link for your convenience. In short, however, here's a few of the big ones:
Umpires will be making the calls, score will be kept, and winners will be determined for each game.
Players can strike out (swinging only--not looking)
Lineup and positional rotation requirements are significantly more rigid
Teams must field a minimum number of players or officially forfeit
All players must wear a protective cup
There will be a post-season playoff tournament from 6/27 - 7/2 for all teams in the league
With those changes in mind, the main goals we should have for our players this year will be to learn and develop sound fundamentals, understand the game, and promote sportsmanship. Each week at practice we'll have a key fundamental to practice or topic to discuss. I'll plan to post a bulletin each week with that information and some additional resources, and I'm also asking for your help in reinforcing that learning with your player at home. The period from about age eight to ten is a critical window in which to build a young player's fundamentals--we want to make sure that they're learning the proper techniques now to avoid future bad habits, build confidence, and prevent injury.
I'm afraid I don't have information on our practice schedule yet, but I'll send out another bulletin as soon as the schedule is put together by the league. The current league schedule has the week of April 11th as the first week of practices, with games beginning the week of April 22nd. There are also some other key dates to keep in mind, such as Spring Cleanup (Early April TBD) and Team Picture Day (April 23rd.)
We have a roster of 11 on our team, and will be fielding ten players in games, so everyone is going to get lots of playing time. Once the schedule is out, please help our team by notfying us promptly if you have any conflicts with practices or games. We want to make the best use of everyone's time for practices, and having to re-build small groups for drill stations or change up practice plans on the fly due to an unexpected absence will not be beneficial to anyone. Additionally, because of how stringent the rotational requirements are this year regarding field positions (and you know this because you already read the rules, right??), it means that positions for the entire game will need to be planned before the game starts. An unexpected absence on game day means that we'll need to spend our time scrambling to plot out new positions instead of being able to coach.
It doesn't specifically state it in the league rules, but each player should have his or her own equipment including glove, bat, ball, and batting helmet. (Specialized equipent such as catcher's masks and pads are league provided.) If you need recommendations on equipment type or size, please let us know, and we can help. In the past, MBA has also held a used equipment sale prior to the season start, which can be a budget-friendly way to get the necessary equipment.
The league is using SportsSignupPlay as the mobile app again this year. The app will be a primary means of communication for game/practice schedule and all things team-related as well as a way for you to interact with coaches and other parents. Here is the link for both Apple and Andoid devices. Log in with the same email you used for this site, and it should automatically link you to the Sota-Licious team page.
Lastly, we still are in need of some help. We are still looking for a parent to volunteer as Team Manager to help keep everything organized and well-communicated. If you are interested, please let me know. We're also always looking for help at practices to keep things moving--if you're planning to stay during practice, please feel free to bring along a glove. We'll definitely welcome any extra hands willing to run down the occasional errant throw or to act as crowd control. It's also a great way to show your sassy eight year old that mom or dad's "still got it." :)
If you have any questions or would more information on anything, please feel free to reach out.