Baseball, Rick Wolf, Long Island discussed on Sports Edge
Your host Rick wolf, I'm talking this morning with my old friend and and baseball teammate, rob Nelson. We're talking about kids and having fun in sports. And it sounds like such a simple concept. But of course, these days with all the kids starting a much younger ages and getting evolved and structured leagues and formal coaching and specialization earlier ages. We do have a sense that kids today are losing a sense of how to have fun basic enjoyment when they play sports have, you know, have that it's the we don't have that fun element. As part of your sports experience. It's going different every difficult to continue on and to pursue that passion in sports because it's not seen. Any more is being enjoyment is seen as being work. And we're taking your calls at one eight seven seven three three seven sixty six sixty six Nelly. Let's let's get to some more callers. Let's start with our friend AJ over in Princeton, New Jersey AJ. Good morning. You're on the fan. Good morning. Rick and good morning Nelly. Good morning as I as I start off every conversation with you. I am glad that I grew up. When I grew up about the same age and sports is such an important part of my life now. And I would I would highlight the Lert enjoyment now growing up it was fun. And actually what was important during my my my growing up, and I'm calling about all sports. I mean, if it was a sport basically started playing when I was about ten but baseball started earlier than that. I think I think I had a baseball bat in my crib, actually. So I had some notes from a few weeks ago. And you know, you kind of hit it on the head here. The concept of free play when I was growing up before we ever joined any kind of a league or whatever go to the, you know, the local school, which is a mile away, you know, a friend's backyard during the summer we played stick ball and stick ball. Paul was always great. Because first of all we also we learned how to hit pitch field all this kind of stuff. But I started switch hitting and I was Mickey Mantle I was imitating Roger marriage and all that stuff. We you know, we played bounces and grounders stuff like that. We'd had just have catches. But there's a very important point here. One of the games that we played, you know, running basis if you remember that you get a guy in one down AJ just going to say running bases was like the universe a game that every kid in America played and was so simple to learn and to do with the tennis ball, or whatever it might be. And yet, I don't know kids play running basis anymore. Thanks, rick. The problem is when I watch Yankee games, I watch games. Now. How many times do they screw it up? They can't even and I'm not kidding here. And you know, I'm not kidding. Well, let's say what you watch today is it's it's it's appalling to watch it's disgraceful because as kids we had these fundamental down, and it was like playing games. So I I appreciate what I did growing up. I encourage the other subjects that you always have on the show play a lot of sports get exposed to everything and you learn competitiveness and that turns into a life skill. And I've told you about my again, my career now as an entrepreneur wanna be in the business has the author as an inventor it all started by playing baseball as a kid and having fun with sports AJ. Your thoughts are right on target. And as always I thank you for your for your insights. Thank you for the call this morning. And I just want to ask you because you know, he had some good thoughts about all this. And that is that the the the most fundamental easy. Easiest games to learn as a kid running bases throwing the ball back and forth. Trying to avai getting tagged by somebody who's catching the ball. Some kid your age learning how to catch pop ups? You know, we we laugh and joke about the fact that some of the of the big league level have a hard time with this. I mean, I often sit there and watch a kid in the major leagues and he loses a ball in the sun. I'm thinking how can that be didn't you learn as a kid how to how to shield the sun by using your glove? Sunglasses. How how can that be or catch a pop up or not it'd be so unfamiliar with the wind might cause a ball to drift a certain way or the loss of bunting the kids today, just don't know? How don't don't wanna bunt? It's really it ought to me. It all stems back to the earliest ages when they were learning how to do this on the playground. Yeah. I think you're right. And I think a lot of it has to do with the formation of leagues that have professional coaches and the goals yo-. I always read the literature all the time we want to take your kid to the next level. And and and I I understand that. But at at our baseball cap, we wanna take each kid to what level they were at two a step or two or three above. It's not like it's not like everybody's goal should be to get a college scholarship or to play for for the Yankees or the metro or any big league club just play for the sake of playing and learn a few things when I was doing clinics in Sydney, Australia, talking about having boys and girls in the program questions came up, and they said, well, why do you want girls mate, you know, in the program? They said, well, we want people to learn to love the game. And even if you don't yet have a league for girls, the more people who appreciate the fund that the game is the become part of the game. Maybe. To become coaches or score keepers or unpire or something. But you want everybody to understand that this game is basically fun, and the more people you get involved with it. The better off it'll be I think also the economic profile is that it's tough to make a living today. And you have a lot of virtually all families now have mom and dad or both working or both parents are both working and. So it's easier to hire a professional coach or have your kids involved in the kids are taken care of. So the parents can't go out and do what they need to do as parents. And and I think the leisure-time thing applies to parents as well such a very complicated issue. And I I know what my campus at throwback kind of thing. But I do see that the the kids who are in travel ball and elite teams in going to these showcases each year. Fewer and fewer of those kids are coming into my camp because they're too busy playing in a competitive format, and it's unfortunate. I don't know what the answer is. You know, my my small thing is a couple of weeks a year. I go back to Long Island, and we just have a hell of a lot of fun when I run into guys. Now who are forty years old say, hey, coach, rob how you doing started nineteen eighty six and it's pretty much the same formula after thirty three years. So I I wish there was more of it. I don't know. What the answer is all I know is what you're talking about is absolutely right. So let kids play for the sake of play the fact that we don't keep score during our games. Are remember a kid running off the field nationally coach rob watch the score? And I said Phil I think it's eleven to eight and he asked if his team was a header behind. And I said, I'm not sure. The kid didn't Lincoln. I what he asked me. Actually, can I make a lineup. He just wanted to be involved. You want her to have a conversation with his coach. But basically he was set me up to ask me if he could make the batting water the next inning. And that made me smile didn't say what do you mean, you don't know the scar? Well, I didn't know the school. And I think when you get to do that over and over and part of it, you know, in my situation and my two older brothers. Ed, Harry, we were always playing games and at making up rules as we went along. And and the joy of that is why I'm seven years old now, and I'm still doing it with the, you know, the enthusiasm of when I was twenty and I think it's because it's always been enjoyable for me to do. And I think it's contagious. I take the kids buy into it that, hey, this is pretty cool. There's no player of the day. There's no most improved player. There's no trophy at the end at the end of the campus, say, wear sunscreen, go to the beach. Thank your mom. Magadan your grandparents for you here on time. She that summer, and that's it thirty seconds speech at the end of the show. And then the kids go have fun somewhere else. It's just you know, as you said that that learning and to have fun enjoying yourself that just said it just last a lifetime as I said, the reason I'm doing the show. This point is I'm fearful that we maybe having this generation of young kids today who were somehow being they're not getting the benefit of that. Before forget just tell people if they if they want to find out more about your camp, which you run for so many years working, how can they contact you? Or how can they find out? More information about yourself as I said it's in day camp only, and it's typically six days to six day sessions through the town of Southampton on Long Island..