Good Coaches Let Kids Swing Away Sports Camps Boost Confidence of Young Players as They Gain Skills

By Berens, Brian A. | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), July 7, 1999 | Go to article overview

Good Coaches Let Kids Swing Away Sports Camps Boost Confidence of Young Players as They Gain Skills


Berens, Brian A., Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Brian A. Berens Daily Herald Staff Writer

Positive motivation is top priority at a number of children's athletic camps in DuPage County this summer.

At the White Sox Training Camp, held last week at Summerlakes Park in Warrenville, coaches Mike Morgan and Mike Grunloh created a tough yet nurturing atmosphere.

"At our camp, a love of the game and dedication to it come first," said Morgan, a high school coach on Chicago's South Side. "We believe in coach and student, together as one."

Seven campers ranging in age from 7 to 14 spent their mornings learning the fundamentals of throwing, base running and batting.

"I learned how to lead off on the bases and KASH, a throwing technique using the knee, ankle, shoulders and hips," Matt Kinsella of Warrenville said. "You should always point to whoever you're throwing to."

Adam Rudy of Warrenville was excited that he learned how to steal a base, and Matt Harms of Warrenville said he already wants to join the camp next year.

Morgan and Grunloh constantly encouraged questions to enhance the learning process.

"If you don't understand something, we're here to clarify it," Morgan said.

To avoid deflating the kids' confidence, the coaches made a point of asking the kids what they did wrong instead of telling them.

Bill Hopkins of Wheaton, a parent to one of the campers, was impressed with the coaching style.

"They teach the mental aspects of the game," Hopkins said. "The physical aspects are one thing, but thinking on the field is equally important."

Hopkins also said the coach-to- player ratio was imperative.

"Because there's only seven kids, they get a lot of hands-on, individual instruction," Hopkins said. "With seven kids, it's easier to keep them moving, and it helps to break the kids up."

Cris Kinsella-Naber of Warrenville said the coaches inspired the kids to be better ball players.

"They keep the kids moving and hustling all the time," Kinsella-Naber said. "It's actually a rule to keep running. My kid, Matt, came home so excited and it was 100 degrees outside."

The Chicago Bulls Basketball Schools also are making their way around the Chicago area.

The camps, aimed at boys and girls ages 6 to 14, teach kids the fundamentals of basketball.

"We don't just roll the ball out onto the court and put the kids in a five-on-five situation," said head coach Bobby Hansen, a former guard for the Chicago Bulls. …

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