I wanted to give myself at least 24 hours before writing this email to gather my thoughts and figure out exactly what I wanted to say. I wish I could have had this conversation face to face with all my guys….
As of yesterday (March 16th), MSHSAA has made a statement regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and has decided to leave all school closing and school activity suspensions up to each individual district. North Kansas City Schools has decided to suspend all spring sports through April 3rd. Today (March 17th), I received an email that informed me that all Suburban Conference schools will not be permitted to conduct practices or games until April 6th. There is a MSHSAA rule that says every player must have at least 14 practices before they compete in a game. Our program has 11, meaning we cannot compete in a game until at least April 9th.
I am incredibly disappointed and frustrated about this suspension. I know my players and most of their parents and I know that you all are just as frustrated as I am. The suspension could not have come at a more difficult time for Northtown Baseball. I was/am VERY excited for this season and I know you all share my feelings. I am heartbroken that I will not be spending my mornings, afternoons, nights and weekends with my players and staff at the ballpark for the next few weeks.
But.. I have a few challenges for you all…
We are more than 24 hours into this suspension. We CANNOT sit around for three weeks and expect to compete at a high level. Utilize your time off from school to work on your craft. Go outside and play catch, lift weights, take care of your arm, hit in a cage, watch your throwing/hitting mechanics in the mirror, watch YouTube videos of big-league hitters and pitchers, etc. If you do not have access to a gym, do push ups, sit ups, run distance, run sprints, lunge around the block; get creative in your pursuit of excellence.
During your time off, I don’t know for a fact, but you will more than likely have assignments due for school on Canvas and other various eLearning opportunities. DO NOT FALL BEHIND!! Do what you are supposed to do when you are supposed to do it. This will make things a lot easier when we get back to school.
Spend time with your parents and loved ones. They LOVE you and care for you deeply. Appreciate the little things with the people around you. I challenge all of my players to do something completely out your comfort zone for your parents or guardians. Clean their car, deep clean the house, mow the yard, cook dinner, walk the dog, do the laundry, etc.
Last challenge… hand write a letter and send it through the mail to someone. This could be a loved one OR (something near and dear to my heart) send a letter to an old folks’ home. These people LOVE hearing about what young people having going on. That could make their day or even month.
I believe we will play baseball this year. Don’t have to “get ready”, BE READY! I already miss my guys a ton. You know how to get ahold of me if you need me.