Clyde Cordelle tries out some batting Saturday

Clyde Cordelle tries out some batting Saturday

Young baseball athletes fine-tune their skills

Young players with Ponoka Minor Ball were able to improve on core baseball skills during a training camp at the Ponoka Christian School.

Young players with Ponoka Minor Ball were able to improve on core baseball skills during a training camp Saturday, April 18 at the Ponoka Christian School.

Sheen Bromley, baseball coach and technical director with Baseball Alberta, came to Ponoka to help kids aged 7 to 14 with four key skills: running, throwing, fielding and batting.

He hosted two clinics, one for ages 7 to 9 and the other for ages 10 to 14. While players’ skills are more advanced at the older ages, Bromley said his coaching relates to the four aspects of the game, just at different levels. “We do basically the same stuff just at a little more advanced level.”

“Even the Blue Jays work on those all the time,” he added.

His goal is to develop baseball in Alberta from the grassroots level. “In this case, it’s about coming out and getting a kick-start to the season.”

Bromley says the goal for the future is growth. By the time kids get to the peewee stage, they know whether they want to continue or try something different, he explained. With improved program development, Baseball Alberta hopes to keep players for longer.

“That’s one way that a lot of associations and a lot of coaches can judge their own success, is look at how many kids come back again next year and want to keep playing,” explained Bromley.

Minor baseball outlook for Alberta

Bromley says the association is seeing growth across the province and he feels the future of baseball is strong in Alberta. “We’re in a good position throughout.”

He says the association puts on its own programs but also incorporates others mandated by Baseball Canada. “From the grassroots area, there’s good programs in place to get the kids started.”

With players looking to become a high calibre baseball athlete, there are also academies they can take part in. Bromley said there are two or three players from Alberta who are on the Canadian 19 and under team and he is pleased with that growth.

He said the goal is to give every player a chance to improve.