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Kicking-off basketball season, the boys hit the court as the announcer calls their names…

Wearing number 15….it’s Alex!

Alex Enters

And wearing number 5…it’s Adam!

Adam Enters

GO COBRAS!

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The best photos are those in which the subject doesn’t know he’s being photographed. I caught Adam watching a YouTube video on his laptop today. His concentration and posture were compelling and made him look more mature than his 9-years would have you believe. Or maybe it’s just because I’m his dad and still see him as a little boy. After all, he taught himself to pitch by watching YouTube. He learned fundamentals and mechanics of the wind-up to which we perfected together on the field. Always inquisitive and forever questioning, he takes the initiative to learn. If that’s not maturity, I don’t know what is.

Watching YouTube

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It’s the first practice of the season and the boys are excited…Dad, too. Their team is the Cobras and they strike light lightening! (yeah, I made-up that part to eye-rolls from everyone 😉 ). The boys play in the Upward Basketball Program, which is a Christian sports league that focuses on developing athletes mentally, athletically, spiritually, and socially. In addition to recognizing the kids for offense and defense action on the court, they’re also recognized for their attitude in relations to effort, sportsmanship, and Christlikeness. This league is really a lot of fun!

There are a few kids on the team who haven’t played basketball before, so the coach works on fundamentals with the team. Alex and Adam are a little rusty, but pick-up quickly.

Shooting…

Alex Shoots

Adam Shoots

Dibbling (although the whole double-dribble thing is still a foreign concept)…

Alex Dribbles

and Passing…

Adam Passes

Then a little shooting past a defender and some rebounding…

Boys Playing Basketball

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Trying-out their new skateboards; walking in the footsteps of Tony Hawk and Rodney Mullen…

Skater" Skater"

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The days are getting shorter, but there are lights on the field! Tonight Adam is catching…

Adam Catches

There aren’t many balls that get past him, which says a lot given these fist-time little league pitchers. The balls are just as likely to go wild as they are to go across the plate.

Adam Catches Adam Catches

He’s a leader when he’s behind the plate…

Adam Catches

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Today Adam got a real treat! We were at the batting cages for some practice and he got some lessons from from Oakland A’s (minor league) third baseman A.J. Kubala. A.J. is a local boy and he gives back to his community by working with Little Leaguers on their fundamentals. Adam was grinning from ear-to-ear the whole time!

Thanks, A.J.! What a blast!

Batting with A.J. Kubala
Batting with A.J. Kubala
Batting with A.J. Kubala
Batting with A.J. Kubala

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There’s no rain today and Adam’s ready to PLAY BALL!

Batter Up

It was a great game and Adam got his first hit on his first time at bat in “kid pitch” baseball. He also stole his first base and was quite pleased with himself. 🙂

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This afternoon, the boys donned their Pack 280 tee-shirts and joined some other scouts from the district for some b.b. gun and archery fun. They learned range safety, proper range commands, and the parts of the b.b. gun and bow and arrow.

The boys almost look like professionals in the prone position shooting at the target. Adam thought it was pretty cool because he could pretend he was a sniper…

This was the first time for both of them on the archery range and once they got comfortable with the proper way to hold the bow and notch the arrow, they did very good. As a lefty, Adam used a regular bow and as you can see, he scored a bullseye…

Alex got to use one of the compound bows and he got three arrows in the outside rings. I thought he had pretty darn good form…

The boys had a real good time and are looking forward to the Cub Scout “Cuboree” at Camp Shands in a couple of weeks where they’ll do more work with B.B. guns and bows and arrows!

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wherein Adam experiences a rainout on the first day of Fall Ball…

Adam: Why did it have to rain?

Me: Hey, buddy, rain is just part of baseball!

Adam: I don’t get it.

Me: Look, baseball is a very simple game: You throw the ball, you hit the ball, you catch the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes it rains.** Rain is just part of baseball.

Adam: You’re weird.

Rainout

** with thanks to pitcher Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh (Bull Durham, 1988)

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The weather was very nice today, so nice that the boys and I decided to hit the ball field for some fundamentals. The field was a little damp after a couple days of rain, but not too bad.

Baseball Practice

We worked on fielding mostly, but got in some batting practice, too, and some pitching and catching for Adam. After a nice work-out on the field, we went to lunch at one of our favorite restaurants: Gator’s Dockside. The food is great and we like to sit outside and watch baseball (or football or racing, etc.) on the big screen TVs.

Gator's Dockside

We had a blast! (as always 🙂 )

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