Bauer motivates young players during Indians Youth Baseball camp visit

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The Indians Youth Baseball Camp, presented by Cleveland Clinic’s Children, is back for 2014. This year, the Indians extended the camps to five days at seven different locations around Northeast Ohio.

Through the camps, the Cleveland Indians present boys and girls of Northeast Ohio with quality instruction on the fundamentals of the game. The team also looks to develop leadership skills, positive characteristic traits and form a lifelong connection with the Tribe.

Former professional baseball player Matt Kata is in his first year as the Indians Manager of Youth Player Development. As leader of the youth camps and a Cleveland native, Kata is excited to be back home with the opportunity to positively impact kids in his own community.

Kata and his staff have broken the camp into six different stations, all focusing on a different fundamental. Along with the athletic aspects of the game, the staff also focuses on teaching the mental side.

“There’s a lot of failure engrained in baseball. Baseball is hard. So we take the mentality of focusing on controlling the three things that we can control: your attitude, concentration and effort (ACE). So every day our message is to come to camp, looking to ACE the day.”

With Friday being the final day of the Bath location’s camp, Kata and the rest of the staff had a few surprises to make it a memorable day for the kids involved.

Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer arrived to camp just as the participants were getting ready at their stations. Bauer hoped that through these camps, the team could continue to connect with kids in the community. He wants to show them that the Indians organization and players care about the region’s youth.

As soon as Bauer walked over to the pitching station, participants showed their excitement. One boy even yelled out, “Hey! It’s the real Trevor Bauer!”

Bauer spent the afternoon helping the participants understand some of the fundamentals of pitching. He spoke a lot about the energy of pitching and encouraged the boys and girls to move fast and create energy. After one young boy fell down hustling through a drill, Bauer commended him on his effort to move quickly. He emphasized that the only way you’ll improve is by pushing yourself to a place where you’re uncomfortable, failing, but then getting back up and trying again.

“We want to get better at baseball, we want to get better at school, we want to be better people, we want to be better in all parts of life,” Bauer said. “And the way that you do that is by finding your comfort zone, and you’re going to try to push yourself just outside that. You’re going to try to move a little bit faster, pay attention a little bit more in school; because that’s where improvement happens. You’re going to push yourself a little bit, and you’re not going to be good the first time you do it. That’s OK. That’s where we learn.”

After coaching and talking to each of the six groups individually, Bauer took the time to sit down with the boys and girls to answer their questions. Each participant also got an item of their choice signed by Bauer.

“I enjoyed stuff like this when I was younger… I hope I can give a little bit back.”

If you are interested in signing up for one of the remaining camps — Strongsville July 28-Aug. 1 and Burton, Aug. 4-8 — more information can be found at: Indians.com/youthbaseball

–TribeVibe contributor Angela Martin/Photos by Dan Mendlik

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