Hello Team Parents and welcome to what will be a great baseball experience over the next 6 months! I am looking forward to meeting all of you and your sons and getting to work on our baseball campaign where we will continue to learn about the game and improve our respective skills, with an eye on sportsmanship and respect for the game, all while having a great time so that the boys want to keep coming back for the next season! Congrats again on being a part of the team -- our roster has just been loaded on the league website and information on winter training has just been distributed, so now we are off and running. There is a lot of information below, so please bear with me.
My personal connection to the game started in Elmhurst where I played up through EBSL and at York (including their last state championship in ’93), and then for a couple years as a walk-on pitcher at Valparaiso University. My father managed my teams through EBSL, and I still take his approach of positive reinforcement and encouragement as a means to keep the boys engaged and always on the road of improvement. On the topic of coaching, I want everyone who wants to commit to assist in any capacity with our training/practice sessions and games to PLEASE volunteer. The most successful teams have a multitude of volunteers and I welcome the help — practices are the most efficient and effective when the boys are constantly moving around and getting repetitions on all aspects of the game, so I will be planning practices to achieve that goal. Please reach out to me via a direct message/e-mail to let me know that you are interested in helping out. Even part-time assistance is very helpful.
We have 11 great boys on our roster at this point in time, so we want to emphasize game (and practice) attendance. A smaller team size is obviously advantageous for playing time for everyone, but close communication will be required so that we can plan ahead if we will fall short on players for a particular game. On the note of communication, please assume that I am always available via my cell (630-613-0899) for calls or texts, as well as the other team messaging tools, and don’t ever hesitate to reach out. For team communication, we will use the SSU Play app as well as the EBSL website to communicate our practices, games, for you to mark attendance, etc. This message is going out to previously provided e-mail addresses as provided to EBSL, so please verify your current information and add/subtract e-mail and phone contacts on the EBSL as well as the SSU Play app as required. For those who already have the SSU App from previous year teams, etc., you will need to log out and log back in for the app to recognize our “Explosion 8U” team. Otherwise, go to the app store on your phone and install the SSU Play (SportsSignup Play) app and it should recognize our team based on your e-mail address provided.
We will have our first gathering this coming Sunday, January 10, 3:30-5PM at the AC Sports Complex (Resource Point of Sale), 645 S IL-83, Elmhurst, IL. It is located on the Route 83 frontage road -- turn right into the Camp Bow Wow area and the warehouse space is in the back -- last door on the right. (don’t forget to set your DVR’s if the Bears playoff game is an imperative viewing event!) This is a new facility being used by EBSL as other usual indoor options (i.e. York fieldhouse) are not available for our use this winter. This will also be our usual weekly practice location/time throughout the winter with the exception of January 17th which will be an off day. Prior to any practices at this location, everyone must complete a waiver for your player. It is really simple and only takes a minute. Waiver is at: https://waiver.smartwaiver.com/w/5f3c1b1a36734/web/
Please have your son bring all of his equipment and always wear a baseball hat at practices. For the first few practices, we will have a brief introductory team building session involving stretching, and then move into discussing and enacting basic throwing, fielding, and hitting techniques. Once the practice is entered into the website and app, please always mark (and update if needed) your attendance ASAP. With EBSL COVID guidelines, we will only be allowed to have a maximum of 10 players/coaches at one time in the facility, and everyone must wear masks 100% of the practice. If everyone confirms that they will attend, and depending on coaching numbers, then we will wind up breaking the group into two sessions, and I will send further information as required. Due to these guidelines, please plan on dropping off your player at the facility and either waiting outside or coming back to pickup at the end of practice. We have limited time and facilities for our winter training, so I plan on running very efficient practices that keep the boys moving and that start and end promptly at the designated times. Please plan on arriving approximately 5 minutes prior to scheduled start times.
Again, complete roster and schedule information is listed and updated on the SSU Play app and at the EBSL website at http://www.elmhurstbaseball.com (navigate to “Teams” menu, “Choose a Team”, “Explosion”, then “8U”).
I am looking forward to meeting everyone and starting in on our great winter training and spring season!
Coach (Nathan) Ries