“From now on, can you ask before signing me up for stuff?”
This was the response I got when I told my 10-year-old son that I’d signed up him and his brother for Round Rock Express baseball camp. Awesome.
Jonah isn’t really into sports, but he likes baseball and has been asking to play for several months. He’s got the basics down, but since he’s 10 and never played before, we thought a four-day fundamentals camp at Dell Diamond would be good.
According to the Express website, the camp offers “big-league quality instruction on the fundamentals of the game of baseball and softball.” The camp is run by the head coaches from Cedar Ridge High School (Jeremy Trojacek) and Hendrickson High School (Daryl Reeves). Laredo United head coach JJ Gomez and former MLB pitcher Travis Driskill also help run the camp.
The price tag didn’t seem unreasonable to me: $200 for four half-day sessions, but it was still a lot of money to throw down. Especially if my kids weren’t jazzed about the idea. (His younger brother quickly adopted his older brother’s attitude.)
I warded off their protests and sent them to camp anyway. Dell Diamond is a beautiful ball park. How could they not have fun at a facility like that?
I dropped them off at the Heritage Center, a nice air conditioned room that reminded me of hotel conference rooms. The boys lined up with their age groups, and I left, eager (and slightly nervous) to hear what they’d say in three hours.
When I arrived at noon to collect them, the boys were back in their lines, listening to the coaches. At dismissal, they found me and said — wait for it — “It was great!”
According to the boys, they learned new throwing techniques and batting stances. They played different variations of catch and used the Express batting cages. They warmed up on the field and felt like real baseball players. They also learned some new baseball lingo: three cameras and hip explosions. I still don’t know what that means, but they do.
But the best part, according to Jonah was having his throws clocked by a radar gun. “That was really cool,” he says with a big smile.
They got to meet Round Rock Express players and trade baseball cards, too. An awards ceremony was held on the last day of camp.
Kid grade: B+
What he liked: The radar gun and throwing positions.
What he wasn’t crazy about: He wanted more break time.
Mom grade: B+
What could be improved: The camp day felt short to me — only three hours. A 9 a.m. start time made it tough since I need to be at work before then.
What I liked: Water was supplied, so we didn’t have to send it with the boys. That was a nice touch. The boys learned a lot and will have a solid foundation for fall ball. Plus they had fun. And I might have said, “I told you so!”
There are still a few spots open in the Round Rock Express Summer Camp! You can register online and find out more information about cost and items to bring here.
About the author: Susan Vendewater is the mother of two boys who keep her laughing. She loves to find new things for her family to do, even if the boys would rather she didn’t.