BATTER UP! MY LITTLE LEAGUE CAREER BECOMES A LIFELONG PASSION
every year. This year will be different , we think. Usually about a month into the season, reality sets in, and we just enjoy every game for what they're worth. Every year, my family makes a few short trips to Angel Stadium for a handful of games, and we have even been to Arizona for spring training. That’s always a fun trip because we have a chance to see a few teams that we wouldn’t normally see. Two of our boys play baseball, too. All three of them tried the sport, and now our middle child is playing on his freshmen team, and our youngest is still in Little League. I’ve even had the chance to be a coach or assistant coach a few of my kids’ teams. As a parent, it’s always fun to watch your kids play sports, and I love watching my boys enjoy a game that has always been a big part of my life.
I hit the peak of my baseball career when I was just 11 years old. I can still remember the feeling of glory I had that season when I smacked a few home runs over our opponents’ heads. I’m sure I had an unfair advantage since I was a little bigger than most of my peers and could hit the ball farther. But that didn’t stop me from feeling like an All-Star standing at that plate, waiting for the pitcher to make his move. I started playing Little League baseball when I was 7 years old. I preferred batting rather than playing defense, but when I was in the field, I played third base or left field. I moved on to football after junior high school when the pitching speeds increased, but I never lost my enjoyment of the sport — especially after that career-making season when I was just 11 years old. I wasn’t just an athlete; I was also a fan. Today, I root for the Los Angeles Angels. Sure, we get our hopes up
compares to the thwack of a bat that sends the ball zooming into the field. There’s just something special about it. And, in a lot of ways, it’s a very simple game. Sure, strange things can happen, as in every sport, but at its core, baseball is about hitting the ball and scoring runs, and stopping the other team from doing the same. It’s just simple. Despite its simplicity, playing baseball can cause some painful injuries. Shoulder and elbow injuries are the most common ailments baseball players experience because of the emphasis placed on the strength of the arm. The best way to prevent these injuries is to have a healthy off-season, which includes plenty of strength training. Because it’s the start of the season, I remind athletes to stretch before and after they play. Engaging and strengthening the core and hip muscles can also protect your arms and shoulders from overexertion and add power to your throws and at-bats. If you notice any pain or issues, give our team a call! As we head into another season of baseball, I want to wish good luck to all the sluggers out there! –Mark Nowlin
I’m not sure what it is about baseball that first drew me to the sport. Nothing
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