KINGWOOD — Kingwood just wrapped up another summer baseball camp. Kelly Mead, the head coach of Kingwood and camp director, was pleased with the turnout.
“It was great turnout. We were up close to 80-100 campers more than we had last year so it was a very good turnout overall,” Mead said.
Although the camp is to teach the kids about discipline and becoming a better baseball player, Coach Mead emphasized something else. “The whole goal is that you want to teach them some baseball but the most important thing is that you want them to have fun and enjoy the game so they want to come back.”
Since the camp is held in the summer here in the Houston area, one of the main issues is dealing with the heat.
To avoid the heat, the staff would rotate the boys from the field to the cages. They were covered from the sun there and had blowing fans above them. It gives the boys shade along with relief from the Houston heat.
As far as the drills went, one of the focuses was competition. “You teach them some drills here and there, you teach them about the game, and then you play the game. You make every little drill we do a competition,” Mead continued, “so everything’s a competition or everything’s a game.”
One of the best things the staff observes was the improvement day-to-day of the campers and future Mustangs. Coach Mead even had his son’s team at the camp and observed their improvement.
“You can see them grow and then you watch the kids the next day, they’re learning how to run bases in the games and they’re figuring out the strategies in the games at a young age which is always really good.”
After all of the sweat, effort, and overall hard work put in by the kids, the staff rewards them with some good old fashioned fun for all their efforts: a giant water slide.
“That’s when we teach sliding the correct way,” Mead stated.
The decision was based on teaching sliding but making sure it was done on the final day so the kids could have some fun while also learning. It’s also a celebration to the end of the camp.
The Kingwood staff uses the tarp from the fields, grabs the hoses, and then puts base pads down before the drill.
Coach Mead had a lot of assistance. His staff included Miguel Carlos “The Camp Guy.” Jared Burt and Dennis Whitmer also helped lead the “organized chaos.”
Current student-athletes also volunteered their time to help out at the camp, which actually applies to anything from community service hours, NHS, project graduation, or even on their college applications.
Coach Mead says that it also teaches the boys how to teach the game themselves. “One way you’re going to get better at the game is to teach the game.”
It also gives the boys a chance to be recognized in the public by the kids they taught so they can invite them out to the games.
By Mark M Johnson