IMPORTANCE OF OFF-SEASON TRAINING
During the season, rightly or wrongly, there is more focus on games. While games are more enjoyable for kids, because our season is so short, they don't afford sufficient opportunity to work on proper mechanics.
BASEBALL IS ALL ABOUT REPETITION
There's a reason that kids who have predispositions towards familiarity and focused movements gravitate to baseball ... it's a sport that rewards (proper) repetitive movements.
While MLB'ers make the game look so easy, what the spectators and viewers fail to see or recognize is the hours upon hours they have put in, and their continued refinement of their mechanics. Every Major Leaguer works hours at a batting tee each day. They spend hours with their throwing or pitching motion. And like martial arts, where every movement has to be precise, the same is true with baseball mechanics.
AVOIDING REPEATING THE WRONG MECHANICS IS CRUCIAL
If from the beginning, young players don't learn the proper mechanics of fielding a ground ball, of fielding a pop-fly, of throwing a baseball, of delivering a pitch, of blocking balls behind the plater, they may never properly be able to do so. This is because of the muscle memory they have developped with the improper mechanics.
PROPER INSTRUCTION IS CRUCIAL
In Ottawa, we are fortunate to have indoor facilities & gymnasiums that allow organizations to run Winter baseball programs.
Your respective Little League offers quality programs (follow links in header). And if their timeslots are not convenient for you, check with a neighbouring League, as they may have remaining time slots available.
For older players (ages 13+) there are other opportunities for more advanced instruction. Former Pro-player, Mike Kusiewicz, offers programs, as does Larry Belanger with affiliation to Ottawa U, and there is the Eastern Ottawa Baseball Academy.
The OBA clubs also run their respective programs, such as the Ottawa Knights. They have experienced instructors who can offer excellent instruction for the competitive player. You don't need to be an OBA player to participate.
I encourage parents to do their research, ask questions, and find a program that suits your child and your finances.
Let's keep baseball in the hearts and minds of Canadians.