Camp gets local baseball players back to basics

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America's past time was alive and well Wednesday at Woodbury Park as the Rocky Mountain Baseball Academy Baseball Camp came to Craig.

Arizona Diamondbacks Scout Joe LeFebre directed the camp, which got underway at 9 a.m.

The camp was held June 5 and 6 and was open to prospective players ages 10 through 18.

"We basically just come around to small towns and spend two days working with these kids," LeFebre said. "We try to plant that little seed in their head in terms of: Here is what you should be doing correctly. We'll get them together and go over some stuff that they can continue to work on after we leave."

The camp includes instruction on the fundamentals of throwing, fielding, hitting, bunting and base running.

LeFebre, who has also spent time as a scout for the Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians, said the camp starts with an emphasis on throwing.

"Throwing is very important," LeFebre said. "Most kids, as far as I can see, don't play catch enough and they don't play catch properly. I always tell kids that you can't play the game of baseball unless you can throw.

"I think it's the most under-coached part of the game. And once a kid starts moving up, if they haven't been taught at a young age how to throw, it's either going to lead to injury or it's going to limit their ability to throw with some strength and velocity."

However, the camp is not just about teaching baseball fundamentals.

"I like to stress that baseball is a great game," LeFebre said.

"I think it's the one game that mirrors life the most because in the Major Leagues they play 162 games. In the NFL, they play once a week; you have to be good once a week. In baseball, you have to be good everyday. And there's a lot of failure involved. But it's a game that will give you a second chance. You

have the ability to bounce back. The biggest thing here is that the kids that showed up love baseball. They want to get better otherwise they wouldn't be here. Take what we teach, try to let it sink in and use it. The more time they devote to what we're

teaching them, the better they'll become."

While the camp does cover different aspects of the game, LeFebre attempts to leave the players with one key concept.

"I evaluate high school and college players and my biggest thing is I like to see effort," LeFebre said.

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