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Happy July and Friday! I hope YOU have a terrific day, night, weekend, and month.
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Salem Red Sox 2016 Baseball Camp Day 2 Recap for McCoy Jordan:

The day started off with a child walking up to McCoy and telling him he liked his shirt (#34 Bryce Harper Jersey Shirt). The child's father introduced himself to me, it was Travis Wells, the Sports Director at WDBJ7. Anyway, Travis and I talked for a bit while McCoy and Brayden (his son) did stretches and warmed up tossing.

After warming up, McCoy's group did some work in the bullpen. This was only the second time he had ever worked on pitching at all, yesterday being the first. McCoy did very well compared to the others in his group but there was one child that was unbelievably good. So good in fact that Coach Abbott (Paul Abbott) joked with him telling him to stop throwing so he could start for him later today.

Then, McCoy's group tried to field balls off of the wall, hit the cut-off man and throw it on in to home plate. I think the children truly got a lot out of this drill. McCoy did really well.

Next, they worked at second base. This was absolutely awesome! The coach put them in the second base position and pretended to be the shortstop flipping them the ball for them to turn the double play by throwing it to first base. Then, put them in the shortstop position and pretended to be the second baseman flipping them the ball for them to turn the double play but throwing the ball to first base. I know this was a somewhat advanced drill for eight-year old children and McCoy (7) but it was fantastic and all of the children really seemed to love it.

After that, McCoy's group hit in the cages doing soft toss. There were two children that absolutely crushed the ball today, McCoy was probably the third best hitter but did not compare to the two standouts. Honestly, McCoy just did not seem comfortable in the cage today. I assume it was because some of the other children were acting out quite a bit. It got to a point that the coach had to go tell three children to go back to the rest of the group and the grandmother of one of the children reprimanded some of the children. It didn't help any of their concentration that a touring group saw a spider and completely flipped out. Regardless, I like the fact that McCoy was distracted because he has to learn to block out the distractions and do what he's there to do.

Finally, all the children played Wiffle Ball again. However, this time Mugsy joined in on the fun. This is something that all of the children truly seem to love, I know McCoy does. McCoy did okay, 1-2 .500, 1 RBI and made a nice catch for an out. He randomly played first base for a couple of plays and caught the one ball thrown his way for an out.

At the end of camp, McCoy and I were getting our stuff together and Coach Abbott (Paul Abbott) was near us. We talked for a bit and formally introduced ourselves to one another. Coach Abbott has been the main coach at both of the first two days of camp and he has done an absolute great job managing the training stations, instructing children, giving them encouragement, praise and making the parents / grandparents feel welcome and appreciated.

Thank you for reading this and a special thank you to Coach Paul Abbott, the other coaches and the Salem Red Sox for putting on this camp for our youth. They are having the time of the lives thanks to you.
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During day one of the Salem Red Sox Baseball Camp, McCoy said, "I'm loving this!" Since McCoy is so timid and he was the smallest (see the picture) and probably the youngest player there today, I was a little shocked by that statement. He was definitely not the best player today by any means but he held his own.

During stretching, McCoy looked like a fish out of water. I definitely need to teach him some stretches. I tried to teach him and his teammates during this past baseball season some stretches but I haven't worked with him individually on that yet but will be soon.

While warming-up, McCoy did very well. He caught every ball that his partner threw that was able to be caught and was very accurate throwing the ball back. I noticed a ton of the children seem to struggle with catching and throwing with proper mechanics.

In the bullpen session, McCoy did better than all but maybe one or two in his group. Pitching is something I simply don't work on with seven year old or younger children. I was pleasantly surprised with McCoy off the mound and was quite entertained watching some the other children is in group.

Next, McCoy and his group did fly ball drills in the outfield. This is something McCoy has worked on with me privately a tiny bit but I can't remember seeing a single "real" fly-ball this entire past tee-ball season. McCoy did very well by catching all three of the fly-balls and made good throws back to the coach.

The batting cage! I was a bit taken back by this drill because I fully expected McCoy to tower over the other children hitting considering how well he did this past season. He did do better than most but definitely not all. Don't get me wrong, McCoy was tearing the cover off of the ball but a couple of other children were too. Sadly, there were a few that seemed to have no idea how to hit. I'd guess that was the first time most of them had ever seen soft toss, it was for McCoy.

Finally, the children got to play a Wiffle Ball Game. I know McCoy is a gamer but it was pretty cool seeing him play against and with 13-year old children and still looking like a star. He went 2-2 1.000, 1 Run (they called the game when he was on 3B) and 2 RBI's. They only awarded one base at a time so extra base hits and multiple RBI's per hit were not allowed. Anyway, McCoy ripped two absolute laser line-drives, one in between third base and shortstop and another in between shortstop and second base. So, he was very impressive in the Wiffle Ball Game.

Needless to say, I'm proud of McCoy holding his own against much bigger, stronger, faster and children with way more experience than him. BUT, the things I'm most proud of are the fact his confidence is 100% intact and that he continues to love the game. He's already asked me since we've been home if I'll go play baseball with him and I had to tell him no because we have two more days of camp and he needs his rest.

Anyway, that is the recap for McCoy from day one of the 2016 Salem Red Sox Youth Baseball Camp.
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Happy Monday! Make it a great day and week! Be positive, treat others the way you want your loved ones to be treated and lead by example.
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ATTENTION parents of 7 to 13 year old children in the Roanoke, Virginia Area: The Salem Red Sox Baseball Camp starts tomorrow! Sign your child up now at http://www.milb.com/content/page.jsp?ymd=20160303&content_id=166071436&sid=t414&vkey=team3.
 
It is going to be a very Salem Red Sox filled week for McCoy (Jordan) and I. Our family and a few friends are going to the game today. Then, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday McCoy has the youth baseball camp from 8 am to 12:30 pm. Additionally, the Sox are giving him a ticket to each game Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I think the Sox Baseball Camp will be an interesting test for McCoy because almost all of the children at the camp will be older and have way more experience than him. Regardless, he and I are both excited about the next few days, I just hope he has as much fun at the camp as he does normally playing the game and is able to hold his own despite his age, size and lack of experience. I'll update things here on Google+ and post links to the updates from my Twitter, Facebook and Instagram so family members, friends and fans can see how McCoy performs.
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Sadly, today was the final day of the June 2016 Salem Red Sox Youth Baseball Camp. Here's the Day 3 Recap for McCoy Jordan (far right in the #22 Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates Jersey Shirt).

The day started off great and only continued to get better. On the way to Lewis-Gale Memorial Ballpark (home of the Salem Red Sox), we hit almost every green light and the traffic was very light. McCoy, Nova and I ended up being the first ones to arrive.

McCoy and all of the children did stretches and warm-up exercises. McCoy did really well instead of just being the "cute little guy" that all of the parents and grandparents in the stands found entertaining. He got to warm-up tossing with Sox Catcher Jordan Procyshen. Jordan started off by throwing the ball very lightly to McCoy but quickly realized McCoy was able to catch anything thrown close to him and seemed quite impressed with that and McCoy's tiny little rocket arm.

After that, McCoy's group did fly ball drills. McCoy was less than good the first three times he went (today was the first time in his life he worked on fly balls) but then he caught the last four in a row. Two of the last four were quite difficult catches to make and he made them. Once again, he threw bullets back to the coach which impressed the crowd but had to annoy the coach a little bit.

Then, they did a shortstop drill. The coach placed three balls on the ground in random spots and each child had to go get one ball at a time and throw it to first base. Then, repeat the process for the other two balls. McCoy excelled at this drill as I've had him do something very similar this past tee-ball season.

Next was the batting cage. First, the group hit off of a tee. Then, soft toss. McCoy did very well at both and was one of the best if not the best in his group.

After the batting cage, McCoy's group worked in the bullpen. Now, this was fun in part thanks to Salem Red Sox Pitching Coach Paul Abbott. The children were working on pitching when all of sudden the bullpen phone rang. Who was it? Coach Abbott calling for "Dallas" to get up and get warm because he needed him to come in the game and pitch. Needless to say, McCoy was a bit stunned, as were the other children. So, he got up in the bullpen and took his turn. He threw three strikes in a row and the "catcher" said "nice" and went onto the next child's turn.

Then, McCoy and his group got to learn a little bit about how to run the bases. The cool part about this is all of the children got to run the actual Salem Red Sox Bases. The drill was to teach them how to round the bases and where to touch the bases. McCoy did well since this was something we've worked on all season long.

Finally, Coach Abbott gathered all of the campers together and spoke to them a little bit. He told them about hard work, respect, desire, and a little bit about what it takes to be a Major League Baseball Player. Remember, Coach Abbott is more than just your "normal" coach, this is a guy that played 11 years in the MLB including going 17-4 as a starting pitcher for the Seattle Mariners in 2001. When Coach Abbott talks about baseball, everyone should listen.

All-in-all, this was an absolute great camp for McCoy aka "Dallas". He had an absolute blast every single day and told me before we even left the ballpark that he wants to do the one July 13, 14 and 15. Coach Abbott was absolutely remarkable running a tight ship and really teaching these campers not only about baseball but about life a little bit as well. My family and I are definitely Paul Abbott Fans now.

Also, Coach Abbott had me take a picture of him and McCoy together right before we were leaving. I hope to get a copy or see it out on social media sometime soon (not so subtle hint, hint). LOL! Anyway, the Salem Red Sox Youth Baseball Camp was terrific and I will be sending McCoy to more of them as long as he loves the game and wants to go.

Thank you Salem Red Sox. Thank you Coach (Paul) Abbott. Thank you to everyone involved, you truly inspired some of these children, parents and grandparents. You are appreciated!
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41 days until the 2016 NFL Preseason starts, 73 days the NFL Regular Season, 76 days Opening Sunday & 77 days 'til Monday Night Football.

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