Former hitting coach motivates North Shore fastpitch team
Al Mauthe has been a big hit with players from the North Shore Girls Fastpitch Association.
On Monday the former batting coach with the MLB’s Boston Red Sox stood inside the gym at Lynnmour elementary school surrounded by a sea of red-clad 11-year-old players as he talked about hitting and life.
Blair Peters, coach of the U-12 Stars team, said it was inspiring to listen to Mauthe speak to the girls and motivate them to believe in themselves.
During the session Mauthe shared his own inspirational journey as a player that some felt was too small and not strong enough to have a championship-winning college baseball career, spot on the Canadian Olympic team and dream job in the major leagues.
“It really reinforced the message that you have to work hard — coming from him it meant a lot to them,” said Peters. “Whatever you want you really have to work for it.”
Along with passing around his ‘baseball bling’ — a pair of diamond-encrusted World Series rings he won with the Red Sox in 2004 and 2007 — Mauthe also shared some hitting secrets with the girls.
And it doesn’t matter if you’re all-star Manny Ramirez or a rookie fastpitch player, the same rules apply: keep it simple and work on the “boring things,” the fundamentals of the game, all the time.
“Nothing fancy,” he says.
That’s what the best players in the game do.
Mike Boehm, president of the association and coach of the U-16 Stars, first met the B.C. native Mauthe through a family connection and got the hitting guru working with his U-16 team a few months ago.
“They’ve really bought into it,” he says of Mauthe’s positive coaching philosophy.
For Mauthe, working with the young players has been a blast.
“I absolutely love it,” says Mauthe who knew when he returned to B.C. after coaching in the pros that he wanted to “really help youth.”
Never played ball before? No problem. Mauthe says it’s never too late for kids to join baseball or fastpitch leagues and quickly get into the swing of things.
“It can be a great game for them to be involved,” he says. “It’s a fun game.”
The fastpitch season opens in April
For more information about the sport or to register, visit nsfastpitch.ca.