Players use camp to improve skills

Athletes get chance to learn baseball fundamentals at CSUN event.

August 14, 2007|By Charles Rich

NORTHRIDGE — A reversal of summertime plans would have been neat.

If Andrew Fisher could have planned his summer itinerary, he would have first attended a quality baseball camp to help him improve his skills before competing in Little League for two months.

Fisher, a member of the Crescenta Valley District 16 Little League Junior Baseball squad, couldn’t. However, he wasn’t about to sulk.


Fisher was one of about 50 participants who showed up last week for the weeklong Northridge Baseball Camp at Cal State Northridge. In fact, it marked the second time that the 14-year-old Fisher attended the camp the past month.

So much for him making other plans.

“Baseball is in my blood, so I want to be here learning more things,” Fisher said after taking part in a running drill in right field. “Usually, I also play soccer, but I’ve been playing baseball all year.

“I’ve gotten better with my throwing, and I’ve learned to swing the bat hard every time.”

Those are some of the goals that many of the participants intended to learn at the camp, which was conducted by La Crescenta resident and Cal State Northridge baseball Coach Steve Rousey. The camp afforded players — who came from the Glendale and Burbank areas, in addition to the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys — an opportunity to improve their skills and prepare for the possibility of competing at the high school level and beyond.

Most of the campers, who ranged from 6 to 14, had just concluded taking part in their respective Little Leagues.

Rousey, who became the CSUN coach in 2003 following a two-year stint as an assistant, watched several groups perform different drills.

“The purpose is development,” said Rousey, who had about six of his current players help conduct drills around the spacious diamond during the event. “We measure them with an objective evaluation, but it’s about seeing their confidence grow.

“That’s why you come here. We get return customers because they are pleased with the product that they have been given. Put yourself in the kids place. Whether they are 6 or 14, they will be next to a Division I player. It’s worshiping them in a productive sense because [the campers] get to have a conversation or stand right next to them.”

Burbank resident Dylan Goldsack, a pitcher/first baseman, attended the camp for the first time.

Goldsack, a left-hander, shuffled around the field to take part in various exercises. He had spent part of the first day warming up by playing catch.

The 13-year-old Goldsack said there’s always room to improve and learn about his favorite sport.

“I want to get better so I’ll be ready to play in high school,” Goldsack said. “I want to work on my hitting stance and go toward the ball.

“You can get a good experience coming here.”

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