Free Shipping on Orders Over $50
0 Cart
Added to Cart
    You have items in your cart
    You have 1 item in your cart


    How to Re-Imagine the Player-Coach Dynamic

    How to Re-Imagine the Player-Coach Dynamic

    A Little League® graduate, father of a Little Leaguer®, and Minor Division softball coach in Virginia’s Spotsylvania Little League (SLL), Jimmy Hensel, Jr., has made a profound impression on his players and their parents by re-imagining the player-coach dynamic.

    As a young player, Mr. Hensel, 31, admitted being taught the “old school way.” Coaches were bombastic, practices were not designed for the players’ enjoyment, and surviving the drudgery of daily workouts was all part of the learning process. Such personal experience taught him that nothing positive can come from being made to feel inferior for making a mistake, or enduring persecution by a coach.

    During Mr. Hensel’s final Little League season he met Dan Horn. The player and coach made a connection that, over the past 18 years, has evolved beyond student and teacher to mentor and friend.

    “Dan has played such a huge role in my life,” said Mr. Hensel. “He showed me you can push and sweat, and still laugh and learn something.”

    Building on Mr. Horn’s teachings, Mr. Hensel believes it is vitally important to establish a healthy rapport and trust with his team. He makes a point of asking his players a lot of questions and encourages them to express what they think.

    “Sometimes as coaches we tell players things, but we fail to explain ‘the why’ to them,” said Mr. Hensel. “If the goal is for a player to improve by understanding what is going on, coaches need to ask a lot of questions and give the players the chance to offer feedback so they can find out the correct answer for themselves.”

    Mr. Hensel and team manager Catrina Scanlan were paired up this season, coaching the SLL’s Alabama Crimson Tide team.



    Both Mr. Hensel and Mrs. Scanlan have 10-year-old daughters on the team, but the duo also shares a refreshing coaching philosophy.

    “We strive to give the girls a different perspective,” said Mr. Hensel. “We agree that the game is about heart and passion. It’s our belief that an inspired soul is more valuable than any three talented gloves, and to reach the soul of a player, you need to be more devoted than the child.”

    Each day at practice, the 11 players on the Tide roster get to see high energy and respect from their coaches. Mr. Hensel is determined to be honest with each player, and in return, asks the team to, “persevere, give its best effort, and apply the lessons learned to real life.”

    “Too often players are given many pieces of the puzzle, but they are not able put the puzzle together to see the whole picture,” said Mr. Hensel. “We emphasize and explain the skills, rules, and roles, so that the players know the ‘what, why and how.’ I love seeing when a kid gets it, and does something in a game that they weren’t able to do yesterday… That’s beautiful, and truly rewarding.”

    The Tide’s approach has produced plenty of fun, personal improvement, prideful smiles, and wins. Just as significant, the parents have noticed. Recently, a parent of one of the Tide players wrote a letter to the Spotsylvania Little League’s Board of Directors, praising her child’s Little League experience.

    I would like to take the opportunity to express my sincerest admiration for this extremely passionate, genuine coach.

    Coach Jimmy (Mr. Hensel) was our coach last season and I could not have been more pleased when I found out we were on his team again this season.

    I truly appreciate his encouraging words and his profound knowledge of the game. His motivation and drive is infectious. He gets out on the field and works, runs and sweats right alongside each and every one of the girls on his team.

    Jimmy devotes his free time to providing additional coaching to any girl that is willing to put in the work. He has taught my daughter so much and I honestly commend the coach that he has been to her.

    We have been a part of the Spotsylvania Little League family for years and by far, he is the best coach we have had.

    Wendi Newcomer
    Mother of Madisen Newcomer
    Tide third baseman

    Mr. Hensel played Tee Ball through Senior League in East Orange County (Va.) Little League. The Little League ties also extended to his parents. His father, Jim, Sr., served as League President East Orange County Little League; and his mother, Linda was league secretary.

    “Integrity is what Little League is all about,” said Mr. Hensel.

    South Korea Claims Ticket to Williamsport as 2019 Little League Baseball® Asia-Pacific Region Champions

    South Korea Claims Ticket to Williamsport as 2019 Little League Baseball® Asia-Pacific Region Champions

    Chung Nam (B) Little League from South Chungcheong, South Korea, has officially earned a spot in the 2019 Little League Baseball® World Series as the Asia-Pacific Region Champion after a 7-2 victory over Chinese-Taipei, becoming the first team from outside of Seoul to earn a bid.

    Chung Nam (B) Little League went undefeated in the Asia-Pacific region tournament, outscoring their opponents 78-8 over the course of seven games. Chung Nam (B) LL will be the seventh team from South Korea to be heading to Williamsport, five of which came in the last six years. Last year’s team from South Korea finished as the runner-upin the Championship Game against Honolulu (Hawaii) Little League.

    South Korea will begin their journey in the 2019 Little League Baseball World Seriesagainst the Latin America Region Champions on Thursday, August 15, at 5 p.m. in Volunteer Stadium. Spanning the course of 10 days, 32 games will be played in the 2019 Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, culminating in the Championship Game, which is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Sunday, August 25. For more information on the 2019 Little League Baseball World Series, visit

    Seoul, South Korea Wins International Championship

    Seoul, South Korea Wins International Championship

    Both teams were strong on the pitcher’s mound Saturday, but Asia-Pacific defeated Japan 2-1. Asia-Pacific pitchers allowed just five hits to Japan.

    Asia-Pacific got on the board in the first inning when Ji Hyung Choi hit a solo homer.

    Ji Hyung took the win for Asia-Pacific. He went four and two-thirds innings, allowing one run on three hits, striking out seven and walking zero. Yeong Hyeon Kim threw one and one-third innings in relief out of the bullpen. Yeong Hyeon recorded the last four outs to earn the save for Asia-Pacific.

    Shisei Fujimoto took the loss for Japan. He surrendered two runs on three hits over five innings, striking out eight and walking zero.

    Asia-Pacific smacked one home run on the day. Ji Hyung went yard in the first inning.

    Yeong Hyeon, Ji Hyung, and Shoo Hoo Choi each collected one hit to lead Asia-Pacific. Asia-Pacific was sure-handed and didn’t commit a single error. Gi Jeong Kim made the most plays with nine.

    Southeast Wins In Extra Innings On Sac Fly

    Southeast Wins In Extra Innings On Sac Fly

    Southeast took Monday’s game in dramatic fashion, with a 7-6 walk-off victory over Southwest. The game was tied at six with Southeast batting in the bottom of the ninth when Ben Traxler’s sac fly scored one run for Southeast.

    Southeast collected ten hits and Southwest had nine in the high-scoring affair.

    Southwest fired up the offense in the second inning. An error scored one run for Southwest.

    After Southwest scored two runs in the top of the fifth, Southeast answered with two of their own. Southwest scored when Ryan Selvaggi homered on a 2-2 count, scoring two runs. Southeast then answered when Connor Riggs-Soper singled on a 1-0 count, scoring one run and Wills Maginnis singled on the first pitch of the at bat, scoring one run.

    Southeast scored three runs in the sixth inning. Tai Peete and Jansen Kenty all drove in runs in the frame.

    Ben earned the win for Southeast. He lasted three and a third innings, allowing three hits and two runs while striking out six and walking one.

    Richie Klosek took the loss for Southwest. He went one and two-thirds innings, allowing two runs on one hit, striking out two and walking one.

    Connor started the game for Southeast. He allowed six hits and four runs over five and two-thirds innings, striking out seven and walking zero Kaleb Rook started the game for Southwest. He allowed six hits and two runs over five innings, striking out five and walking one.

    Southeast hit one home run on the day. Jansen had a four bagger in the sixth inning.

    Southeast tallied ten hits on the day. Tai, Jack Ryan, and Jansen all managed multiple hits for Southeast. Jansen, Jack, and Tai each collected two hits to lead Southeast.

    Southwest racked up nine hits in the game. Ryan and Matthew Hedrick all had multiple hits for Southwest. Ryan led Southwest with four hits in four at bats.

    2018 Little League® World Series Schedule Announced

    2018 Little League® World Series Schedule Announced

    Each year, during the second week of June, Little League® International celebrates National Little League Week with the annual Little League Baseball® World Series Luncheon. This year’s luncheon, held on June 14, featured members of the Hazleton Little League Challenger Division, as well as New York Mets Hall of Famer, Mookie Wilson, and former major leaguer and Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster, Gary “Sarge” Matthews, who assisted with the first-round pairings for the 2018 Little League Baseball World Series (LLBWS). The full schedule, bracket, and all information about the 2018 Little League Baseball World Series, as well as the entire Little League Regional and World Series games, can be found on

    “Williamsport has always been a big part of our lives,” said Mr. Wilson. “Even in major league clubhouses, we watched the Little League World Series and it’s so much fun, so thank you for allowing me to be here and represent the New York Mets and enjoy this opportunity.”

    Mr. Wilson and Mr. Matthews participated in the event’s festivities to celebrate the MLB Little League Classic, which will take place on Sunday, August 19. Major Leaguers on the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets will open the day at the Little League International Complex where they will interact with members from each of the 16 LLBWS teams and attend some of the day’s games before going across town to Historic Bowman Field to participate in the MLB Little League Classic, airing nationally that evening on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” and ESPN Radio at 7:00 p.m. (ET).

    “To be in the Little League World Series is quite an accomplishment,” said Mr. Matthews. “That’s where the dreams start, and a lot of those players go on to finish them in the major leagues. On behalf of the Philadelphia Phillies organization, thank you for letting me be a part of this day.”

    This year’s LLBWS will once again feature the Little League Baseball World Series Challenger Exhibition Game, as teams from Hazleton (Pa.) Little League and Highland Baseball Club (Evansville, Ind.) Little League will take the field. At the luncheon, David Drauschak and Lexi Mamourian, members of the Hazleton LL team, along with their League President, Ed Shoepe, and District Administrator, Jim Burns, assisted Mr. Wilson and Mr. Matthews with the first-round drawings. The 2018 Exhibition Game will take place on Saturday, Aug. 25 at 10:30 a.m. at Volunteer Stadium, and air live on Northeastern Pennsylvania’s and the Central Susquehanna Valley’s PBS Station, WVIA.

    The 2018 LLBWS Luncheon also included the Team Hosts drawing for their Regional Champions for the year.

    Full Article