In a community that has long been passionate and supportive of baseball, two former professional players with the Miami Baseball Forum (MBF) are teaming up to host a unique clinic for coaches, parents, and young athletes in the Village of Palmetto Bay.
Placido Polanco and Steve Hertz will be co-hosting the program that promotes baseball in the community by motivating student athletes, ages 10-17, and maximizing their talents in all areas of their lives — using baseball and softball as the vehicle.
The one-day MBF Baseball Clinic takes place on Nov. 12, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., at the Coral Reef Park Recreation Room, 7895 SW 152St. The registration fee is $10 per person, which benefits the DARE program.
“The idea is to give back to the community,” said Hertz, a former Major League Baseball player and head coach of Miami Dade College with 41 years of experience. “The clinic gives us an opportunity to share all the information we have amassed about the game over the years.”
A member of the National Junior College Athletic Association Hall of Fame, his impressive resume also include 1,245 wins.
Hertz is joined by .300 lifetime batting average hitter Polanco who played in 14 Major League seasons, has three Gold Glove Awards, and boasts a . 990 fielding percentage.
The program’s triple-play approach includes a roundtable discussion with participants, handouts brimming with positive affirmations and other life messages, and fielding and hitting drills — all designed to help kids maximize their talents in baseball.
During the roundtable, mental training and conditioning will be emphasized, as these areas are often overlooked by athletes and coaches.
“Academics, athletics, personal and social relationships can only be enhanced along with good decision making,” Hertz said.
He and Polanco will provide handouts containing a wide assortment of sayings and quotes, such as “Seize the Day,” and “Together Everyone Achieves More.” They share messages about perseverance and teamwork, and “we even talk about how trying ‘harder’ can diminish returns, so sometimes you got to try ‘easier.’”
Hertz said because kids may remember only 20 percent of what they hear in a talk, he encourages them to take the handouts home and pin them up on the fridge or the bathroom mirror.
“So it can sink into the gray matter of their brain,” he added.
Over the years, Hertz has witnessed what happens when players with super physical talent don’t maximize their talent through confidence and focus.
“Looking back, I’ve seen cases where average players have gone all the way to the major leagues because they had the right frame of mind. Some kids will take what we have to say and run with it. For others, it may not immediately sink in later but later on they’ll look back and have that ‘a-ha’ moment. And some may never get it,” he added. “But with the right mix of training and guidance, they may just go all the way — and stay there.”
For information and to register for the Miami Baseball Forum, visit Village of Palmetto Bay website at www.palmettobay-fl.gov . You also may call the village’s Parks Department at 305-259-1234 or Coach Steve Hertz directly at 305-610-2464.