Ken Fairman has ideas to promote Howard Palmetto Baseball-Softball

By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld….
Ken Fairman is the new president of the Howard Palmetto Baseball Softball Association. He was on the board last year and he has managed teams for five years.

He says that thus far he has had a lot of fun. He sees Howard Palmetto is everybody’s community baseball league.

“There are so many people to help and do stuff,” he said. “We’re going to promote it a little bit more to get more people.”

He said he has been impressed with the organization from the first.

“Everybody cares. We have our disagreements about how competitive we should be, but everyone cares,” Fairman said.

Over the years, Fairman has found a way to manage his time as a pavement maintenance contractor for Driveway Maintenance and his volunteer work.

“I really feel fortunate. There are a lot of parents who want to do stuff. A lot of them can’t,” he said.

But for him the idea you only get that age once with your child is a driving force behind his coaching.

“It’s really what I want parents to understand. Manage, coach — you’ll have the best season of your life doing that,” he said. “There is so much good that comes from volunteering. This is not hard work.”

Fairman has an 11-year-old son, William, who is playing baseball in the league. He also has a 14-year-old daughter, Lauren, who just started at Coral Reef.

“We’re trying to step up the parental involvement,” he said. “We’d like to really push the softball program and get more girls to play softball. Too large a group of people don’t think about putting their daughters in softball. It’s a shame.”

Playing softball has benefits for girls as well as boys. It’s not only fun for the kids, but Fairman said it also is fun for the moms and dads. He says he knows that there are a lot of choices for girls including dance, cheerleading and soccer that compete for the limited time the girls have after school.

“We’re trying to make playing more fun,” he said. “We’re going to try to grow the number — even if they only play to age 11 or 12.”

Another goal for his time as president is increasing coaching clinics so the coaches are better prepared. He also likes to get more kids playing time.

Fairman wants to have kids playing several sports instead of picking a sport at age 5 and never trying anything else.

“I’ve been coaching soccer through the ‘Y’ for about 10 years,” he said. “I like my kids to do soccer, play baseball. We’re going to try flag football.”

He said some parents believe their child will only excel if they immerse themselves in one sport.

“Next thing you know they are on a travel team playing year round and soon they are tired of it,” Fairman said, adding that that happens with girls as well. “The parents who are really driven, they only want their kids to play with the best kids.”

But at Howard Palmetto and other community leagues, that concept goes against the grain. The community leagues have rules requiring all kids play. The idea is to have fun while learning the game.

Fairman said he wants the kids to be competitive, but with good sportsmanship and respect for each other.

“They’re just little kids,” he said. “That’s why we’re trying to promote it in the school. It’s fun; the kids do like it.”

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