My Friday Visit To Green And Gold Baseball Camp – The Skills Competition, The Drills, The Lessons Learned

The Green and Gold Baseball Camp has emerged as one of Rhode Island’s premier summer baseball camps since its inception in 2015. The baseball camp is run by Director and Bishop Hendricken High School Assistant Baseball Coach Chris Sheehan and a team of current and former players all with BHHS ties. It takes place on the campus of Bishop Hendricken, spanning 4 fields including Pepin Field, where the current (and former) players call home every Spring in the Rhode Island Interscholastic League. Coach Sheehan invited me out for a Friday visit to camp and to check out the skills competition and what’s new at Green and Gold Baseball Camp.

There is plenty of parking next to the athletic areas of Bishop Hendricken High School but I prefer to park in the lot next to the main entrance. There is a narrow, paved walkway which runs parallel to a farm on the left and the school gymnasium on the right. I like this walkway because it is set up an incline and when you get to the end of the walkway, you can see the entire expanse of Pepin Field. It is an awesome view that I look forward to every time I visit Pepin to watch a game, especially because I arrive at most games during warmups so I get to see all the players on the field, practicing, etc. Same can be said for my view yesterday of Green And Gold Baseball Camp. Tons of activity, lot of action, and a good portion of Pepin Field in full baseball camp mode.

I caught up with Coach Sheehan, who was on a golf cart taking notes and recording scores for the end of camp skills competitions. Chris and I have kept in contact over the years regarding his camps, the Hendricken Baseball team and its players, his work at area coaching conferences, and Rhode Island baseball in general. Sheehan is a well respected baseball resource here in Rhode Island and has done a fantastic job every year organizing and directing Rhode Island youth baseball players via the Green and Gold Baseball Camps. We chatted briefly about the final day of camp, the various skills competitions happening around the athletic campus, some of the guest speakers who spoke to the campers during the week, and the stations I should check out during my visit. Confident, organized, proud, excited – Green and Gold Baseball Camp Director Chris Sheehan definitely loves what he does for a living and is very good at it.

“Keep it Moving” was one of the key points Coach Sheehan emphasized with the players, the staff, and I have to say everyone at camp was listening. The drills, from outfield flies to ground balls to bunting to live pitching, moved productively and efficiently and with purpose. Batting practice baseball buckets were not empty too long – the players waiting their turns hustled to fill the buckets for the camp batting practice pitchers. The drill stations had small groups, so each player got rep after rep with minimal standing around down time. The camp instructors, many of them just a few years older than the campers, were vocal and encouraging and set the tone for the pace of play. More reps, more at bats, more opportunity for development. “Keep it Moving” they did, all morning long during my visit. Impressive!

Coach Sheehan and I took a short ride in the golf cart over to the concession stand area. He handed me a camp hat and a few T-shirts. Thank you again Coach! I asked him about the guest speakers and what their message was, generally speaking. “They spoke about their baseball journey of course, how they got started, their youth baseball times, but also their life journey. The Ups and All State awards and playing pro baseball and that kind of stuff,” Chris said “but also their not so great moments, their failures, the parts of their lives that didn’t go so well and then how they made adjustments to correct them. We had an amazing group of speakers from Tucker Flint to Rob McClanaghan to Evan Marzilli. Each speaker really wowed the campers with what they had to say, their famous clients and teammates, and we couldn’t be happier with the talks.” Chris also mentioned that panel discussions from the camp coaches currently playing collegiate baseball were a big hit as well as from the camp coaches still in or just graduating from high school. “Sure we are here to hit ground balls and throw BP and we certainly do all of that and then some. The lectures, the panels, our guest speakers are just another reason why this camp is so special for Rhode Island baseball families.”

As Coach Sheehan began preparations for lunch and the afternoon activities of the camp, I started to walk around to the various stations and camp action going on. Common theme – multiple coaches at each station helping out, throwing BP, instructing, a lot of chatter, etc. Here are some of the stations I observed:

In the left field area of Pepin Field, fielders were hit ground balls one after the next. A sock netting stand was set up to receive their throws.

Located in right field of Pepin, a pitching machine was tossing high fly balls to right field, where fielders would catch then throw to a target close to home plate.

On the turf area of the BHHS Football field, batters were learning the art of bunting the baseball – a skill which is vastly underrated in the game of baseball youth to the pros, in my opinion.

On a smaller field opposite the football field and Pepin, coaches were throwing live batting practice. I squatted down next to a player who could have his name called in next year’s MLB draft. For the time being, he is a camp coach and incoming senior student athlete at BHHS.

Great to see Coach Nick Croce who was throwing live BP as well to another group inside the batting cages.

Batting tee set up and exit velocity being recorded. Players got two to three swings off the tee and there were instructors there to record the scores.

This was always one of my favorite baseball drills. The “fake hitting a home run and sprint around the bases” drill took place on the field on the other side of the golf cart path from Pepin Field.

Each station set up with score sheets, timers, software to record bat speeds, and recorded for the camp’s Friday skills competitions. Campers were getting a lot of reps at each station, then would move onto to the next station to work on fly balls or bunting or hitting off a tee or live BP. Keep it moving, keep it moving. And that I did from station to station watching some of Rhode Island baseball’s next stars at the Middle School and High School level catching, hitting, and running around the many fields of Bishop Hendricken High School.

Chris and I caught up one more time before I departed camp to head up to work. I asked him about some “non-baseball” or special moments from camp. Chris thought for a moment. “Just seeing how the camp has evolved over the years. The commitment from former players to come back to Hendricken and give back to the next generation of Rhode Island baseball players. One camper got to catch a bullpen session with Rhode Island All Stater and MLB Draft Potential Alex Clemmey. Another camper, fresh off a game with his friend, ordered a candy bar from the concession stand, saw his friend who had not faired to well in an recent outing on the mound, and then bought one for his friend to cheer him up. Too many to mention, but give me some time to think about that one,” Chris joked as we shook hands good-bye. Pizzas were on the way, the field needed to be groomed for afternoon games, Coach Sheehan was busy and moving on to his next assignment. Keep it moving applied to Coach Sheehan as well!

Phenomenal visit to Green and Gold Baseball Camp. Huge thanks to Coach Chris Sheehan for the invite, the tour, and the insight on the camp. I observed a lot of success on the field as players were getting a ton of reps fielding ground balls, taking BP, learning the art of bunting, running the bases for imaginary home runs, and mingling with camp coaches with years of baseball knowledge despite their youth. Congrats to all the campers, coaches, and Coach Sheehan on an excellent week of baseball at Green and Gold Baseball Camp.

For more information on the camp and some camp photos, I suggest you Keep it Moving and check out these important links you can click on:

Baseball Parks, Fields, and Complexes Clinics and Conditioning rhode island interscholastic sports Youth Baseball News

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The RIBBE is The Rhode Island Baseball Experience. It is promoting the game of baseball here in the great state of Rhode Island for the entire baseball world to see. The RIBBE is positive stories, photos, videos, and responsible social media posts. The RIBBE is an information resource for families looking for an AAU team or a summer camp or a great place to buy a first baseman’s mitt. The RIBBE is a network of coaches, tournament directors, parents, leagues, and baseball junkies whose passion of the game of baseball is unquestioned. I believe that providing expert analysis, information and directions to ballfields, and coaching advice from some of the top RI baseball minds will help promote the game of baseball here in RI to a whole new level.

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