SPOTLIGHT: T-Ball Mets

SPOTLIGHT: T-Ball Mets

We’re wrapping up our Summer 2018 RBI Austin Spotlights with the mighty T-Ball Mets!

 

Jaelynn Hernandez
6 years old
TBALL Mets
2nd year with RBI Austin

Q: What’s your favorite thing about playing softball?
JaelynnTrying my best and learning how to hit the ball better.

Q: What do you hope to learn this summer?
JaelynnTo use my legs more. And to get better at throwing and hitting. I want to hit the ball hard because [I think about bullies and people who litter.]

Q: Who is one of your favorite people in your life?
JaelynnMy mom. And my uncle who helped me at home. We played catch out front!


Jessica Hernandez
Mother of Jaelynn
TBALL Mets
2nd year with RBI Austin

Q: How did you hear about RBI?
JessicaThrough her school. They had a spring carnival and had a booth set up and that’s how we learned about it. I had never heard about RBI at all and she’s my oldest, and because I never played sports, I said to do this! But, she liked it when we got her going and she played with RBI to start off with and then played fall ball, spring ball, and now she’s back again.

Q: How’s your experience with RBI been so far?
JessicaI like it! Everyone is real friendly and it’s really diverse. I like that she gets to play with people that are like her and everyone is really welcoming. It’s a good atmosphere all around.

Q: Who was the biggest influence on your life?
JessicaMy mom. It’s just me, my mom, and my brother. Family is like the thing that’s most important lesson that she’s taught us. She was adopted so she doesn’t have family. Family and that no matter what you do you can always go to her and tell her things without feeling that judgement or disappointment.

Q: Why do you think it’s important to be on a team sport?
JessicaI think it helps you care about others and care about feelings. I think that it shows a kid how to empathize and I think that’s what kids need to learn. It teaches self-worth and just basic social skills. How to treat others, how to work as one,  and how to work towards a goal as one team.


David Ciccocioppo
TBALL Mets Coach
5th year RBI Austin

Q: How did you hear about RBI?
DavidI think I heard about it through MLB. And then we moved to the East Side about seven years ago.

Q: What made you decide to coach?
DavidI really love the game. I played all growing up. I like the mission of RBI, I like the idea of giving the opportunity to inner city kids and the kids who don’t have the money for all the fancy equipment and all the select teams and all that kind of stuff. It gives them an old school way of coming out to the field and just playing. It’s competitive but it’s not like we’re training these guys to be major leaguers. It’s teaching them about competition, sportsmanship, teamwork, all that good stuff. And if my boys are going to be playing I have to be a coach because I can’t just sit back and watch them.

Q: What’s one thing you hope your t-ballers learn this summer?
DavidI want them to learn that this is a fun game. And I want them to feel it so that they come back next year.

Q: Who is one of the biggest influences on your life?
DavidI had this coach when I was in 4thgrade in Washington D.C. There was a Little League and my house was right there. There was a man named Doug Rice, I think he was married, but he was my coach from 4th– 8thgrade and I remember him being very motivational but he never had to yell. He was just one of those people who you want to make happy and want to please. He carried himself in a certain way that you wanted to make him proud.

Q: How do you think baseball, or any sport, betters a player #BeyondTheField?
DavidIt’s the whole idea of teamwork and sportsmanship. Dealing with losses and failures. Feeling the joys that come with successes. Those are all things that you experience in the real world when you get older. When you grow up and get a job, you have to deal with losing and winning and working with people. I like the idea that in baseball, everybody gets a turn at bat. That’s your one moment to shine but it’s still in the context of a team sport. You’re doing your part to help the team win, even though it’s hyper focused on you. You have this moment now where you can have a success or a failure, but it affects the whole team as well.