HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
July 23, 2007

Don’t blink or it will be over

By Aaron Schultz

As I sat at my desk Friday morning going back-and-forth on different topics to write this column about, it suddenly occurred to me – summer is quickly going by the wayside.

I know that may seem laughable, as you might be reading this column with brutal heat outside (reports have the weather being in the high 90s all week), but hear me out.

We have entered the final full week of July, and the next thing you know it will be August.

Already August, I don’t want it to be true.

While many of my favorite things occur in August, it is also one of my least favorite months for the simple reason that it signifies that summer is nearly over.

Soon, high school football practice will be starting, NFL training camps are getting ready to open, and the amateur state baseball tournament is right around the corner.

All of these items are some of my favorites things, but I would really appreciate it if they all could be pushed back about a month.

I know that isn’t going to happen, and the number of days in the year don’t change, but this summer seems to have gone by especially quick for me.

Maybe it is because the high school baseball season lasted a little longer for me, or perhaps it is because the Fourth of July fell in the middle of the week.

I don’t know, but it sure seems like the summer is flying by.

With that said, summer never really seems like it is over to me until the amateur baseball season is over, and I hope that doesn’t occur until Labor Day.

Labor Day is when the Class C state championship game is, and I would really like to be playing in that.

Honestly, making the state championship game is a long shot, but making it to the state tournament itself is very realistic, and that wouldn’t be an all that bad of way to end the summer.

Last summer, both the Wildcats and the Howard Lake Orphans went to state, with the Orphans winning a few games and playing multiple weekends.

That was a blast, and kept that fall feeling from creeping up on me too quickly.

Well, with this summer passing me by way too quickly, I can only hope that either my Wildcats, or the Orphans make it on to state, and win their way into playing all three tournament weekends.

Keep summer going and get out and enjoy it, otherwise, before you know it, snow will be flying and winter will be upon us.

Working on my swing

You probably noticed the picture above this column already, but in case you glanced over it, look at it again.

Yep, that is me with a pretty god awful swing.

For the nearly three months of the high school baseball season I preach to my kids to keep their heads down, and swing hard.

That is a lot easier to say than to do, trust me.

When you step in the batters’ box, and are prepared to swing hard, the first thing that tends to happen is you pull your head.

Not sure what I am talking about? Well, then just look at that photo again, and you’ll see a text book example of pulling one’s head when swinging.

Throughout my years of playing baseball, especially over the past 10 years or so, I have had a problem with pulling my head.

It all goes back to my high school days, when I didn’t use to hit for much power.

That was until my senior year, when one of my coaches (Mark Detlefsen) and my father (Chuck Schultz)told me to swing hard.

If you know Dets, it wasn’t a suggestion.

So, I started swinging hard, and low and behold, I started hitting for much more power. Wow, imagine that, you swing harder, and the ball travels farther.

Of course, there were some downsides – lower average, more strikeouts, and a nasty habit of pulling my head.

To this day, I still have that problem of pulling my head when I swing (the proof is in the photo).

However, when I go up to the plate, tell myself to swing hard, and keep my head down, I usually do.

But in the heat of the game, with so much other stuff to think about from at bat to at bat, I tend to forget to remind myself.

To me, this is why baseball is the best game on earth. You can have played it all your life (over 25 years for me), and you will always have things to work on and improve.