Pearland coach says team’s biggest goal is fun ahead of Little League World Series – Houston Public Media

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The Pearland Little League baseball team has won the regional championship and will be heading to the Little League World Series next week.

On Tuesday, the Pearland Little League baseball team won the Southwest Region Championship and are now heading to the Little League World Series. After a successful game that also showed a moment of sportsmanship, coach Aaron Cummings spoke to Houston Public Media about the team.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

How do you make sure the kids relax and just play on a big stage like that?

You know, they have nerves like everyone else. I think what we did on Sunday, which was kind of not planned at all, I could tell they had a lot of nerves, and they weren’t relaxed and the stadium played the song Jump Around that they do for college games. And the boys started jumping around the canoe and dancing. And that really released them. I mean, it’s like any other track and field, you know, they like warm-up music or hype music. We as coaches were talking about it, and we could talk about it until we were blue in the face, but I think what really calmed them down was…that song. They had a little fun, they became children again. And then yesterday we played it on our cell phone, and they jumped a little more. And so yeah, I mean, they’re kids, okay, so they just have to have some sort of outlet to release some energy.

Are they used to big moments?

Well, if any of them are, I don’t know. That being on ESPN, national television, it’s quite a moment for a 12-year-old. It goes from never being on TV to all that stuff, and your coaches have taken the mic, and you can see cameras everywhere. And so no, they’re not used to it. But I think our boys handled it really, really well.

What was your experience with this Pearland program?

I’ve been in the league for 15 years and I’ve coached. I have three sons, and this is my third… But we have been training in the league for a long time and we have had very good teams but this team is special.

How would you describe the personality of this team?

We definitely have a mix of humble, quiet guys and we have some really fiery guys. I’d say personality-wise it’s the most fun team I’ve ever had, especially at the All-Star level. I’ve done quite a few teams and these guys, they’re really having fun. Even the calm ones, some came out of their shell. And I think that’s a big part of their success is that they got to know it’s a game. They’re 12, they need to have fun. If they’re not having fun, what are we doing here? And so I think those boys have mastered the art of having fun, and so it’s been a joy to see them bond and develop new friendships and he’s a great team personality.

Is this back to reality for a minute, before you all leave on Friday?

I have a job, so I will try to work. I will try to work for the rest of the day. If you want me to be honest with you, I’m going to get a haircut right now because I mentioned to a couple of them in Waco that I needed a haircut, but they said, “You can’t do it until the tournament is over. ‘Yes, I’m not really superstitious. We are leaving on Friday. And so we’re definitely not going to do anything today. And tomorrow night we have a start at the high school stadium, where there’s going to be a bunch of local people and the high school baseball team and all that. And so I don’t think we’re going to practice until we get to Pennsylvania.

What does community support look like?

I knew it was a big deal, but you don’t know it’s a big deal until it happens. I mean, you really can’t prepare. I mean, of course, you know, my boys dreamed of doing it. And, you know, I had no idea that one day I would be the manager when we did. The community support is just overwhelming, isn’t it? I’m a big kid too. I mean, I’m just a 46-year-old kid who loves baseball. And so to see all those Astros and all the good wishes is when the boys have fun and it’s just that the community has gone above and beyond what I could have ever dreamed of. And you just realized how much people love him and how really excited people are for you. And it’s really fun to be part of it, surely a once in a lifetime opportunity.

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