HARVARD — Worcester Tornadoes Coach Dave Smith gave a pre-summer pep talk to students in the elementary school (HES) gym on the last day of school.
True to his calling, the coach started off with statistics. His professional baseball team kicked off its fourth season in May, Smith said. They’ve played 22 games and won 14.
As of the last visit to HES last year, the Tornadoes had chalked up 179 school visits. Smith and some of his team members have talked to nearly 38,000 students across the state, he said, and this visit was their 212th.
That is the Tornadoes’ off-season mission, Smith said — talking to kids and promoting park programs and philosophies. It’s all in the team magazine, he said, and he had copies for everybody. “These are the things we believe in,” he said. “They’re what we’re all about.”
Those things include the importance of reading and good sportsmanship and treating each other with respect, Smith said. “As you head into summer, find time to read,” he advised.
And for physical activity.
“TV, video games those are OK, as long as you stay active, too,” he said. Smith had a few suggestions, too — ride a bicycle, swim, take the dog for a walk, shoot baskets.
Along with activity and reading, eating healthy food and drinking lots of water, especially on hot days, are keys to a healthy mind and body, Smith said.
If the activity of choice involves a vehicle such as a bicycle, skateboard or scooter, Smith reminded his audience to wear appropriate gear, including helmets and kneepads. And he cautioned them to use sun block when they’re outdoors.
As a third base coach, Smith said knows about this stuff, and a few other things, too.
“Be smart, be safe, have a great summer!” he said. And if that includes a trip to Worcester to see the Tornadoes play, “that’s even better!”