LYMAN -- It's easy to want to swing for the fence when, as a kid, you see older guys like Bobby Bradley effortlessly knock balls over the outfield wall.
When Otis Brooks III, 10, took the field Saturday at Bradley's free youth hitting camp at Harrison Central, the youngster tried to go yard as well. The early results were mixed until the former Red Rebel standout and current Cleveland Indians prospect stepped into the box to give Otis a few tidbits of wisdom.
The talk worked as Otis sprayed the next couple of pitches around the infield and into the outfield grass.
"He told me I didn't have to swing as hard as I could," Otis said. "I just had to make contact and the ball would go."
It's moments like those that made Saturday's event worth it for all involved.
Bradley acted as a roaming instructor of sorts, while former Major League Baseball standouts Matt Lawton and Barry Lyons pitched to kids in Harrison Central's batting cage. Former Southern Miss football player C.J. Bailey and professional pitcher Chuck Crowder were also on hand to help lead some of the groups from station to station.
"For the first one it wasn't too bad. I feel like the kids had a lot of fun. I had a lot of fun. Just an overall great experience," said Bradley, who hopes to grow the event into an annual tradition. "As long as they got out here and had fun, everything else was all good."
Inside the cage, Bradley stepped in to help 7-year-old Noah Carte of Orange Grove on his approach.
"He told me to keep both hands on the bat and you'll make a harder hit," Noah said. "It worked."
Even seasoned veterans like Lyons and Lawton who are no strangers to youth camps, enjoyed Saturday's event.