Westborough ballplayers learn from former MLB hitting coach

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Westborough ballplayers learn from former MLB hitting coach
Ken Joyce coaches Westborough High School softball players. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

WESTBOROUGH – It’s not often that an MLB-level hitting coach visits town, but it’s even rarer to have that coach spend their day traveling around the community to help athletes at all different levels.

But that’s what Ken Joyce did on April 17. He visited Westborough to help Westborough High School’s softball team, baseball team and the town’s Little League ballplayers. Joyce passed on his 29 years of professional baseball experience — and his in-depth knowledge of the perfect swing — to roughly 60 Westborough athletes for over six hours.

Joyce earned his first World Series ring with the Florida Marlins organization in 1997. After some time in the Blue Jays organization, Joyce started coaching for the San Francisco Giants organization, where he would earn his second, third and fourth World Series rings in 2010, 2012 and 2014. Joyce coached in the Arizona Fall League, where he had Mike Trout and Bryce Harper on the same team.

As impressive as Joyce’s career is, he was the one that was impressed last week. “What I saw was a bunch of young ladies that were eager to learn; they’ve had some very good coaching up to this point,” Joyce told the Community Advocate after instructing the softball team. “They have some good fundamentals, but sometimes they don’t understand the ‘how and why’ the swing works. They’re being told sometimes what to do, but hopefully after today they have a better understanding of the ‘why.’ ”

Westborough ballplayers learn from former MLB hitting coach
Ken Joyce coaches Westborough High School softball players. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

“Instead of coaching ideas, I teach feel. They were able to feel what it felt like to be ‘in sync’ and have the proper sequence in their swing,” he added.

The Westborough Boosters, led by President Liz Burow, sponsored the clinic. The Boosters aim to “[foster] support, interest and enthusiasm for interscholastic sports teams in Westborough Public Schools,” according to the organization’s website. Inviting Joyce was one of many things the group has done to support Westborough athletics, including providing scholarships, paying for sports recognition banquets, providing sports championship banners and sponsoring the student hall of fame induction.

“I think what’s most important to us… is we want our athletes to feel like we support them, especially in their years where they’re growing and perfecting their game. We want them to know that the reason we work hard to raise money is so we can make them competitive athletes, and that, in turn, will help them with their searches, whether they want to continue on to college or continue on to coaching,” Burow said.

Westborough ballplayers learn from former MLB hitting coach
Ken Joyce coaches Westborough Little League players. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

Burow also mentioned that anyone who would like to help the Westborough Boosters — and have an excellent time — can compete in the annual Boosters Golf Tournament at Juniper Hills Golf Course.

For more information on the Westborough Boosters, visit https://www.westboroughboosters.com/.

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