Watch President Obama surprise kids and show off his athletic skills

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By Alyssa Newcomb  with TODAY Lifestyle
Former President Obama met with students during his visit to the Washington
Former President Obama met with students during his visit to the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy.   -   Copyright  Paul Kim Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy

Former President Barack Obama gave some Washington, D.C.-area kids the ultimate surprise Wednesday when he stopped by the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy's after-school program.

Obama tossed a football with the kids and took a turn at bat during a baseball game.

The Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy is a local program that aims to provide character development and healthy after-school activities for underserved youth.

Obama, a big sports fan who delivered the first pitch at the Washington Nationals' game on opening day in 2010, was a natural with the kids on the field.

Evan Vucci
Obama helped the Nationals open their season in 2010.Evan Vucci

After an afternoon of running around, Obama had the kids huddle for a presidential pep talk.

"Work hard in school, listen to your coaches. You guys are going to do great things," he said. "I'm going to be on the lookout for you, because I think you're going to do something important. You guys are going to make a real difference."

Paul Kim
Obama offered words of encouragement to the kids.Paul Kim

Obama reflected on the experience in an Instagram post on Thursday.

"Great to get out there and take a few cuts at the plate yesterday — I had a blast with all these extraordinary young people," he wrote. "Thanks for letting me drop in and thanks to the Nationals Youth Academy for the outstanding work you do to support youth in DC."