Baseball season is underway and I’m once again coaching Brett. What a fun start we’ve gotten off to even though the team is 0-2. (Our 2nd game was a close one, won by the home team in the last inning!) It is Brett’s first year to play “kid pitch” ball and after our first practice, I was afraid we were going to be in for a very long season: I wasn’t sure any of our boys could put it over the plate.
After some work, though, I think we’ve got about four boys who could do a decent job. As you might be anticipating, one of those is Brett. I’ve been amazed at what a fantastic job he’s been able to do. Initially, he said he didn’t want to pitch, just wanted to play infield. But after I asked him to rethink it, he’s really taken to the mound. He struck out 4 batters in 2 innings first game, and 7 batters in 3 2/3 innings the second game. He’ll be taking the mound first thing for our next game, and I think he’s itching to do so.
I’ve been very fortunate in the teams I’ve coached. I’ve had some especially good parents with my teams here in Mississippi. I’ve seen some stinkers for parents, and have seen some of them kicked out (and was glad to see them go!). The worst ones had to have been in Alabama.
I coached UPWARD Basketball a year ago, the first team I coached while living in Mississippi, and was amazed at both the great attitude of the boys AND the fantastic and supportive attitude of the parents. Last year’s baseball team was the same, and this year is already looking to be another great group of boys and parents.
You wouldn’t think I’d talk about the parents when talking about coaching, but I think they are incredibly important to the success of the season—and I’m not just talking wins/losses. Parents with great attitudes at the game can reinforce the fun-factor for the boys, while parents who gripe and complain not only set a bad example for the boys, but ruin the fun AND get the dander up of the opposition parents.
I always tell the boys never to give up until the umpires say we can’t play anymore…one of those “it ain’t over till it’s over” ideas. It’s what I believe we should apply to our lives personally in all that we attempt. Yes, I want to win—baseball is a great and fun sport…but it’s more fun if you can win some of the games! My hope is that I can help provide the boys on my team with 2 months of fantastic ball memories…much like the ones I have…and I guess I’ll have to write about here, since most of those are when my Dad was coaching me!
Go Oxford Red Sox! (at least we weren’t given the Yankees—that’d be a double ouch!)