And yet another school shooting in Santa Fe Texas.  What changed since Florida?  Nothing.  Continue to do the things you have always done, you will continue to get the things you have always got.  Simple.  Change nothing and tomorrow will bring what you got yesterday.

Insanity is doing the exact same thing today you did yesterday and expecting different results.  Did I just describe politicians ???

Thinking of coaching kids?  Ask me and before you can blink an eye my advice to you is, “Absolutely, the kids need you.”

Certainly as the season goes on there comes with it a certain feeling of accomplishment as you watch the kids learn and improve.  Knowing you had a hand in that is so rewarding.

Being involved in kids sports over 50 years I have many wonderful memories and some times, not-so-good memories.  But let me assure you that the good ones far outweigh the bad.

Let me share with you some of my own memories from my days of coaching kids.

A 12-year-old kid named Chris gave me a coffee mug at season’s end that just said, “Thank you.”  Chris matured much that year and the positive change in him was worth my efforts to coach that year.  To this day I still use that coffee mug for my coffee.

Another story involves my own son.  Our team was ahead by a single run and the pitcher walked three straight batters to load the bases.  I put my own son into pitch.  Scott had not realized that his favorite aunt & uncle had shown up for the game.  As he completed his warm-up pitches I still remember the words I said to him;  “Ok Scott, the bases are loaded and there are none out.  Pitch your best and by the way, your aunt & uncle are here watching.”  I will never forget the look on his face and some may argue that was not a good thing to do but I knew my son and knew how he would take it.  He struck out the next three batters.  In his adult life Scott has told this story himself over and over.  It is a very fond memory for both him and myself.
 A seven-year-old boy stood on 1st base when the batter hit a ground ball directly to the 2nd baseman.  The boy fielded the ball as the runner on 1st ran directly at him in his quest to get to 2nd base.  As a tag was about to happen the runner made a beeline turn and ran directly to 3rd base.  The 2nd baseman followed him all the way over to 3rd base trying to tag him.  When the runner reached 3rd base he folded his arms and nodded his head in triumph.  He made it to 3rd.  Being the umpire I concealed my laughter and said to the little boy, “Son, that is the best base-running I have ever seen but unfortunately you missed 2nd base and I have to call you out.”  The youngster didn’t seem too concerned with the out as I overheard him bragging to his team-mates, “the umpire said that’s the best base-running he has ever seen.”  Picture that in your mind.  A priceless moment forever remembered by the seven-year-old runner.

 A twelve-year-old named Tom made my day nearly 15 years after I coached him.  Tom was very talented and a very good hitter.  Being “the best” player on the team sometimes his behaviour was detrimental to the overall good of the team.  Despite numerous attempts Tom became increasingly more difficult to coach.  One game, with permission from the league, I benched Tom.  The players and parents were shocked because the game was an important one.  Halfway through the game Tom came up to me and said, “Coach I understand why you benched me and I am sorry.  Can you please put me into the game?”  Tom then started to encourage his teammates so I knew the lesson was understood.  My reward came 15 years later when at a social function a man came up to me and said, “Thank you Coach.”  Of course I had no idea who this was until he said the following which underscores that coaching kids is truly rewarding.  Tom said, “Coach that game you benched me changed my life.  Looking back I realize that I was on a rough road in life and my mom being a single parent there was no discipline or structure in my life.  That game changed me to respect authority and team mates.  Thank you again Coach.”

Coaching kids is rewarding.  Your coaching could affect the decisions these kids have to make, even years later.  Winning the game is nothing more than a statistic.  The lessons kids sports have to offer are far more important than winning the game.  Neither Scott nor Tom could recall if they won those games or not but the memory has had a positive impact on both their lives.  That clearly is, “Winning Without Winning.”

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