Showing posts from June, 2011

Leadership Development via Little League

For the past 12 years I coached, assistant coached and managed little league baseball teams with two different sons.   I'm not a superior baseball strategist.  We're not talking about highly competitive travel baseball, but recreational learn the game baseball.  Most of that time was working with 6-9 year olds, and I made their parents and the boys a promise at the beginning of every season.  Best to most challenged player, we're going to rotate positions and playing time as fairly as I can.  I'm just anal enough to create spreadsheets in Excel planning out positions, innings and the entire season.  It may be standard for this age around the country, but you can only put a player in one position for two innings. They are after all, supposed to learn the game and you can't quite do that sitting in right field for six innings.

     Around my birthday every year the coaches would gather and draft teams. Some of the boys you'd know from the previous year or y…

Bear Hater? The secret's out.

Note: Originally written June, 2011      I have the opportunity during the school year to cover high school sports throughout Southwest Michigan.  As needed, part time and am grateful for what income it provides.   Regardless of the sport, observing the young athletes with varied skills interact as teams, the officials, school staff and the parents is a continual learning experience.
     Occasionally one gets to see moments of athletic brilliance, at least for a local level, but most of the time these students are learning to operate within the systems they've been coached, to achieve common goals, as best as they can.
     Two weeks ago I got to cover a local baseball rivalry of neighboring districts, one of which my older sons graduated from and my youngest still attends.  I don't often get to cover either of these schools for a variety of staffing reasons.  In particular it was nice because I know most of the players from 12 years of coaching or assistant coaching youth ba…

Grateful Dad

June 3, 2011
     While we were fortunate to have Joshua home from his overseas service to our country these past two weeks, Sam has been working his way through basic training at Fort Leonard Wood. Parents watching their children grow to be men and women often experience self doubts. Did I teach them enough? Should I have been stricter? More lenient? Banned television and internet from the house?
     They were already forbidden to date until they had at least a master's degree (I'm not sure that's working so well).
     These moments pass as we continue to offer the best of ourselves to our children, hoping the seeds planted grow in God's time. A couple of weeks ago I cried briefly during my graduation speech noting that neither of the older boys could attend while serving. Believing these young men learned that service to humanity in whatever ways we are capable of is more important than self.
      Today I received this in the mail from Sam, and w…