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The Best Little League Coaches Instill Healthy Life Lessons

Healthy living is important to me, not just as a cancer survivor and thriving professional, but as a hands-on parent hoping to instill valuable habits for life. So when my son turned four, he joined the ranks of hopeful baseball greats and played his first season of Tee-Ball. Our family has always appreciated the sport, both my husband and I were raised by fathers that whipped out the old fashion scoring book while listening to the games on the radio. While I’m glad we started him young, it wasn’t until this season that we felt the passion of America’s favorite pastime with our child. And boy did we see fireworks. Beyond the sport itself, this season of coach pitch baseball was filled with healthy life lessons. So to all the committed, nurturing, skilled and leadership driven Little League coaches like ours this year – I say thanks.

If your kids play sports, or you remember the good ol’ days, you know a good coach makes a monumental difference in your (or their) experience. For my kid, though he hasn’t quite blossomed athletically yet, this season has been incredible.

First, I say thanks to all the Little League coaches that rush from their busy lives to orchestrate a team event in the rain, snow or sweaty heat, while we, the parents, sit and gab, eat, play on our phones or cheer on the sidelines.

I say thanks to all the Little League coaches who constantly communicate effectively. Whether it’s on the field to help our kids think about the next play or it’s the emails they send to update us on the next practice, these coaches stand out because they teach us all to be thoughtful about the game as well as each others time.

I say thanks to all the Little League coaches who may throw a pizza party, but remind our kids that healthy habits are important: broccoli and milk will make them strong and a good night’s sleep is a must!

I say thanks to all the Little League coaches who create a community of leadership. Building a coaching staff with a number of  team parents who focus on having fun, while also differentiating the baseball lesson, helps every kid succeed and builds their self-esteem.

I say thanks to all the Little League coaches who promote good sportsmanship. Whether it’s cheering for all teammates, celebrating the big and little wins or helping provide insight and motivation after a loss, they are helping us raise our children with compassionate qualities.

I say thanks to all the Little League coaches who involve the parents, asking us to practice or watch MLB games with our kids. Reminding us that whether our child loves or hates the games, this time together is priceless and the memories will be forever.

I say thanks to Coaches Chris, Brian, George, Charlie, Andy and Pam of our Coach Pitch Yankees team and to the rest of those one-of a kind coaches, mentors and role-models that take their Little League role seriously and to a higher level. Thank you for loving the game and instilling these great life lessons. You are all a class act and I’m forever thankful for your passion and leadership.

What life lessons have touched you (or your child) most from participating in a sport or playing for an amazing coaching staff?

The Best Little League Coaches Instill Healthy Life Lessons

 

14 Comments

  1. Coaches truly are the key to a happy and healthy attitude about competition. I love that you and your husband are so incredibly passionate about baseball! It really is a wonderful game for kids!
    Kristen recently posted…What Not to Do On a Road Trip with Kids

    • Kristen – This season has been the absolute best. Everything about it made me smile. I wrote that piece with tears running down my cheeks because I realize how lucky we were to have such committed coaches. It will forever be remembered in both my mind and Kyle’s.

  2. I am glad you had a good experience! We love Little League for all the good lessons our kids have learned and even some of the tough less than pleasant lessons. Like dealing with poor sports or mean parents and kids. My husband has coached for 6 years now, and we have seen it all! He took a break this year because of a broken foot, but he will be back next year!
    Jen recently posted…Mommy Reality #39: Summer Lovin’

    • We’re lucky as the parents have been really great so far, though he’s only participated in Tee-ball and now coach pitch. I anticipate it to get more ‘animated’ once he gets older. I do really cherish this season because these coaches really did focus on fun and skills not (only) winning.

  3. Is there anything cuter than a tiny kid in a Little League uniform?
    This is a great post! Beyond mom and dad, coaches are probably some of the most influential adults in our kids lives, so the lessons they impart make a lasting impact.
    Lauren recently posted…9 Tips to Keep Everyone Happy on a Family Road Trip

    • Yes. I melt every time I see my 6-year old run onto the field in his little Yankees uniform. He looks so old, yet such a little baby, too. As you know from my post, this season has been eye-opening and truly reminded me of the beauty in humanity. Those coaches will have a lasting impact on my son. It sounds like you have had amazing experiences, too, which are just priceless.

  4. We’re a soccer family, but we’ve had some great coaches in that sport as well. (A few not so great, but I’ll focus on the good). I love it when my boys have had a coach who focuses on having fun and learning the fundamentals rather than keeping score. Of doing things the age-appropriate way instead of pushing them towards skills they aren’t physically or mentally ready for yet. A good coach is really a treasure!
    Rabia @TheLiebers recently posted…Going Through The Emotions

    • Yes. You are totally right. While our sport of choice is baseball, I think any coach or activity leader can serve as that role model that inspires young kids for life. Happy Holiday weekend.

  5. Great lessons. That’s how I feel about our Scout leaders. I really love these folks (well, I’m a Scout leader too!) who take time out of their busy lives to share these lessons with our kids. They are learning self-reliance, teamwork, leadership, citizenship, and dozens of other things that they aren’t going to be learning in school.
    adrian recently posted…5 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Do ANYTHING

    • My son is going into first grade and I want him to join the scouts. I only did Brownie’s for a year, but have heard that the programs have grown tremendously from what they were in the 1980’s. (And, they were good then, too.) Like you said, there are so many life lessons not taught in school that can be taught by other community leaders whether it’s a sports coach, a martial arts master or a Scout troop leader.

  6. My son’s Tae Kwon Do master got him to say “L” when three years of speech therapy could not. I know know KNOW the power of coaches and teams :)
    Kristi Campbell recently posted…My God loves gay people. And lots of other people, too.

    • Wow. That is incredible. Natalie Ray mentioned above that she loves martial arts, too. We experienced it on a small scale and really want to make it more a part of our weekly routine. I guess I just have to find the right place and master to make it even a better experience.

  7. Oh, I totally agree! Sports are so important for children in so many ways and actually the sport itself is quite a small part of it. I love martial arts for the self confidence and discipline that they give children. Personally I was a swimmer and it’s a skill that will always be with me, I hope to take it up again in a few years as an agegroup triathlete.x
    Natalie Ray recently posted…Our Thursday Photo #60

    • I really want to sign my son up for martial arts. We experienced a few mini-sessions at health fairs and events. My son is really drawn to it. I love how you say it helps build self confidence and discipline. All kids (and adults) need that.

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