Today we played a Senior Softball game against the same team we played a week ago. Last week we had a close game and a chance to win, but it wasn’t any fun at all. Tonight, we got creamed, but the kids had more fun and made more plays than when we were in a close battle. More action, more fun, more learning.
Our seniors team is very young. We are 13 year olds playing against 14/15/16 year old teams so we don’t really expect to win a whole lot, but we do expect to compete. The objectives at the beginning of the season were for each of the players to improve, I believe that has already happened in two games. We can only go up from here.
This particular group of girls is my favorite that I have ever coached. Hopefully we can keep them together for a long time, then in years from now, we will be the undefeated ones. They have come a long way in a short time and I am proud of each of them.
Have you ever had a group of kids you just loved to be around? What made them special to you?
Career Education.net is a site to help consumers find online and offline educational programs to help them get the job they want. I personally am a senior at the University of Phoenix majoring in marketing. Online learning is the only way to go if you are an adult. The education is efficient and you actually learn and retain more about the subject because you have to research and teach yourself.
Career education.net compiles information about online and off-line schools so you can peruse them at your leisure in one simple to use format. They have a section for online, medical, education, technology, design, business, culinary, and legal education. They ask, “Do you have the training you need for the career path you want?” Most of us would probably answer no.
The site is very thorough and appears to be an unbiased hub for all that is higher learning. They have colleges, technical schools, business, criminal, everything you could want no matter what your selected field. Additionally, they have links to most of the sites as well, this truly is education hub central.
Check it out at:
One of the most overlooked rules in the rulebook is that every male player SHALL wear a cup. The shall means this is not an option! Why would you want to send your male players out there w/o a cup? Don’t you want grandchildren?
When I was playing on my over 30 team I used to occasionally forget my cup for practice. Not having it made me tentative when approaching ground balls from first base. When I had my cup, I was fearless. This is the mentality we want to program into the kids heads so they want to wear a cup. They should get used to playing w/ it at all times.
Today they have really cool slider pants that hold the cup. You don’t need the old school jock strap, though there is nothing wrong w/ that. The sliders serve a dual purpose, no strawberries, and a cup! Beautiful!
All coaches must demand that their players where cups and their parents must enforce it. (Hard for the coach to enforce w/o getting arrested!) I advise against that….lol.
I remember in a Pony League scrimmage game we played against the hardest thrower in the league. A player on our team squared to bunt old school style where you square all the way around. He was fully exposed, he took a direct hit, he did not have a cup on. Sounds funny, but he was on the ground convulsing and needed a blanket to keep from going in to shock and an ambulance to carry him off the field.
Think you don’t need a cup? Anyone have any good cup stories?
Little League is comprised of three specific seasons and four divisions of play for kids 12 and under. The seasons consist of fall, an instructional program, spring, a competitive program, and All-Stars a hyper-competitive program. There are many lessons to be learned in each season. The divisions begin at T-ball, then rookie or coach pitch, then minors, then majors. This hierarchy is by design as well and has come about through years of research and feedback.
The division we all see on TV is the major’s division consisting of 9-12 year old kids. The major’s division is intentionally competitive. You must earn your spot, play hard, and contribute 150% to the team. The major’s division is not an extension of the minors, it is a separate division where those that have the talent and mental fortitude compete.
The fall season allows kids to try the majors to see if they are “cut out” for it. Many of the kids fail. This is unfortunate, but it is a fact of life and a fantastic learning experience for all. Major league coaches are looking for much more than talent. Major’s coaches can teach kids how to play, that isn’t the issue, they simply need a reasonably coordinated kid with a will to learn, give me 12 of them and get out of the way, we will be successful.
But give me 12 super talented kids with poor attitudes and there is nothing I can do. I can’t change attitudes, I can try, but it is difficult. It is especially difficult if the parents support these actions. Every mother or father hurts when their little girl or boy is obviously distraught or struggling emotionally, but perpetuating this action does their child no good. Everyone has heard a coach or parent tell a kid to “suck it up”, in the majors you need have thick skin, and while I am not a big fan of that saying, I do believe a major’s kid should be encouraged to fail and learn how to deal with it during the fall season.
If they are not mentally preparing themselves at this time, they will be left behind. The fact is, they have to be tough, physically and mentally, and more so mentally than physically. Again, anyone can play the game, anyone can be taught and work hard to improve, but not everyone has the mental capacity to succeed.
What does it take to succeed? The ability to not care if you fail. If you don’t concern yourself with failure, then success is the only option. A player that is mentally prepared succeeds even when they fail. A player that fails and then is not properly channeled towards success is let down. The coach or the parent can be guilty of this.
Finally, when a player does not put forth the maximum effort they are capable of they have failed themselves. Catering to their actions or their manipulation of our emotions as adults does them no justice. If we baby them, they will be left in the minors in the spring, if we work together to make them stronger, they will succeed and move up in the spring. The great thing about the majors is, if you don’t want to be here, there is always another player waiting in the wings happy to have your spot.
Yeah yeah, I know, my idea of fashion is a t-shirt that is too tight on my belly and a pair of worn shorts w/ holes in them exposing my whitey-tighties. That is pretty much my uniform day in and day out 365 days a year here in Florida. Occasionally the temperature gets into the freezing 50′s and I have to put jeans on, but I fight that with abandon! When I have to work, I actually put on a polo shirt and khakis. Man, I am the cult of fashion!
fashionschools.org a site that boasts the ability to “find the right fashion school for you!” Looks like a pretty cool site to me. They have a link to fashion schools, fashion careers, fashion degrees, fashion articles, and fashion blogs. Looks like all things fashion to me! I would certainly be a challenge for them. I do have a cool haircut courtesy of my wife and her buzzers though!
fashionschools.org has researched fashion careers, schools and trends to help you connect with the resources needed to continue an exciting career in the fashion industry. Whether you are interested in design, merchandising, retail, or anything else, you can find your school and get attendance information from the site.
Those that know me well know that I lost my father right before Christmas. It was not a surprise, but every now and again I reflect on his wonderful life. One of his favorite stories to tell was the one about a Kamikaze that struck the bunk on his ship killing his bunkmate. How did he survive? His sense of curiosity and interest in learning some would say, other’s divine intervention.
As he told the story, he was on a support ship stationed in the south pacific somewhere. They were delivering goods to an air craft carrier so they were positioned right next to it. Early in the morning he woke up and went on the deck to watch them fuel the planes on the carrier. He was intrigued with anything mechanical and really anything. Lord knows I spent half my life chasing the fire trucks and listening to scanners in my house. Believe it or not, I actually knew most of the police and fire codes by heart.
Anyway, while he was watching the fueling of the planes, his bunk was hit by a Kamikaze pilot killing his bunk mate. Why was he up? Why did he have to watch them fuel the planes? Was it divine intervention? Who knows, all I know is thank God he made this choice. If he hadn’t, there would not be 5 McBride children and over 30 McBride grandchildren. I will let you be the judge of whether that is good or not.
This is a pretty amazing story to me. Life deals us twists and turns on a daily basis. What we choose to do with our lives is up to us, how we choose to use the tools God gave us is our choice as well. Look around you, everything that you are you created. Everything that you have you brought into your life. Are you happy with your life? Do you want to bring change into your life? Are you afraid to change it? What say you?
Of course I would never do that to the kids, but there are times when we all wish we could just walk away. Inevitably it has nothing to do with a kid and everything to do with the parents. I used to have a friend in my old Virginia league that would say “everything would run so smooth if it weren’t for the parents”. Amen brother!
The fall season is not about winning, it is about developing. The parents never seem to understand that and when we start losing they freak out. The work the kids get this season pays dividends in June when it matters. This is difficult to convey, but it is definitely the case. We have two top team championship appearances to prove it. Now we just have to get by the Buffalo Bills bridesmaid syndrome this spring and all will be good, and then, maybe I will truly resign.
How do you pick yourself back up when you get down?
Finally after all the late nights creating schedules, running drafts, fielding complaints, registering late arrivals, then redoing schedules, we played our first game! It was a minor league game against one of my friends teams so I knew it would be fun and controversy free. It lived up to the bill and then some!
We had a 5-4 minor league game that made it 5 innings before the time limit went into effect. Amazing! Very few walks and great defense all around. Smiles on all the kids faces and nobody really cared who won or lost. Again, it is the fall season, I told my team I didn’t care who won, the only thing that mattered was them improving their skills.
It’s all about the pitching! Keep practicing pitching, when you think you are done, practice more pitching, then when finally get tired of practicing pitching, practice pitching some more.
I am the information officer for our Little League. This requires me to maintain constant contact with our membership. The best and most efficient way to achieve this is via mass blast emails. It is easy to just send out an email that says one thing or another, but creating a culture is more more important.
Every word that comes out of a board member’s mouth should be focused on creating and maintaining a positive culture for our children. One simply way I do this is always addressing our parents, coaches, and kids with enthusiasm and support. Based on the record number or registrations for our fall season, I would say our board is successful at this.
Creating a League culture is important. If you are always fighting and never happy, that becomes your league’s culture. But if you stay positive and understand that everyone is there for the kids, the entire culture of an organization can be changed.
My favorite way to do this is to always address the parents in my email blasts as “The Greatest Little League Parents on the Planet”, or something of the like. I address the coaches as “The Great Little League Coaching Staff Ever Assembled”. The other day I pointed out that we had “The Most Fantastic Team Parents on the Planet”. All this is simple and easy to do and it instills a sense of pride and accomplishment in your loyal and ever under appreciated volunteers.
Finally, I ended a letter I sent to the coaches with a definition of success for the season. I pointed out that a successful fall season is not measured with wins and loses, but by how much each player on your team improves. Fall is not about winning, fall is about preparing to win in the spring. I challenged them to take on this goal and own it. The response will be good I believe.
The greatest thing that came out of it for me personally? A reply from a friend of mine, another hard working volunteer, that said “To the greatest player agent and information officer in Little League. Awesome job!!”. I guess people are taking notice. I certainly notice a more positive vibe in our league, this minor investment will have a lifetime of benefits as we teach our children to remain positive, face every challenge head on, and failure only brings us one step closer to success.
How do you create a culture in your local league? What is the culture? Is it positive or negative?
Finally all the game schedules are done. I will only have to plug in practice schedules tomorrow and then complete our concessions schedules and I can get back on with my life!
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