Wizardsof the field never cease to amaze me. The original Wizard, back flipp
The Original Wizard
ing Ozzie Smith, was amazing. Always where he was supposed to be, always finding a way to make a play, always being in the right place at the right time, earning him the moniker of “The Wizard”.
I see this every day in youth sports as well and it is something impossible to understand. Why do some kids just “get it” and react and know what they are supposed to do, while others take longer to develop the same skills? If there was a way to identify “The Wizards” in advance, it would be a great asset, but you never know, they just appear.
Some are just blessed with God given instincts I supposed, while others must work and work and work just to get to the same level as “The Wizards”. This is something we may never understand, but boy, how sweet is it to sit back and watch a Wizard perform?
Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Michael’s Home Run – The kid stands maybe 4’ on a ladder! (that’s an exaggeration but you get it) but what he lacks in stature, he makes up for with heart, hard work, and dedication. He has a near perfect swing and had a perfect hit, OVER THE FENCE home run! A memory of a lifetime.
The look on Jake’s Face – He subbed in as a courtesy runner for the pitcher, the game was tied, top of the 8
th I believe, 2 nd inning of a Texas Tie breaker. He has come so far in his base running that the guy we didn’t want on the bases was now the guy we went to when we needed a runner! Fly to center, perfect tag, score, they carried him off the field. What was on his face was WAYYYY beyond a smile!
The intentional Walk – Blake’s chance to shine! Our girls growing into leaders – When it came time to step up and block, take their game to the next level, or face a tough situation head on, they stepped up and made us proud!
The Sectional Championship Game – One of the greatest games ever. 6 traditional double plays on a 60’ field and both teams leaving it all on the field.
Spring Break Slam and Fallout Slam Softball Tournaments – that we hosted. I have to admit, mostly a blur, but OMG they were some of the best tournaments we ever played in!
Finally getting to coach w/ Coach Sarah! – Need I say more? She is the bestest!
“What in the world are you guys doing?” spoken in the best 50 year old southern slang by the cop on 17/92 at 2:30AM as we were plastering the town with registration signs all over the city.
It’s that time of year when we all gather with family and enjoy that unique bond that family provides. It is strange how it works, we don’t see each other for months, yet seem to pick right up where things left off. We have similar bonds, but nothing as strong as family. Teams bond, when we see our teammates years later there is definitely a special something that exists between teammates, coaches, and manager. Best friends bond as well, some for life, but blood is forever.
We drive hours to be with family. Fly across the country to get together for just a few days and create rituals repeated year after year. It’s funny how they change though. Little by little every year the rituals evolve, people move, superfluous stuff gets in the way, and stubbornness permeates our ego.
Family bonds are forever, so make sure to tell EVERYONE in your family, Merry
MERRY CHRISTMAS MCBRIDE CLAN!
Image by nathalie booth via Flickr
Quitters – If you commit to a team, you are there until the duration of your commitment is over. There are NO exceptions to this rule. Anything less is unacceptable because if you quit once, you are a quitter for life.
People who don’t know the rules but act like they do – Why do people who have never opened a rulebook in their entire life feel the need to embarrass themselves publically by getting rules wrong? Even worse, they get mad when the umpire rules against them and accuse those of us who have taken the time to learn the rules of being cheaters! Nuff said.
Guest Players – I could write a whole article on this one, but the bottom line is, be part of a team or go play an individual sport like golf. If you are in it for yourself, eventually, you will find yourself all alone. If you are committed to a team, then the team will be committed to you. Of course, a manager who brings a “guest player” on simply to win and sits one of their own players who has been committed to the team the whole time is even worse. Manager’s check your ego’s at the door.
Gossip – A + B = D???? Yeah, in the world of gossip that’s how it works. The great part of this game is the slow pace at which it moves, that also lends itself to lots and lots of conversations. Of course, nobody really knows anything, but everyone thinks they know everything! This is where my favorite line is “keep your blinders on and stay focused on the objective at hand”. This usually leaves those running their traps in the dust!
People who don’t step up – It is amazing how many complain yet don’t step up. In the words of the late great John Lennon, “there are no problems, only solutions”. You are part of one, you get to pick which.
Five Things That Delighted Me This Year
Heartfelt Thank Yous – Let’s face it, humble heartfelt gratitude is what makes doing this so great!
Being surrounded by great people – One of the great things about life is our inability to be successful without being in the company of amazing people. I am blessed in every aspect of my life to be surrounded by remarkable human beings. To them I give a heartfelt THANK YOU!
Smiling Faces – If I said it once, I said it 100 times. Nothing tops the smile on a kid’s face when they have accomplished something they worked so hard to achieve! Nothing!
Loyal and Courageous kids who kicked adversity’s butt! – You have two choices when things get tough, cut and run, or pull up your bootstraps and start swingin’! When a kid chooses hard work and dedication over giving up, they become our role models.
Positive Role Model Parents – You know, it’s always the ones that you on the surface appear rough, that turn out to be the best!
Ok, so maybe I’m getting old, but the
Time Person of the Year
Image via Wikipedia
is “The Protester”? I get it and all, the protester has overturned many Governments this year and we are fast on our way to world freedom and open market exchange, blah, blah, blah, blah, but that’s BORING! Sooooooo, I decided to create my own LittleLeagueCoach.com person of the year award!
THE LITTLE LEAGUE COACH’S PERSON OF THE YEAR IS…………………………………………..YOU!!!!
Yeah, that’s right, you! You reading this right now. You the parent who rushes around after school, zips through
McDonalds and picks up a happy mean, flies to the park to make it just in time for practice. You, who sits there hour upon hour at practice as your child refines their skills and learns the value of hard work and dedication knowing that when you get home an hour of homework looks you in the face. You, who is there to provide a high-five after a great victory and a hug after a tough defeat. You, who keeps everything in perspective and knows that in the end, none of this really matters in the big scheme of things even though it feels like it is the most important thing on the planet at the time. You, who year after year after year, never complains, never moans, never whines about the little things, but keeps your child focused on the overall objective, loyalty, character, and courage. You, who remains positive in the face of adversity and finds solace in the little things that are the reasons everyone is here. You, who makes sure your child knows the manager is an authority figure and is to always command respect, even when you don’t agree with him. You, the parent, who is always there for the ones that matter the most.
Is this you?
If so, then, THANK YOU for being every Little League Coach’s Person of the Year!
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