Let me begin by first thanking you for the opportunity to coach your son. It is an honor and a privilege to have the ability to work daily with young men, helping mold them into upstanding citizens through the game of baseball. It is a tremendous responsibility that I take very seriously.
Baseball has the ability to teach young men a lot about life. Humility, respect, and accountability are just a a few characteristics and traits that can be developed from this great game. Players build confidence by encountering adversity through competition – a distinguished environment that teenagers need to be exposed to as early and as often as possible in order learn from and manage its outcomes. Lessons learned on the baseball diamond are vital to understand that in life, success is earned and not easily obtained. Baseball offers players the chance to learn the difference between entitlement and earning it. Too often we are societal victims of instant gratification and front-running with the winners until they are no longer winning.
Players build confidence by encountering adversity through competition – a distinguished environment that teenagers need to be exposed to as early and as often as possible in order learn from and manage its outcomes.
The unfortunate side of the great responsibility as your son’s coach are the many difficult decisions I am faced with each season regarding the 18 players on the roster, as well as the rest of the entire baseball program. The biggest decision of each season occurs well before we step foot on the field. Each season I decide to volunteer my time to coach your sons and teach this great game. Although I receive a coaching stipend, by the end of the season it calculates to pennies per hour for the amount of time my fellow coaches and I spend with your son. I assure you, I am not in it for the money. The season is roughly October -July. Over that time period I spend, on average, approximately 20+ hours per week with your son (excluding Sundays). This is nearly four times the amount of time that I get to spend with my own son. During the season, I get to see my son during waking hours for a maximum for 45 minutes per day, in the morning before I leave for work. I rarely get to see him in the evening because I arrive home from practice, or a game, well after he has gone to bed. This decision also impacts the relationship I have with my wife. Six days a week she is left handling all of the household responsibilities as virtually a single parent. I am fully aware of sacrifices that all parties endure when it comes to my annual decision to return to coaching baseball. I know what I am getting myself into and so does my family. I have one of the most understanding, loving families anyone could ask for.
The season is roughly October -July. Over that time period I spend, on average, approximately 20+ hours per week with your son (excluding Sundays). This is nearly four times the amount of time that I get to spend with my own son.
Some of the other major decisions I have to make revolve around managing playing time during the season. There are many things in this life that I am, and things that I am not. I am a man. I am a husband. I am a father. I am a professional. I am in my 13th season of coaching high school baseball. I have coached several players that have gone on to play at the collegiate level and professionally. I have evaluated and coached hundreds of players with more than enough experience to know how to coach the game and what it takes to win. At this level the game is a results driven business. Playing time is and always will be non-negotiable. Playing time may be discussed in the proper forum, in a professional manner with your son, and one of my assistant coaches present. Politicking, bullying or personal attacks over playing time in person, by email, text/phone will not be tolerated. There is nothing worse for a coach than to be confronted in the parking lot post-game or to get home after a long road game and to receive a blistering parent email right before going to bed. A coach experiences many sleepless nights, not out of concern over a reactionary parent email, but for the welfare and safety of his 18 sons. If an issue does arise, I ask that you carefully consider and reconsider your position AFTER discussing it with your son, before orderly asking for a meeting. I will be glad to address your rational questions and concerns.
Baseball is one of the most difficult sports to coach because, at one time, the general population of young boys grew up playing Little League. Therefore, there is a large percentage of fathers who believe they have the ability to coach the sport because, at one time, they played and/or because they still watch it religiously on TV. Please do not be this father. Monday Morning Quarterbacking at home after the game, coaching from the stands, or giving your son in-game adjustments contradicts all that my staff and I have worked so hard to develop with your son. It also completely undermines the coaching staff and our philosophy. More times than I am willing to admit, I have been coaching during a close game and a boisterous father will scream directions to his son, from the stands, that directly involve in the play. The player immediately reacts to the sound of his father’s voice, makes a poor in-game decision, and it inevitably costs our team the game. Some of my favorite parents of all-time are those that were seen and not heard, allowing the coaches to do their job and coach.
Baseball is one of the most difficult sports to coach because, at one time, the general population of young boys grew up playing Little League. Therefore, there is a large percentage of fathers who believe they have the ability to coach the sport because, at one time, they played and/or because they still watch it religiously on TV. Please do not be this father.
If you see me off the field and I appear to be standoffish, I apologize. It is not that I want to avoid you. I simply do not have anything to talk about. I have nothing left to give you after I have left it all out on the field. This is how I coach. I bring nothing home at night after a game because I bring everything home. The short-lived wins, the long-lingering losses. Your son’s individual successes and defeats. I will always give my best to your son and I am asking for you to return the same towards our coaching staff and our program. Thank you again for allowing me to teach your son the greatest game ever played.
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