May We All Hear This

By Brian Gotta, President of CoachDeck

A volunteer youth coach reached out to us with this wonderful story. If this doesn’t sum up why we’re involved with youth sports, I don’t know what does.

As a coach we all have times when we say to our self “why do I do this to myself?”. Sometimes the parents and the kids can get to you. Most of us do it because we love the game and want to pass on our knowledge to the kids. Some of us have our own kids on our team and want to be involved with our kids’ life. We dedicate a lot of time , money and hair to try to make it the best experience possible. Our season isn’t going as well as we would like it to go but I try to keep the kids to have a positive attitude and to remember that the saying “ It’s not whether you win or lose it’s how you play the game” comes from a Baseball Diamond. It’s all about having fun. At our last game I was reminded why I am here. We all have kids who this might be the first year of playing and are just learning the game. In my case I have a player who tries his best but had yet to make contact with a ball. Two games ago he did it twice then last game he hit the ball to drive in our tying run . When he came into the dugout I said to him “great job! Where did you learn to hit the ball like that?” He looked at me and said “from you”. That was it. It hit me like a ton of bricks. That’s why I’m here. That’s why all the coaches are here. I will never forget the feeling that ran through me when he said that. If you believe you have a good coach, let them know. We all hear the comments made during the games about how we could do things better. Believe it or not it can hurt. We try our best to do the best we can with your kids. Tell your coach “thank you” and have your kids do the same. Even if you don’t like your coach, he still was there and tried his best. Let them know that the time and dedication they give is appreciated.

That little guy who said that to me meant more to me than anything said to me in a long time.

Be positive with your kids. Remember what it felt like to be yelled at when you were that young. No one wanted to make that play or hit the ball more than they did. All I can say is “Thank you little buddy. I needed that.”

I can’t remember ever hearing a more powerful reason to coach kids. And this is also why we developed CoachDeck. We know there are millions of well-intentioned volunteer coaches everywhere who are trying their best, sacrificing time and money and often pride, to coach kids in sports they love. If we can help them do a better job and have some fun with their teams, then we feel as good as this coach when he heard his player’s simple two words that made all the difference.

Brian Gotta is a former professional recreational youth baseball coach and volunteer Little League coach and board member. He is President of Help Kids Play, a collection of companies whose mission is to further the development and enjoyment of youth sports.

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