Discussion in 'General Softball Discussions' started by Davemy, Mar 3, 2018.

  1. Davemy

    Davemy Active Member

    I talked to one today on the phone and I also seen a post on facebook from another that got me thinking...
    Why do they do it? Their not paid? As a matter of fact they lose money. They even put up with some crazy parents.
    I know they love the game and there in nothing better than seeing your players grow up before their eyes and become great adults! I just wanted to thank the Coaches that have been a part of this game for a long time and continue helping these girls reach whatever their dreams or goals are! They are paid by smiles from the girls I think!
  2. daboss

    daboss Well-Known Member

    I started out years ago helping a good friend coach a little league baseball team of bad news bears that included the son of a girl he was dating at the time. I was just a few years out of high school myself. I couldn't leave my friend to do this alone. My memories growing up and trying to play baseball didn't have any support from the home front. I had to work extra and fight for time to ride my bike 2.5 miles into town for every practice and game. Seldom was I asked who won. I didn't want others to have those same memories.

    My buddy and I both drove vans, so we's have to drive around the countryside and pick all the players up and take them all home afterwards. Many times it was after dark before we'd get them back to their families. Can you imagine sending your kid out to stand by the side of the road to wait till the "Coach" came in his flower power van?!?!?

    Years after, I got involved in fastpitch softball while seriously dating a woman with a little girl that eventually stole my breath and my heart. Like many good dads I started in the T-ball ranks as an assistant and quickly found out the more you raise your hand to volunteer the more chance you'll end up in charge. That ran its course thru Rec ball till at the age of 11 for Shelby, I found myself raising this bouncing baby girl by myself while her mother left us both to pursue a professional career in alcohol and drugs. I was left as legal guardian to care for this amazing kid. We got a chance to try travel ball with Tom and Roxanne Beers at Springfield Thunder at the 14u level. I couldn't ask for a better mentors but realized I needed validation for what I knew to teach and needed enriched training for what I didn't know. That's when my involvement with the NFCA and the coaching courses from NFCC was something I personally felt was needed to justify working with the girls at such an intense level.

    What I discovered was how appreciative the female coaches were that a man would take the commitment and time to help take these young athletes seriously and raise the bar in their sport. Basketball and volleyball had made its mark but fastpitch offered so much more for young ladies. I attended the courses in the off season on my own dime so I could feel confident I was teaching all the right things and give the girls a chance to carry this sport to all-time highs.

    My daughter's most fondest memories were her times doing travel ball and playing ball with her friends in school. She went on to college but I decided to continue carrying the torch, teaching and coaching the game to so many other young ladies that had that hungry look in their eyes. We needed more teams but pitching just wasn't available. I had a chance to travel to Chattanooga, Tenn. and study under Ernie Parker, arguably the finest pitching instructor in the world at the time. I learned so much about pitching and coaching I can't begin to explain how fulfilling the experience was. At the end of the intense classes, I took the test given and was certified a pitching instructor by the IFPA.

    I came home to cow poke Ohio and have been teaching girls how to pitch since that time. I gave up coaching summer ball so I could remain in business as a farmer and to have some time to myself. I jokingly tell others that after 19 years of coaching teenage girls almost year-round my mind was turning to mush and I needed some interaction with grown-ups to keep my sanity. There are those days when I doubt that!

    Why do I continue to coach and teach even though I don't have a child playing? Because I can still remember the fun and warming feeling I had as a kid spending time with my team while growing up. It was my only social outlet and the pedal to town on my bike seemed to take forever. Years later; I remember the fun I had spending all that quality time with my daughter, watching her grow, make friends, succeed, and enjoy the entire process of her career.

    She lost her battle with drugs at the age of 29, just 2 years after earning a Masters Degree. The demons from her mother and real father abandoning her were too great. She tried desperately to rekindle a relationship with them after college but was rewarded when both died from drug overdoses just 6 months apart. They recruited her to try their lifestyle instead of judging them.

    Her choice has left me empty. I deal with things by remembering the good. I see the twinkle in those young ladies eyes as they get excited about this game consuming them. I have felt that excitement as a player, a coach, and a parent. It's a feeling you don't forget.

    It truly is about the kids but I steal moments of comfort and joy when I see them finally execute a pitch or get that big hit--------------and watch them run to mom and dad with a hug and a smile. I've never charged a dime to anyone to help them with their game. The moments I just mentioned are enough. That's why I do it.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2018
  3. The love of the game and the ability to watch kids grow on and off the field keeps me going. From 8-19 I played baseball. Then I played competitive C/D slowpitch traveling around the Midwest. My oldest daughter was a ballfield brat and she started getting more and more competitive and I began coaching her. I quickly realized that it was way more fun for me personally to coach these kids and assist their development than it was playing myself. So I hung up the cleats and we began travel ball together. After her playing career was over my family told me I should keep going because they also enjoyed “having a team” to go cheer for on weekends. The rest is history and I have no plans in giving it up anytime soon. All the “small victories” when you see a kid conquer hurdles and a team grow together and that bond you get with the kids is quite rewarding. Sure it is a lot of time, money, effort but it’s like the old saying “do something you love and you’ll never work a day of your life”. I do like my regular job but I love my hobby, coaching softball and player development.
    Davemy likes this.
  4. Hilliarddad3

    Hilliarddad3 Active Member

  5. manitoudan

    manitoudan Active Member

    Thanks . Its a hard gig , impossible to please everyone .
  6. Pioneer01

    Pioneer01 Member

    Thanks.. Baseball is just to boring LOL, started with my DD and just continued afterwards. Fortunately my parents and players are the easiest and drama free group since the start. Won't change anything
  7. 27gmoney27

    27gmoney27 New Member

    daboss--your story broke my heart. You are a true inspiration. Thanks for what you do.
  8. AceGRC

    AceGRC Member

    What kept me and keeps me going are the players that really appreciated the time I coached them. I have coached for many years but the past 13 years coaching girls fastpitch has been the most enjoyable. Yes there are bad parents and grandparents along the way but the smiles from the players makes up for them. I have paid more than parents do each year to cover the unexpected needs and cost as well. I do 12 months a year now, I wouldnt trade it for anything else....I gave up golf and dart leagues to help other players improve and learn the sport.
    Travel and School ball in my blood - and the players and family atmosphere is the payment for coaching it's more valuable than money. I'm Paying back for all the years I played and now trying to be better than my coaches were with me.
    Lov for this sport....Yep yep

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