Don't repeat those words around the Burbank Parochial League, http://www.bplbaseball.com. This league has one of the most competitive t-ball divisions I've seen. This, I believe, has been one of the biggest draw to this league besides being one of the few winter leagues around. For the most part parents and coaches are civil.
I have the pleasure of managing for a second year the St. Robert Bellarmine Mets. This is a great group of kids who have managed to go undefeated through the regular season. In t-ball you get some kids that are more interested in playing with the grass than paying attention to the game. That was not the case with my kids. Okay, maybe just a few but they kept it to a minimum. I want to credit this to a new approach I took with the kids. I also coach coach for my kids' school and since it's a catholic school, I'm required to take some training courses. Thank God I did because I ran across the University of Notre Dame's "Play Like A Champion" training. You can find more information at http://www.playlikeachampion.org.
I was able to implement what I learned and had a successful season with all the teams I coach from my win-less girls' basketball team to my undefeated t-ball team. How can someone say that their win-less team had a successful season? I also use to judge success based on records. This program kept me focused on what my job as a coach of young children really is and that if I do my job right I will develop champions.
Whether we were winning or not I was able to teach and keep the game fun for the kids. What my kids have learned is that sports is about competition. When people compete there's always one that is crowned but we can not forget about what that competition did for everyone. It brings out everyone's full potential. For that reason is why we always pray before a game and ask God to keep us focused so that we can give it our best and bring out the best in our competitor.
Competition can also bring out the worst in some people when not approached the right way. We get into this win at all cost attitude. I know sometimes my parents freak out when I do this but I try to mix up the players and their positions. I don't want to win and find out that I hurt someone's feelings because I didn't play them enough. I want to encourage the smaller kids to come back to the sport.
Well my t-ball team starts playoffs next weekend and if they lose in the first round I wouldn't care, okay just a little. I already know that my team is a success. Today the kids told me what they have learned and that is to have fun, be a good sport, try our best, pray that everyone is safe, and thank the parent who brought the snacks :).