Friday, June 08, 2007

Da Count-The Right Stuff

I have mentioned how Isaac's Little League team is the Charlie Brown team. We have 3 games left before the end of the season and it has been a loooooong season. Until this week we were winless. We've suffered losses with scores of 22-6 and 24-8. It's been dismal. This past week things began to change. We played a game on Saturday which caused the opposing team to exhaust 3 pitchers on us and the only way they won was by bringing in their 6 ft 12 year old (Do his parents put Miracle Gro on his corn flakes or what???) in the last inning. In the middle of the week we finally put everything together and earned a sound win (15-7) against one of the teams that had humiliated us with one of those scores up above. Our guys really played like a team and everyone did his part. You could tell they learned a lot over the course of the season. Going into the last inning you'd have thought it was the 7th game of the World Series. The kids were hopping, the head coach was wringing his hat, and the parents in the stands were on the edges of their seats. The wild applause when the last out was made was fairly thunderous.

If we don't win another game we at least weren't shut out for the season. Isaac tells me the kids on his team take a lot of trash talk in school about how bad they are. Truthfully, I even heard it on the field during the game when the opposing coach berated his boys for not being able to 'take this team of losers.' Every game I have listened to one of the fathers on our team criticize the way our coaches are doing their job.

This week I want to count, not so much the win as our coaches. They are 3 guys (Mr. Lime among them) who are positive with the kids. They motivate by encouraging what the kids do right and by instructing the kids how to improve in the skills they lack. They have stated they want the boys to have a fun season and gain skills. They have no interest in being cutthroat to gain a win although they will certainly strategize how to best use their players. They do play every kid in every game. They told the boys at the beginning of the season that good games when everyone plays to the best of their ability will earn them baseball cards at the end of the game. Even though we've only had that single win there have been several baseball card nights. When Isaac hit a home run out of the park, the coach brought him a case for the ball at the next game. As an aside, I learned from the father of the kid who pitched the ball for the home run that his boy was crushed to give up that run. The father asked if the hitter was the type of kid who was going to 'bust his chops' about it. The boy said Isaac was a friend who wouldn't do that and I was very pleased to learn that the next day in school Isaac told the boy he had pitched a good game and he couldn't have hit a home run if it wasn't a good pitch.

This week I'm counting the coaches and boys who promote and display excellence regardless of the outcome. I'm counting the class acts with the right stuff.

23 comments:

steve said...

Yep Lime that is what it should be ALL about!! Have a wonderful weekend:-}

MyUtopia said...

Have a great weekend!

Blither said...

Right On, Ms Lime! Have a good weekend! Smiles to you!

lecram sinun said...

Have to say I got a "Rocky type lump in the throat" moment reading this post. Good on all of ya! Yes, it is the process that is important. You must have been so proud of your son for complimenting his friend on pitching a good game. Oh... another "verklempt" moment coming up.

Great count, Lime. Cheers!

jillie said...

You know if they would focus on the good points of the game instead of all the negative...more teams would be inspirational to others. Sounds like your son's team is a WINNER! You don't have to win every game to be a winning team.

This also reminded me of my older sisters softball team YEARS ago. They lost every game of the season and when it came to the last one he said he would streak around the bases if they won. Sure enough...they won! And yes, he did keep him promise...lol!!!

Now I don't expect your son's team to do anything crazy like that. Not at least until they get into college...lol!

Have a great wknd...can you tell I had WAY TOO much coffee???

Charles said...

Excellent values you're all teaching these kids. They will be wonderful adults, with lots of friends. Thank you all for being what you are for them.

Top cat said...

You sound like a proud baseball mama.:)
It's nice to hear about positive reinforcement in Sports for young people today instead of all the horror stories we read about.
BAM!
That ball is lonnnnnnnnnnng gone!

snowelf said...

I have been to games where the parents make ridiculous fools of themselves by screaming at and embarrassing their own children. I always want to just go over and hug those kids. Kids have to be able to accept criticism, but regardless, they should ALWAYS hear more positives than negatives.

Have a great weekend Lime!

--snow

SignGurl said...

I'm so impressed to hear that these coaches are teaching the boys what the game's really about. It seems in this day and age, people don't want to play unless they can be the best. That is so very sad.

I have to comment on the HNT below. The photo of you and the babes is beautiful. What a perfect moment in time for you and your family to remember.

~Tim said...

These guys deserve high praise. (I wouldn't even tell them that I don't really care for baseball....)

barman said...

That is so wonderful, not only because they won. But also because of the way they are treating things with the kids. And I must say, the parents and their kids because of the parents are the worst.

We went to a Catholic School basketball playoff for girls about 10 to 12 years old. They had said that there would be no improper behavior but here they had signs on the wall that were being pretty harsh on the other team and they were certainly not ladies on the court not where a few of the parents. It was worse than I make it sound. That just is wrong. Let the kids play, praise them when they do good, be with them when they do not.

The Zombieslayer said...

They are 3 guys (Mr. Lime among them) who are positive with the kids. They motivate by encouraging what the kids do right and by instructing the kids how to improve in the skills they lack. They have stated they want the boys to have a fun season and gain skills. They have no interest in being cutthroat to gain a win although they will certainly strategize how to best use their players. They do play every kid in every game.

Hey, sound like good coaches to me. I don't think coaches should be too serious until high school. Until then, let the kids enjoy the game. I'd rather see everyone involved.

Cosima said...

That's what sport should really be about. Improving everyone's skill and having a good time. One of my sport teachers in school had the same philosophy, and I still remember the fun we had.

G-Man said...

Lime..
Of all the wild and great and sad and delicious posts that you have blessed us with, THIS is my favorite post from you!!
My eyes are actually clouding up a bit...
Everyone on your team should have all gone over to that 'Big-Mouth' coach and thanked him for his"class".....
( as you handed him his ass )

There are many many things in this world to be grateful for....
Small victories are one of them!
Thats why I love to Lime!
Galen..xoxox

MONA said...

Nice to have your boy trained thus. We do not have baseball in India. :(

My son is getting coached for football matches these days. Sports teach them so many values, like tolerance, sportsmanship & teamwork. A very nice post Lime.

Paul Champagne said...

The great thing about baseball is that you play so many games, it is hard to go undefeated or winless. For these kids, that one win had all the joy of a championship win. Congrats to Charlie, Linus, Lucy, Peppermint Patty and all the rest.

RennyBA said...

I think it is so cute and just you when you refer to Isaac's Little League as We. It's great to read about a mom supporting children this way - keep up the good work!
Wishing you all a lovely weekend:-)

Breazy said...

Awwww..I bet it will be the kids on your sons team that will still be playing in three or four years because they won't be burned out because their parents made them play. I don't care for the coaches that are all win, win, win. I want my son to develop his skills right now and go out there ,play his best. I want him to walk off the field knowing that whether it is a win or a loss that he played his best.

Our kids have had a rough season this year as well. We have won about as many as we have lost and never once have our kids dropped their heads because of a loss because their coach won't let them, he tells them "hey guys, you win some you lose some and that is just the way it goes".

I love this Da Count and I agree 100%!

Gawpo said...

This is how boys are supposed to learn how to become men. Well, that and seeing their parents making out now and then. I am very impressed with the coaches, Lime. What an awesome thing to say to a pitcher. My god, woman---that makes me just choke up. That should be in a movie. On second thought---it should have happened in real life. And it DID. Pat the kid on the back for Gawpo. I will be sending along a box of hand-rolled Nicaraguans, too. One for each kid on the team! Hear, here!

p.s. The cigars, Lime. Not the people. I so know you.

Dorky Dad said...

Sometimes, a team can really turn around a bad season if they stick together and work hard ... they clearly work harder than other teams. That's great.

Moosekahl said...

These boys will grow up to be true competitors not just a group of jocks. There are personality traits ingrained during these times...glad, they have a set of fine parents and coaches leading them through. I never had that growing up...my coaches in all sports in my small town were focused on two things; your last name and winning. I had the wrong last name so I never really had a role in winning.

Ever watched The Benchwarmers? I laughed until I nearly peed my pants but there is a serious lesson to be learned in this movie. Maybe an end of the year party idea?

cathy said...

I love watching kids play sports.
Our school is having a sports day and dance festival tomorrow so I am really looking forward to that.

Lacquer, Semi-Gloss Lacquer said...

...so like, a long time ago, in a NewJersey far, far away, (it was the late sixties,) in a tiny town, I played little league baseball.

and I sucked.

the coolest part of the whole thing? Pedalling my arse far out into the outskirts of town to practice... but practiced sucked and I never really learned to play worth a fiddlers dam, er... fiddle.

Then the games would happen (you know real games in front of parents and stuff,) and I usually got nailed in the schnozz with a grounder pop-up, and would bleed all over the place...

But the worst of it?
Aunt Dotsie..

Now, honestly Aunt Dotsie is one of the sweetest people on the planet, and would give you the shirt off of her back, (which would not be a small shirt, mind-you,) but she was total hella when it came to team sports, and could be found frequently glued to the fence next to the dug-out like a demon posessed rather large garfield doll screaming '...kill him, KILL HIM...' to any of her nephews or her son playing baseball, football, checkers... you name it...
(My cousin Danny, (the only fam. I have out here in Fresberg,) and I, when watching his son play ball, every once in a while wind up into this high-pitched demon-troll voice and say 'kill-him,' and giggle ourselves silly...
Folks think we're weird.

Aunt Dotsie is in Colorado.

Me?
Sports?
Thanks to Aunt Dotsie I became one heck of an artist and singer... (well, I played soccer and rowed crew, but she was no where to be found... godblessher...)