My mini Mike Matheny Manifesto for Smaller kids (and their Parents)

Inspired by the Mike Matheny manifesto I sent my parents a mini one after a few bitter losses (66-8 in three games).  It’s a smaller version, not as intense, we are a 8-10 midget team, not an inspiring little league traveling team or anything.

Did it work?  We have played two games since and won one, and actually the team threw a no hitter in that one.  The parents have been AWESOME, and were on the verge of being a mutiny before.  Also, the kids run in from the outfield now like I am holding the keys to the Willie Wonka factory.

I share this with the world because…if I can help one coach or one parent or one kid, I have done my job!  Feel free to copy and paste or tweak as if your own if you are in need of one of these.  Works for any sport.  With any kids.

Image

Pictured: My dad, two of my nephews, and my two kids. Grandpa passed down his lack of ball skills to me and then these youth. But he also passed down the traits to try hard and have fun. I say, that’s a win every time!

Here it is…

Team,

 A little info on the team…from me the assistant to the assistant coach… (am I not even worthy of that title!- I am no baseball genius.)

Only 18 days left and baseball is over. 

 We have a great bunch of kids.  They never get down on each other, are supportive of each other, and are having fun.  They try really hard.   My favorite moment of the year so far is when Nick got a double (ok, a 2 base error some would say) when we were down 16-0 last game.  Those kids cheered like it was a walk off homer for Nick.  Cool stuff. 

They have fun and are learning more every chance we get to teach them.  Why are we losing games?  It’s not because they don’t care or try hard.  They put a ton of pressure on themselves to succeed.   We had 4 players get emotional in the dugout just last game.  Sometimes bad things happen to good kids. “It’s not how many times you get knocked down; it’s how many times you get back up.”

 Hopefully they win the rest of their games, we are trying to win, but we can’t always control that.  Some teams are older, some have played in quite a few tourneys– but heck we will  try hard and have fun to beat em.  Trying hard and having fun are two things we can control.  No doubt these players will do just that.  Hopefully the teams we play will say, “those kids and those parents were having so much fun, I wonder what is wrong with them!”   😉

 You all know baseball is a mentally tough sport.  A lot going on.  These players got so many thoughts in their heads.  As for me, I try to keep them to a few thoughts and make sure I see em smile- I often have to remind them of that. 

 During practice and when they are on the bench we try to give them instructions on the game of baseball, Coach Chad and Coach Jim are really good at that. 

 Of course we only have 3 practices left and just a few games left; these 8, 9, and 10 year olds will make a bunch of mistakes.  That I guarantee.   And I know, I wil make some mistakes as a coach too.  Not that we want to, but we will.

 I have observed Coach Chad and Coach Jim do a fantastic job of teaching them baseball, these dudes are smart guys, but it’s hard to teach them all the nuances of the game in a few short weeks together, those 90 minute practices go so quick!

 Hopefully these last few weeks will continue to be a fun and learning experience for the kids and the players and you the parents. 

 I’ve enjoyed spending a little time with each of them, you all should be proud of the little dudes you are raising.

 Go K-town White!  Go Team!  Thanks for every thing you do as parents, hope to see you Sunday night at practice!

– Joel Fleischman.  Joel is the president & solution provider for Drexel Building Supply.  (drexelteam.com).   You can follow him on twitter:  @JoelmFleischman.  He has provided solutions for builders and their clients since 1996 and a whole bunch of other stuff that you probably don’t care about.

 

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