Monday, February 2, 2009

Coaching, Teaching, Mentoring

No doubt I could find countless blogs about how to play this sport or that sport. And no doubt that I could hire someone to train me to become as good as i can in one of those sports. Personally my sport was baseball. Then one day when I was coaching a little league 13 year old team my perspective on coaching/teaching/mentoring changed.

One day during practice a 13 year old boy came up to me and told me what his father had said to him. His father told him that he threw like a girl and he would never be able to throw. The way the boy said this to me was not what you would expect. He said it so matter of fact, as if he actually believed his dad. Why wouldn't he, after all he was his father? So it was my mission to teach this 13 yo boy how to throw. I didn't want to teach him to be the best on thea team or to be the next Nolan Ryan. I wanted to teach him how to throw to prove the dad wrong. His father never came to the games by the way.

As the season went on the boy kept getting better and better. Then one day it happened. His dad actually came to a game. His son was playing right field when a sharp ball was hit in the gap all the way to the fence just under the 360 ft sign. His son picked up the ball and threw it on a line drive all the way to second base. No he didn't throw anyone out, or help us get out of the inning. But with that throw a relationship was restored, improved or whatever you want to call it. From that day on his dad didn't miss a game.

The kid learned from me only how to throw a baseball. I leanred from the kid that sports are a great avenue to reach someone deep in their soul. That day a boy began to walk with confidence, and a father was proud of his son and I walked away able to see the bigger picture.

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