Baseball

Best praise ever

Best praise ever

“Good job, coach!”.  “Great win,sir!”.  “What a comeback coach.”  “I don’t know how you do it but keep on doing it.”  These are some of the best praises I have received over the years of coaching youth baseball.  Of course, when you win and everything is going well, one gets a lot of these.  When you lose a game or two, you receive the harshest of comments….but that is another story.

You live for the good stuff.  Of course my coaching colleagues and I work doubly hard to do well.  Admittedly, these are the kind of compliments you are aiming for…. until just recently.

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Rest well my friend

Rest well my friend

A very good friend of mine just passed away.

He was much older than me.  In fact his youngest sibling,who was about 13 years his junior was my classmate.

Our sons played the same sport and played in the same teams.  Aside from that, we found so many things that were common to us that we hit it off quickly.   In fact, he would frequent our home and we would find ourselves just talking for hours on end over food and drinks, talking and laughing.   Our relationship deepened as we got to the point of being able to talk openly about our concerns as husbands to our wives and fathers to our children.   We would share our hopes and aspirations and at the same time try to lift each other up as we also openly spoke of our frustrations, shortcomings and challenges.

He passed just two days ago.

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A Father’s Confession

A Father’s Confession

When I watch you playing I really want to play with you.  I remember when I was your age, it may not have been baseball as  I was playing basketball then, I would enjoy just going out there and playing as hard as I can.  When I watch you play, I wish I could be right there on the field with you,  waiting for the ball with you and completing a play with you.    I would back you up when a line drive goes  directly to you and would cover your base when a ball pulls you off it.

We would be building great memories together if that were possible.   But of course I can’t.  I just get to watch you play and hope that you are enjoying as much playing as I am watching you.

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Shout at the boys!

Shout at the boys!

discipline hardwork inspirational

Baseball training grassroots!

The other day, a father of a boy playing in our 12 and under team from a school whose baseball program we handle came up to me and said, “Coach, you know the boys really lack discipline. They drop the ball even when they just need to shuffle it around. They are tense.  They need to be noisy, talk to each other on the field.  I give you the license to shout at them  some more.  The coaches seem to be shy and embarrassed to do so”.

 

I have heard this comment and suggestion time and again from well-meaning parents.  A lot of them define good coaching by being loud.  That discipline is achieved when coaches continuously shout at hapless boys, giving out instructions in detail short of him playing as well.

 

Stepping back however, I have observed, that the teams that are truly cohesive, those that play like well oiled machines, those that play with discipline are led by coaches who see no need to “shout” at them during games.    All the shouting has been done during practice.

 

You see, I think the first thing a coach, the leader must make sure of, is that his team understands the goal of the group and embrace the path everyone has chosen.    Once this is set, all actions by the coach, including the “shouting” must bring the group towards that goal.

 

But, the “shouting’ is one of a few visible, or should I say audible features of good coaching.  Everything else, not everybody can see. The relationships that are formed within the group, the respect that is built amongst the individuals, the common objectives the players share.  Objectives that people outside the group may never understand.

 

This forms the platform of building a team.  The “shouting” then becomes productive and integral to the team’s and individual’s growth and development, even if they are only 12 years old.

 

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Pacquiao Rios-  What they really want to say!

Pacquiao Rios- What they really want to say!

 

Pacquiao Rios

Just got home from the fight.  I did not attempt to even write any post fight articles. Was too tired and clearly so many write ups have already been posted.  The story took the headlines of most if not all relevant media portals and broadsheets. 

The story is clear , it is what it is.  Pacquiao put on a dazzling show to beat Brandon Rios.

As I read through a lot of articles I would just like to share my thoughts on something.  Given my little knowledge in boxing, allow me to decipher  what I think these fighters want to really say when they say what they say.

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Focusing on the moment

Focusing on the moment

 

Swing right and the Homerun will come

Swing right and the Homerun will come

Success a lot say is a result of huge dreams.  Oftentimes though, we fail to understand that the true measure of  success is not what  have been acheived, but lies in the journey to achieve them.

If  we study the lives of really sucessful individuals, though their goals are clear to them, their focus always lie on the steps made.  The process that they had  to go through. The moments they had to string up to enable them to move toward that goal. 

Nothing is truly crystal clear to anybody.  Even if they think their goal is as clear as a position they want to have, a house they want to buy, an award they want to get, the way to achieve these goals is never ever quite as visible.    Those who are truly succcessful have worked their way through these obstacles by staying, focusing and working through each moment.

The irony as most successful people share is that keeping focus on the goal often prevents them from making the most of their moments…instances that are integral to getting to their goal.   Some even say that their initial failures were caused by how they wanted people to see them  as rather than just simply being themselves.

Take the case of athletes.  Almost all the great athletes started learning their sport of choice at a very early age.  Tiger of golf, Arod or baseball, Lebron of basketball and Mayweather of boxing.  All these individuals had to go through hours and hours of skills training broken down per section, per muscle, per movement.  Everyone had to go through the basics with their coaches telling them to focus on one movement at a time.  To isolate and train that muscle to do exactly what it needs to do.

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Is it Mayweather’s time?

Is it Mayweather’s time?

Just a thought. It would be so apt if it would be Saul Alvarez who would stop the winning streak of the self-proclaimed best boxer in the world.

Personally, it would be cool for Mayweather to keep his record unblemished. But, it seems cooler if, this young Mexican nicknamed El Canelo would be the one to deal Money his first loss.

Oddsmakers are not quite sure about Mayweather’s advantage over Alvarez. Nearing the fight, odds are at 2-1. Nowhere near the 5-1 odds given in favor of Mayweather in his last 3 fights. It seems that Saul provides a string of variables and characteristics that may just do the job.

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How to hit curve balls

How to hit curve balls

Baseball teaches one

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a lot about life. Many times the metaphor of a curve ball refers to the unexpected twists and turns that life offers.

Preparing for it starts with accepting that it will be thrown. Just like a batter standing inside the box, he knows that a curve ball will come.

But just like any good player, there is always a coach behind him who should prepare him for the inevitable.

I have learned that the best coach one can have is one that will give you everything you need to know, unconditionally and without any expectation.

I am glad that God is my coach.

Patience is important

Knowing it will come

Winning is Everything

Winning is Everything

Winning is everything

The objective of playing is to play

TEAMWORK

TEAMWORK

Philippine Habagat Getting Stronger

When the team works, real Teamwork is achieved

 

At the end of a long and gruelling 4 hour practice session with some 11-14 year old boys, I found myself closing the day with a talk about teamwork. It wasnt a planned topic but I had to talk about it because the team only had 5 months to go before their Asia Pacific Regional Baseball Tournament and we were struggling with implementing some of our plays and plans.

Everyone involved with the team know how high the standard of play will be come tournament time. We know the teams from Japan, Taiwan,Korea and China are killing themselves in practice as we are, maybe even more.We do not expect anything less than the best players coming from those countries. More