teamwork

Thankful for my Pacquiao ringside seats

 

It just suddenly hit me this morning!  I have been able to cover 9 of Manny Pacquiao’s fights sitting at ringside…live!  I have called maybe over 15 of his fights some of which I have done off-tube (meaning I was watching the TV feed and was speaking into a mic as the voice over) and some I have done for radio…but man I have been ringside 9 times.

Manny Pacquiao fights are always exciting specially upclose

Manny Pacquiao fights are always exciting specially upclose

 

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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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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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Abby Marano-Beast Mode

Abby Marano-Beast Mode

I have had the opportunity to meet the DLSU Lady Spiker’s  Captain, Abby Marano.

She has led her team to numerous UAAP   titles and has emerged to be one of the most dominant and recognized volleyball players in the country to date.   Although her team fell short of  defending their title in season 76,  Abby remained poised and composed at the moment of defeat, a mark of a mature athlete and leader.

That was her last remaining year to play for her school and now she sets her sights to bigger things.

Abby’s tenacity  reflects the kind of determined attitude the “Captain” possesses.  She shared with me her career goals, her future plans for her family and her own personal objectives for herself.   Admittedly they are lofty goals but knowing what I know now of her,  it seems that she has a good chance of attaining them.

She spoke of each one much like she would plan for a volleball game.  There is a sense of focus that one seldom finds from a 21 year old nowadays.   It was as if she exactly knew where to go, what to do, whom to speak with and how to prepare for the future.  Much like her knowing how to defend with a dig pass,  acknowledge where her setter is and prepare for the patented “Beast  Mode” attack of Abby.

We also spoke of her humble beginnings when as a young child she would  hide from her parents to play volleyball.  Her mom Belen shared that she was against her playing as she did not see then any future in the sport.  She kept on reminding Abby to keep on studying with the intent to get to a good school.  Little did they know that it would be volleyball which would fulfill that dream.

No one would also even think years ago that the game would continue to be her stepping stone to better things to come as she leaves college life and enter the workforce.  Abby was the second pick  in the 1st round draft of the newest semi-pro league of the country the Philippine Super Liga.

Together with her good friends and nemesis on the court, Din-Din Santiago and Iari Yongco,  Abby Marano represents the springboard that can bring volleyball to a different level in the next couple of years.

Abby now embarks on a new season of her playing years.  Her teammates,  players on the other teams and her fans have high expectations of her and they all know she has it in her to play her role right.  For Abby there is no other way to success.  A way that has brought her to where she is in her career and her life.   Watch out for her as she turns on the “Beast Mode” when she takes the court when the season begins.

 

 

 

 

 

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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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