I know how hard it is to coach little league sports because I’ve been doing for two decades now. It is a difficult and mostly thankless job but it is rewarding because when you do it the right way you know that you’re making a difference in the lives of young people, not just in athletics but also in their character.
Let me clarify – there’s a good way and a bad way to coach and I’ve seen a lot of both but the bad ones stick out in my mind mostly because it is the bad ones that leave a lasting impression on young minds.
Rhode Island Little League coach Dave Belisle provides us with a stellar example of how good coaches, good mentors, good ambassadors for their sport should behave in moments of adversity and defeat: You keep on leading and you keep on encouraging because it is in those moments when emotions are raw when we are provided with our greatest teaching opportunities.
We can blame our opponent, we can blame the refs we can even blame teammates and coaches. But Belisle taught a greater lesson to his players – you fought hard, you made everyone proud so let’s celebrate what we achieved.
I can learn a lot from this example of humility.