My husband coaches Jack's little league baseball team. The team has grown from 10 players to 15. Parents want their kids to be on this team. It is a fun team. John is a great coach that cares about the kids more than he cares about winning. He wants to see the kids try their best, respect their teammates, be safe, and have fun doing it. He says "Winning isn't everything, but trying to win is."
The kids won their first game. It was a definite confidence builder for the team and the coaches. Jack made a great play at second, catching a fly ball to rob a player of a hit. As the ball was heading toward him in the air, I had a Charlie Brown moment, picturing him dropping the ball and feeling like crud the rest of the game and night. But he didn't drop it. He caught it and got a big round of applause from the stands and his team.
After the game, I congratulated him on his catch.
"Yeah," he said. "My eyes were closed so I wasn't sure if I caught it."
I should tell John to remind the kids to keep their eyes open during the game.
So now that they've won a game, after a few seasons of playing together with most of the same players and winning only by forfeit, we'll see what they do with it. If John starts making the weak hitters in the line-up step into the pitches ala Mr. Buttermaker, we'll know he's lost sight of his motto.