By Ken Lewis
June 07, 2006
I have coached more than 400 ball games in my time in the boys'
divisions from Tee Ball to 4-A High School levels. I now am assisting
at the Girls' softball Tee Ball Level until they find me out.
This means I haven't a clue about self esteem, Doctor Spock's
baby rearing methods or making parents happy. And you bet-cha
I have run into an Umpire whose ego is just as big as mine, the
difference is, he always gets the last say. Coaches who never
stand up for their kids at the competitive level, should expect
their players to spout off, unless of course it does not matter.
Baseball is never supposed to flat line. I predict our girls
will kick our boys' back sides in ten years, especially if we
keep telling our boys to back off, and evil men like me teach
our girls the proper technique of sharpening their spikes. Do
not foil my master plan. And keep thinking that leaving all kids
in the middle is a solution to the no child left behind. Gosh
I hope we are not teaching our children how to read this way.
I am guilty of taking a young man's hamburger and throwing it
in the garbage, yes I am evil. Even with the starving children
in Somalia, I chose to waste that food rather than send it UPS
overseas. To me, it was time to focus on the game, not run a
day care of chaos. Whether the International LL rules say it
is OK to pound food during a game or not, food has always been
unacceptable to me when 1-2 hours of focus on the game itself
is what the game deserves. If leagues rely on volunteers to work,
good luck finding volunteers if organized baseball turns coaches
into recess ladies.
The day K-town wants to find its once respectful place back on
top of the Alaska baseball heap, is the day the grown ups get
on the same page to a positive solution. Nothing has changed;
it is always the adult that brings negativity to the greatest
game on earth. We stick a 6 year old in the developmental tube
at Tee-Ball and at the end of that tube may spit out a Varsity
Senior playing his/her last game. What the K-Town baseball family
does between those points enhances development or retards it.
The self esteem police implemented
a No-Keeping-Score policy to protect feelings many years ago.
I view this social experiment as a failure. For those who think
8 year old boys and girls do not have a natural human instinct
to win, I would suggest you throw six candy bars in a dugout
of 12 and then send that film to America's funniest videos. Competition
is fun. Lowering the bar to please a grown up who has never got
over being picked last for Dodge Ball, does not allow the mot
aggressive players to lead the middle pack to higher levels..
The results are in. Teaching a kid to get in front of a groundball
(potential bad hop) when being safe or out has no meaning, is
not teaching the basics of baseball. It is making the game meaning-less.
No one can show me (proof) that team numbers have grown, volunteer
numbers have grown, or the finished competitive product is better
since the NO-KEEPING SCORE experiment was implemented. Do not
blame X-Box and MTV; let's try making the game as (if not more)
exciting. The last of the keep score kids, were the best base
runners, had multi sliding techniques and lit that valley up
with excitement. That self esteem was self created, not policy
hindered. Let the kids accelerate their game, let the best lead
and I am sorry if someone s glasses got broke in the 4th grade,
you are an adult now, and should be gardening, not changing baseball
rules. Today's metal bats with its high tech composites have
produced five feet of additional flight per year for the last
ten years. The bats have got better; let s focus on the team
player development. Not get in awe of technology in the hands
of one individual.
Build them a training facility, provide them with competitive
coaches and quit whining, and this baseball machine will take
off like wild fire. The Sitka High School Wolves will give their
Little Brother Little Leaguers all the incentive necessary to
succeed to higher levels of fun. Their baseball family built
a training facility. In two years, the HS Sitka Boys took State
twice, and their fast pitch girls took their first state crown.
Success breeds success. Finger pointing guarantees middle of
the pack. Knock it off K-town.
Short story time: for the Self Esteem Police. A wonderful product
of K-town baseball is playing college baseball today, when he
was ten, his dad gave him a swat or two on the butt for crossing
a standards line on the field of play. Letters to the editor
about this incident went as far as predicting the worst for this
kid's competitive future. Can someone from the Telletubies Big
Hugs Club please explain this contradiction to me? Yes, I know
I am the problem and should never question the direction of the
Kudos to the Sitka Baseball community for being solution oriented,
they are getting their kids Baseball Scholarships and will continue
to do so, while we blame volunteers. Excuse me while I never
throw my kid 50 pitches, cuz I want to blame her coach down the
I am not sorry for what I just said. Nor, do I expect many who
buy into the mandated self esteem project, to get it. Play some
Buffy Saint Marie records and pretend she was one heck of a dodge
ball player. Big Hugs.
Ketchikan, AK - USA
About: Ken Lewis writes he
"put in some time on the game, and watched pushy people
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