Thanks Coach!

A recent posting here has prompted me to suggest this:

A simple word of thanks, or a compliment to a coach can mean more to a coach than you can imagine. And on that note, if you know a coach that has helped you … or one that is currently helping you, please don’t hesitate to pass on a compliment or two of gratitude. You see, in the coaching world, trophies and championship rings are nice … but their cold and without sincerity. BUT, a simple compliment…. a word of thanks, will live on forever with a coach. He or she will prize that simple gesture above all the awards and rings that simply collect dust. And a compliment and thanks … is from the heart …and that’s a trophy that ANY coach will put on the top shelf ahead of all the rest.

True coaching is about humanity and the spirt that comes from passing on what one knows. It can be thankless at times … but coaches can ride with that … knowing their doing what they were born to do. And when a “thanks coach” comes accross the radar … we all stop and catch our breath for just a split second. I’ve relived all of those split seconds over and over again … there weren’t many… just enough.

Coach B.

I came from an area that had no organized baseball except high school until I was about eight years old. That’s the year my dad and one of his friends from the steel mill decided to start a “Little League”. He got the local social clubs like Elks, American Legion, Sons Of Italy, Rotary, etc. to sponsor teams. One of his friends had made the major leagues and he helped raise funds for the fields. Dad was my first coach. I started out as his batboy and then his shortstop and pitched a little. We had the Pony League and the Colt League as well as High School. I can’t ever look at a baseball and not think of my dad spending the day at the mill and the evening at the baseball field every summer. He passed onto me the love and respect of the game and I passed it onto my son.

I coached my son for nine years and dad came to watch him pitch every chance he got. Tonight my son looked at me and said, “Dad when I’m done pitching I’m going to coach baseball.”

At my dad’s funeral Mr. Major League came by and related that his son (also a major leaguer- its in the genes) was sorry to hear of his passing and wanted to pass along how much he respected him and liked playing for him.

I had alot of coaches along the way but my dad was the one that taught me life lessons through game situations. Lessons of forgiveness, how to fail and go on, how to be humble in your success, how to focus on a goal and achieve it, how never to give up, how to prepare, adjust, bend but not break…a thousand life lessons that served me well along the way. All coaches have the opportunity to teach these lessons and the best are remembered not for their wins. I suspect Coach B. was one of those coaches that realized the pinnacle of coaching was not winning but passing on the real life lessons of the game.

On behalf of those who didn’t say thanks but meant to…“Thanks Coach B., Thanks!”

I think if a person sat and pondered the word…“coach” and what it really means…in it’s basic form…it is so humbling…I consider it one of the ultimates of life compliments…ya know…Jesus was a coach…he did it for us…we do it for them…it’s a calling and many times thankless. I think internally a “coach” knows where his thanks really lies…may not be heaped in it on this earth…but when you see a kid…“get it”…or a plan reach fruition…oh yah you see heaven…just for a second
I think you know what I mean…Coach.

Great posts, all of you.
I was just thinking about my pitching coach and how lucky I was to find him…Ed Lopat, who was one of the Yankees’ Big Three pitching rotation and a guy who was willing and ready to share his knowledge and expertise with anyone who was interested, who wanted to know and who was willing to work at it…and I was remembering the first time I met him, on September 17, 1951 when after the game I just wanted to know if I could ask him something. His words—“Go ahead, I’m listening”—
relaxed me immediately, and when I said I just wanted to ask him something about the slider he drew me aside and gave me expert instruction in how to throw the pitch. And over the next three-and-a-half years he worked with me—I was just someone who wanted to be a more effective pitcher—and what I learned from him was nothing short of priceless. I still remember all the things we talked about and all the stuff he showed me, and wherever he is now I’m sure he’s still watching me. To him I say “Thanks, coach.” 8) :slight_smile: :baseballpitcher: