Updated: Jun 14, 2019
I love baseball. I decided as a junior in college that I wanted a career coaching college baseball.
A love for the game is why I got started. But now why I've stayed. Helping people is why I continue doing what I do.
My wife doesn't always appreciate my late night text messaging. And I get it. But in the late hours of the evening is when I get messages from 4-year college coaches wanting to chat about guys I am trying to help move on to a school where they can pursue their dreams and their bachelor's degree. It is, also, often the time when I get messages from recruits, the next generation of players I get to help achieve their dreams. More often than not, it is messages from my fellow coaches about how to help our current players improve. And I get messages from players, both former and current, that make my job totally worth it.
Last night, the message I got from a current player was one that reminded me how important my work is, and confirmed that I am making the impact that I strive every day to make. It is, quite possibly, the best message I have ever received from a current player.
"Thank you for all the support you give me, coach. I do not deserve it (that's a lie, he totally deserves it) but you continuously have my back and make me a better player and person through it all. I haven't had many people stay with me and trust me throughout my life, so it truly means a lot to me to have you there for me, giving me the guidance that I need."
It's words like those that make what I do worth it. Baseball is secondary.
Impacting the lives of young people is why I do what I do.
While I cherish these words, I don't need them to verify my value. I legitimately do not want any credit. I want to help boys become men. As a college baseball coach, I am in the man making business, as Pat Bailey, the interim Head Coach at Oregon State (who most generously took the time to spend 30 minutes on the phone several months ago) would say. If I can help one boy become a man, my mission is accomplished.
My success or failure won't be measured by wins and losses, but by where the young men I have had the privilege of coaching end up 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years from now.
Baseball is the avenue I have chosen to help young men improve their lives and shape their futures.
Baseball is secondary.
I hope to prepare my guys to be better ballplayers, yes, but, more importantly, I hope I can arm them with the tools to be better men: better husbands, better fathers, and contributing members of society.
Baseball is secondary, or tertiary, or quaternary, or whatever else in the sequence. Life is primary. My job is to prepare young men for life. And I will always strive to do so to the best of my ability.