I Never Thought It Would End THIS Way

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For anyone who has ever coached youth sports of any kind, from pee-wee to middle school, and even high school sports in some cases………I have a deep question that has been floating in my mind in recent days. Just give me minute to circle around to it.

My youngest daughter wrapped up her high school soccer career tonight.  The days leading up to it flooded me with memories of all her games past, both far and near.  Thoughts of different leagues, cities, coaches, teammates, hotel rooms, victory, defeat.  Reflections of how she changed over the years as a player, a competitor, and a person.  Wondering how and why things have played out exactly as they have.  Thinking about influences both good and bad that could have or would have made things better or worse if they’d been different.

And I started thinking about the kids that I have coached as my kids have grown up, from youth soccer to travel soccer, Upward basketball to middle school basketball.  And I just can’t help wondering……

If all coaches could see into the future, to that very day when a kid puts away the cleats or the hi-tops for the last time and walks away from a game………would they choose to coach individual kids differently than they presently do?

Every kid walks away from their chosen sport someday…….then what?

Effective youth coaching is psychiatry and it is parenting.  Each player is unique, and they have specific needs that team sports can bring them.

Many coaches fail to fill those needs because they falsely assume they are training the next state champs.  They fail to see each child beyond that day when the sports equipment goes in the yard sale or the closet.

Shouldn’t the journey of sports teach these things and more to prepare kids for life beyond sports?

  1.  Standard of excellence
  2.  Work ethic
  3.  To believe in themselves
  4.  To trust others
  5.  The value of encouragement
  6.  To know they aren’t the center of the universe
  7.  To know that success does not come overnight (or in one practice)
  8.  To lose with dignity
  9.  To accept temporary failures without blaming others, and to realize these failures aren’t permanent
  10.  To be pushed to their physical limit, time and time again
  11.  To love and to be loved
  12.  To sacrifice for others
  13.  To respect authority and rules
  14.  Teamwork/unselfishness
  15.  To never give up

These things still matter when the cheering stops.

Maddies last stand

The cheering stopped for Maddie tonight.  Her team lost in the regional semi-finals.  In a game where she and her teammates truly “left it on the field”, the score was tied at the end of 80 minutes of regulation.  Two 5-minute overtimes later, the score was still tied.  Penalty kicks would now decide the match.

Maddie stood over the ball, ready to attempt her shot with her team facing a nearly hopeless 3-1 deficit.

If she missed this shot, the game was over.  The season was over.

Sitting on my knees beside my wife, I simply mumbled, “Maddie needs to be to one to take this shot.”

Not because it could be the game winner………because it would be the shot that would seal the loss if she missed.

I don’t know what kind of reaction or look Kristy gave me, but I went on to say, “Maddie needs to be the one to take this shot, because I know she can handle missing the shot to end the game.  She can handle it.  That’s my daughter!”

And my voice cracked at the enormity of what I was saying in a trailing voice……..”that is OUR daughter”.

She missed.  Game over.  Season over.  High school career over for her and her senior teammates.

Maddie played her heart out.  And I was so proud of her.  But when those words came out of my mouth, “that’s our daughter” it hit me so clearly.  I was not proud of her effort or her performance.

I was proud of who she has become.

She met her mother and me after the game with head held high.  That’s our daughter.

Do your best.  Have fun.  Train and play to win.  In the end it’s just a game.  The end came tonight.  I’m thankful for all those who have prepared her in the right ways to go beyond this “end”.

If you’re coaching your 1st game or your 1000th, take an occasional peek toward the end.  Winning is a by-product of doing all things the right way.  Some lessons can’t be cast aside for the sake of early wins or just because you ARE winning games.

And while your players are dreaming of making that dramatic game-winning shot, you better spend some time preparing their toughness and character……for missing it.

219 thoughts on “I Never Thought It Would End THIS Way

  1. Great read. Spot on! I currently coach a 10u baseball team and I’m currently in the process of trying to get a couple other coaches on the team to realize that true coaching is teaching. If you are not teaching along the way then you are only driving the bus. There are many coaches that are “bus drivers” and are successful because they just cut dead weight and recruit the next best players till they have a team full of superior athletes that only need directing in order to succeed. A real coach builds up the kids who couldn’t make the select team to compete against those select teams that wouldn’t have them. We started our team with Rec level players and two kids (mine and my head coaches) who couldn’t earn a spot on the popular select team in town. They have been and are currently by a good shot the better players on our team and Within a year we took that group of boys in which the best two couldn’t get in a select team and we were competing and sometimes beating those same organizations all the way to a second place finish in a local World Series tourney in which we beat the State Champions twice to get to the final. Coach a kid up to play above his natural talent. Teach a kid to believe in himself and you will find a little bit of fight inside of them that doesn’t exist in normal circumstances. SHOW them how to be confident and to get through struggles. It’s so much more then “elbow up, elbow down”, “turn your for this way or that way” or “get in front of the ball” teaching them HOW to do those things is what makes a great coach. Many coaches today don’t understand that. Thank you for putting this out there. Hopefully many will read and many will learn.

    • Great points. When the whole country is full of coaches simply looking to “recruit the best players and win now”, I fear that too many kids are missing out on what they truly need from sports…..those things that you described so well.

    • Good job to you and your coaches. My youngest son is blessed to have a coach… well several coaches like you are describing. He has learned alot that he can carry with him on and off the field. My rec ball days taught me many things that I have carried with me over the years and I try to teach the same things to the kids I coach. And you never know what struggles kids these days face at home… so a little love goes a long way! In order to build up a kid you have praise what they did right and not focus only on what they did wrong. Good job coach!

    • Sounds like someone life lessons in our family, Dad volunteer coaches all year round and lots of times two and three teams just so any one who wants to play can even if they are not top players. His children would always remain on the B team because that’s who he like to coach, the beginners, the younger ones who are just learning the basics. May get loud but it’s always for the benifit of the child. He makes sure when each child comes off the field to explain to what they can improve on or have done differently. Sure it’s nice to win but it’s even nicer to see young athletes blossom and grow into young adults who see what you do and it encourages them to also give back to community.

  2. This could not have come at a better time for me to read. On our way to the soccer game last night she was telling me how her coach has never won against this team. I know the team wanted to win this for him. My 8th grader played on defense, the score 0-0. The second half of the game, the ball was scary close to her goalie she said she felt the opposing team girl breathing on her neck so she thought she would tap the ball to the goalie and she would grap it. Well the ball rolled into her goal and she scored the only point of the game for the opposing team. Instant tears, she continued to play, but couldn’t shake it. This is a tough learning lesson, but she will learn many things from this. Today she is going to school with her head held high because this could have happened to anyone. I am going to have her read this article when I pick her up today!

  3. Wonderfully written article. If only all parents and coaches would react and teach their children this way, for these are the real messages of life. There is a prayer for champions that says something to the effect, “Let me play my best, but if I should lose, let me stand up tall and shake their hands as the champions walk by for on this day they were better than I.” God bless you and your wife for instilling such great Christian principles in your daughter.

  4. Nice job, great read. I’m glad someone not only wrote it, but took the time to share it. As a Coach, and especially a Parent-Coach we try and keep all of that in perspective. This one will stay with me for a while. Only one other has struck me the same way. Wins and Losses Are Not What I Remember – Newsweek some time ago.

  5. All losses are not equal. A loss on a soccer field may cost you momentary embarrassment, while a loss on a business proposal may cost you money or a job, and a loss on a battlefield may cost you a life. Parents, teachers, and coaches, are in unique positions to teach children about perspective and good judgment and the good ones do just that.

  6. I had similar expirence with my daughter playing her last game of high school soccer after 9 years and just the same the seniors all left it out on the field and although they lost that game, they are all winners in the game of life, it was like reading my own daughter’s story only had to change the name to Molly…..

  7. I traveled a very similar journey as you. My oldest daughter had a long free kick in her last state semi final to tie the game and missed by inches. It had no effect on her at all and we all enjoyed the ride. I coached her youth team and so appreciate that experience to engage with her and her teammates. For me it became ALL about the effort while they were on the pitch. Thanks for sharing.

    • It’s great when you see kids compete their guts out and understand that is all that can be asked of them…….and not be crushed by a defeat. Glad your daughter handled it well.

  8. Wow! A friend posted this onFB and it blew me away. So true! Most kids are not going to play in college. Most have started playing very young 4 for my daughter with soccer & 7 with my son in football. We have been very thankful for the many coaches who have put so much energy & time into coaching. We have been fortunate in many cases to have coaches that have taught them to have class & be respectful to other teams & coaches. Although the game is important, it is not everything. At the last football game, which is a super big rivalry game, we ran into my son, John’s coach from is 7-8 year old team,he now helps Coach the opposing team. He taught the kids right from the start to have the right priorities 1.) God, 2.) Family 3.) School 4.) Football. John still remembers him & what he taught him. After the game, we made it a point to seek him out & thank him. My son said you can tell the guys Coach Nick coached. They had class & weren’t trash talking. I think playing sports is great, and hopefully your kids have had good coaches who’s positive influences will follow them through life! Teamwork, determination, perserverence, & so much more, these are things you need to get through life.

  9. In my many years of coaching ice hockey my guiding philosophy has always been – GAMES are PLAYED by KIDS for FUN. It’s the journey, and not the immediate outcome, that should matter. We coaches need to tie life lessons to the game situations; winning in life will follow.

  10. Very well said. I have coached select soccer for 18 years now and I try teach all the things that you listed. I just wish more coaches would realize this. Too many coaches out there are all about winning and nothing else matters to them. Thanks for posting this and to all the coaches out there that coach to teach kids about life not just the game.

    • Tim..I was told by a team manager that there is not one Select Soccer coach that is not an egotistical salesman..who tells kids what they hear, break down their confidence and lies to the kids. I am glad you are one in a sea of many! Kudos to you. Thanks for blogging this topic.

  11. I am proud to see that there are coaches that truly see the whole picture as to why we are coaches. I am a proud coach. I have been coaching since i was 14 years old. I currently coach a little league travel team and high school team. I was blessed to help and nurture our youth with a long term view and if they are not successful at becoming a professional athlete, they at the least become first class tax paying citizens. My championship is watching my athletes go onto college! This was a great read!

  12. Loved this. I have also reared an athlete and learned a lot of lessons along the way — but I am so proud of the now young man he has become, and playing sports has certainly helped teach him some of those lessons that fuel his values.

  13. Hope this reaches lots of folks – parents and coaches- who need to ponder these wise, thoughtful, comments. monte clausen

  14. What a fantastic article. Having coached, like many who are responding, from youth levels, I concur with all the comments being posted. I have 4 children. I’m very fortunate to have 2 who are still playing in college. The end is possibly nearing. It’s starting to dawn on me that I will have to wait for my grandchildren to be born before I see another family member compete. Along the way, we need to teach them life lessons. I only hope professional athletes haven’t negatively affected and clouded those life lessons.

  15. I’m a SK fan but must say all those girls played their hearts out . A great effort by all that could have went either way. I am sure she is very proud of her Dad also! You are a great coach to say the things you said. That is all any parent can ask for from our children’s leaders, coaches!

  16. Best article I’ve seen as to what is truly important for your kids to learn as they play sports. We just had a similar experience in girl’s tennis with our daughter. I wish all coaches and parents would read this.

  17. Great read! I will pray that it goes viral and that you get national publicity for your wise, heart-felt words and you faith in Christ!

  18. Such a good read and so well written! My son just walked away from select soccer last season. At 16 he was done with that part of his life. Some reasons he gave: he was missing church on too many Sundays, he wanted to focus on violin, and he’s a full time student at the community college and doing well there is important to him. Like you, my husband was his coach in the early years. My son had a gift for the game because he played like he loved it. He was often to be seen chatting it up with the opposition, complimenting them on their plays. It was less about winning and more about hanging out with some great players having a glorious time. For a couple of years he was pulled in as goalie, he was never rattled. When asked about his feelings when the other team scored, he’d shrug and say, “It’s not all on me, where was my defense?” He understood the team part of teamwork.
    Sometimes I miss watching the joy he had on the field when playing well, but I’ve traded in my soccer mom status for an orchestra mom status (I’m a lot warmer and drier). Whatever he does in life, I know that his training on the field, the accomplishments and disappointments, the hard work, and the character building, will help him in other areas. That’s the best thing he takes away. The trophies and medals will fade and end up in a box, the heart lessons will go forward.
    Thanks for writing this and may God bless you and your family.

    Ps Just a small editing note – the word “peak” (top of mountain) at the end of your post should be “peek” (a small glimpse).

  19. Karrick…thanks for a great story. As a high school athletic director, lacrosse coach and parent of two in high school, I appreciate these words on many different levels. My son is a junior, football, soccer and baseball, and he will probably be done after high school. My daughter is a freshman, volleyball and lacrosse, she will probably be done after high school (if we survive me coaching her in lacrosse!). I just shared your story with all of my coaches and on our athletic facebook page for our fans and parents. Thank you again!

  20. Pingback: Seeing beyond the sport | Life in the Fastpitch Lane

  21. I also hope youth athletes leave high school with enough affection for the sport that they will make it a lifetime sport.

  22. Our daughter played softball all the way through college. Afterwards she coached high school ball for two years. Been there done it. You are a great father with a wonderful heart. She will be ok and you will be too. You will appreciate all those years.

  23. Wonderful post. I wish more coaches would realize it is about the journey and life lessons. We had a coach who has said that the athletes who leave his team are quitters and didn’t work hard enough or couldn’t cut it. Life is about making choices and just because a child chooses a different path, they are not a quitter or didn’t work hard enough.

  24. The coaches who talk down to their team. What to do?? You explain, there are times you will lose, you don’t YELL, “You’re going to lose games playing like that.” I’m so glad I came across this article as my daughter and her team begin their basketball season. First year as JV. They meshed so well last year. First time playing with each other as Gidgets. The rules have now changed. Size has changed, passion for most and determination has changed. I leave with this. PRACTICE. Practice for an hour, a few days a week. Practice a few months, maybe weeks before the season starts. As a team, you don’t start practice one week before opening JV game. Play your hardest. Play your best. Give it your all. Keep the ball moving. Pass the ball, not too much dribbling. Take the shot, take the foul. CONTACT. Well wishes to the Crusaders. We believe in you. We are your coaches. Maybe not on the court, but in our hearts. I worry, but not too much. You just don’t tell the girls, “Expect to lose because it’s your first year.” It’s not your first year and NEVER expect to lose.

  25. Love this. Too many coaches are not willing to work extra with some of the kids. They wash their hands of them way too early then wonder why they quit playing in high school. Many coaches berate and humiliate the players thinking this will get them to play better. For some it works for others not. Coaches would benefit by getting to know the players. Just a thought maybe a coach could take 15 minutes and kind of do a mini type interview to get to know these kids. Do not go on that their parents were athletic so they will and groom them to be “stars”. Missing a lot of talents when you wash your hands of kids too early on. Some mature later. My son quit basketball his sophomore year because they basically humiliated him and made him feel he was worthless. They told him they did not need shooters. They always had an excuse. he was not the best defensive player but he had a great foul shot and shooting percentage when he did get the ball and had an amazing 3 point shot. My son had such weight lifted after he quit. Sad thing he loved playing basketball. He learned some great life lessons from this and is a better person for it. I feel he would make a great youth sports coach someday.

  26. Before every game or match, I have always told my kids only: “Good luck, play hard, have fun.” Nice to see that other sports parents understand the value of this simple message.

  27. Great read and spot on. I have a daughter in her senior year this year that I have coached soccer since kindergarten. I have taken 3 years off so she could learn from others and I have been asked back to help as assistant coach the past 2 years. She is currently on a team playing at the Premier 2 level in Michigan and they are currently undefeated in their season. The team record is great, but there are 3-4 players that are struggling to feel a part of the team. Our head coach decided to take a day off from practice as we head into the toughest weekend of the season to finish on the top of their division. Why? So we could team build and finish the season as a team! He is focused on the girls futures beyond the soccer field! As I talked to my daughter about it, we discussed how this could be her first season to finish in the top of their division, with exception of her 2nd grade rec league team. What she told me, I wasn’t expecting. When I asked her “wouldn’t it be great to finish your last year of soccer winning your division?” She blew me away with, “not really, I’m used to not winning”. This wasn’t a slam on herself, her coaches, her teams or her confidence. It was a statement that she is confident enough in her abilities to accept a loss for what it is, to learn from it, and to move on. Just as your Maddie was capable of “missing the shot”, my Morgan is prepared for the struggles that life has brought and will still bring in her future. She is less prepared to handle the “success” or expectation of being “#1 as she does not like the attention. Morgan could play soccer at the college level but she has chosen to focus on the academics without the distraction of the “need to win” that most schools place on their student athletes. In my book, that decision has sealed the win. I will miss not watching her play soccer, but I will LOVE watching her grow into the woman that God created her to be.

  28. Pingback: I Never Thought it Would End THIS Way | Changing the Game Project

  29. I agree. I coached 21 yrs. Hardball, 5 years fast pitch soft ball, 3 years of basketball and 18 years of youth football when my kids were young. Love it, but realized early it is about their lives and building character.
    I was both criticized and lauded for praying before games and praying for injured players both mine and theirs.
    My heart was for the kids. Guess what? I now have granddaughters to coach. I have coached two more seasons of basketball for my oldest grand daughter and two seasons of T ball with my number 2 and 3 grand daughters. It is even better now. Great young ladies and men

  30. My daughter was never very athletic. In fact besides being born with a hereditary medical condition , at 6months we we’re told she had mild cerebral palsy. When she entered 3rd grade half the girls in her class decided to join the local softball league. She beg me to let her join. Her younger brother plan in the pony league and she wanted to play also. We reluctantly said yes. She was by far the worse player in the team, but you would never have known it by the way the coach and team mates treated her. She had a blast. That started her “why not try” adventures. A year after that she decided she wanted to play soccer. We enrolled her in the city league. No friends or allies to join with this time. I held my breath. Once again she was one of the smallest and slowest players , but again the teams and the next two years of teams loved on her . She fell in love with the game. The coaches and players asked each year in the “draft ” for her. Why?? Because they said she gave 100% + and made them win. She is is now in her senior year of HS . Played on the tennis team her sophomore year, shows 1000lb livestock around the state and will be graduating HS with honors. Yep. I believe her past coaches and teammates have a lot to do with this.

  31. My daughter was never very athletic. In fact besides being born with a hereditary medical condition , at 6 months we we’re told she had mild cerebral palsy. When she entered 3rd grade half the girls in her class decided to join the local softball league. She beg me to let her join. Her younger brother plan in the pony league and she wanted to play also. We reluctantly said yes. She was by far the worse player in the team, but you would never have known it by the way the coach and team mates treated her. She had a blast. That started her “why not try” adventures. A year after that she decided she wanted to play soccer. We enrolled her in the city league. No friends or allies to join with this time. I held my breath. Once again she was one of the smallest and slowest players , but again the teams and the next two years of teams loved on her . She fell in love with the game. The coaches and players asked each year in the “draft ” for her. Why?? Because they said she gave 100% + and made them win. She is is now in her senior year of HS . Played on the tennis team her sophomore year, shows 1000lb livestock around the state and will be graduating HS with honors. Yep. I believe her past coaches and teammates have a lot to do with this.

  32. Pingback: I Never Thought It Would End THIS Way | PaulaThinks

  33. Thank you for sharing. This is so true. All athletes will end their sports career, but what they learned from it will follow them throughout life. Good luck to your daughter.
    On a separate note, it’s hard on the parent too when the sport ends l. I know from experience. So, good luck to you and your wife too!

  34. How fortunate am I to read this article and it’s replies. This shows what coaches and parents “the Fans” should value. Karrick, you are so right “there is no greater gift than being called daddy”. In fact, it’s a daunting task to find anything close. Still coaching youth athletes U10 – U19 after 29 years I will say there’s no better acknowledgement after practice or a game than hearing “Thank You Coach”. Well done Coch Karrick.

  35. Great read! A great coach is the most important thing to a team. I was fortunate enough to have had one of the best. He made what was going to be my last year playing soccer into the year that I decided in never wanted to quit. The previous teams I was on, I was really just starting out so the other girls were all better than me and they made sure I knew it and the coaches never did anything to make me feel okay about it or took the time to help me improve, I had to do it on my own. Coach randy was a whole different story. He took a team of girls who had never played together, worked with us all individually to make our strengths even stronger and develope our weaknesses and turned us into an unstoppable family. There were a few new faces every year but the core group of about 6 of us were inseparable. We all played our first game for him together at 13 and played our last at 19. He taught us so much about not just soccer but life, love, family, humility, determination, strength, the list is endless. I credit him for a large part of who I am today. He made me a better player and a better human being. That’s what coaches are suppose to do.

  36. This was posted by my daughters Volleyball coachs. I am incredibly grateful for the coaching and family they have provided for my daughter. I have also come to realize that is not just the kids that learn so much from these coaches, we parents should take a few notes as well.
    I truly enjoyed reading your article.

  37. This is an absolute amazing write up. I have coached everything just about and am only 24 years old. 2nd to 8th grade basketball. 7th and 8th grade football and all the way to varsity. And head coach of the high school mens track program. I have been coaching since my first year out of high school. I have coached athletes to states and to school records. And I can say how proud I am to say that. How it makes me feel accomplished. But that feeling does not last long. But what does is seeing that young kid turn into an adult. Seeing them do well in college and athletics. A coach impacts more kids lifes in one year than most people do in a lifetime. Win or lose coaching helps so many kids in need of a different kind of attention other than what they get at home or in the classroom.

  38. I love this article. As I am going through something I never thought I would…we moved to Ohio 4 years ago from San Antonio. I was very concerned my children wouldn’t fit in. They never played sports or were able to play much with other children. I saw in our small hometown paper an ad for pee wee football. I asked my son if he wanted to play and he said no. I kept asking and almost pushed him into playing till one day he gave up and said yes. As we walked out there my son shear size put a smile on the coaches face as he was just as tall and even talked then some coaches. I explained to them he has a kind heart so you will have to teach him to be aggressive. He played well and they went undefeated. But the aggression never came. At open house everyone was yelling his name and giving him a high five and made me so proud that these young men accepted him. 7th and 8th grade passed with flying colors and it wasn’t until my son met the high school football coach who saw a potential in him that we did not see. This coach became his best friend, mentor, coach, and most of all a future. Freshman year he lettered and played in 28 games, freshman, jv and varsity. He tore up his body and was extremely exhausted. But he never gave up. He wanted to make me proud and the coach. Sophomore year started strangely with the coach taking some family time off for a couple of weeks and my son came home home and told me and I asked he’s coming back right my son said yes mom. The season started out badly with two losses and some issues with the older boys not being leaders. And then the bottom fell out of my world. The coaches told my son that the coach would be gone for the rest of the year…what???? Right in the middle of a season? I asked my son why he said I don’t know. The next couple of days were hard. He started to be depressed and didn’t care much about football or even care about going and had only missed 1 football practice in 4 years. He worked all summer 6 days a week and didn’t spend time with family or friends so that he could become the best football player he could be. But then this happened. I contacted a coach and principal about what my son was feeling. That all went unheard….now my son wants to quit football…why? Is he doing it because that’s how he feels the coach did to him? Why after all his hard work over the years and just walk away? I had to force him to finish the season. Last night was the last game I will sit in the stands and see him on that field. I cried knowing that these are his friends he has come to know, and built friendships I thought would last a lifetime. But since the coach left the other coaches did not push him, didn’t notice the depression, didn’t bother to put him on the field and .. its over. Today my son will play..his last JV game. They are undefeated. He said mom I’m going out on top! He’s giving up his dream of playing in college, his friends and his school because of a coach. I’m not angry with this coach. He is a great man! A man who saw my son and what he could accomplish. This coach in eds to know no matter what others say you changed many young men’s life. Taught them respect, honor, love and the game. My son can’t take all the rumors about the man that meant so much to him. And has chosen to walk away from a sport he has come to love because of this man. Thank you coach for making my son a man and a man who can stand up for you when you can’t. He doesn’t want to be coached by anyone but you. I love him and what he has gone through and give up. Thank son for the memories, sore throats, cold butt, and the proud tears. I love you.

  39. I’ve been blest to coach from little league to high school baseball and retiring for now on a high note winning a state championship with my then senior son playing a major role on the team. Retired so I could watch my youngest daughter play her final three years of h.s. Soccer. Loved the many years as well driveway and back yard coaching my kids and the neighborhood kids and watching them all grow in life. So many great coaching moments and dad moments at games, practices and in the car conversations. These include the many down moments that are hard on all, but most necessary to build good character in the kids and the adults (we are never done growing from lifes lessons).
    My most memorable moment came my first year of coaching – 9 and 10 year old baseball, while coaching third base I saw a our batter ( a pudgie little kid) walking to the plate so slowly with his head down so I called him over and asked what was wrong. He said he stunk and was never going to get a hit. I don’t know what possessed me to say this but I said “nonsense I’ll see you over here in a few minutes” and pointed to third base, then I started doing some serious praying, well he gets a single and the next kid as well, this little guy comes huffing and puffing into third with eyes as big as saucers saying over and over again “how did you know” and with a smile just as big as his I said “because I believe in you”. After he told everyone in his world the story he went on to smile throughout the season. 15 years later in truly blessed by that moment!

  40. Great article! Not one mention of how sports are the ticket to a scholarship. It is much more than that. Only if more coaches understood the big picture.

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