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Coaching Youth Baseball — One Last Time

Baseball equipment
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Once again this spring I am coaching my son’s baseball team. But this one is different because it will be my final time to do so.

I have had the privilege of coaching my son, and whatever team we put together, since he was in his first year as a T-ball player at the age of 5. He now towers over me at 14 years old and here I am again coaching his team.

The years have gone by in the blink of an eye. It seems like just yesterday that we were setting the ball on the tee and I was telling him, “You have to go to first base before you can go home.” Now, however, he pitches the ball harder and faster than I can catch most days.

He has grown up a lot over the past decade and his love for the game has grown, too, which is the way it should be.

I have always enjoyed coaching the boys and, in part, teaching them the game and how to play it better as a team. We have always been competitive and several times even been champions and made it to district.

This year’s team, the Rangers, is no different. Along with my son David, there is Nate, Cason, Carson, Reece, Riley, Chance, Trent, Lex, Davion, Rickey, and Dante. This is a great group of young men. They have great attitudes, a good bit of talent, and a passion for the game. We have played two games so far, winning 1-0, and losing a heartbreaker 3-2. Looks like it’s going to definitely be an exciting season.

I know I may get a bit sentimental when the last game arrives. Because you see, this is almost assuredly going to be my last rodeo as they say. The time has come for me to stop coaching my son’s teams after this season. He will be moving on to high school this August. In December, he will be trying out for the school baseball team, and we are hopeful he will make that squad so he can continue his love of the game.

It will be time to turn it over to the professionals as far as coaching is concerned. Sure, he will likely play on a summer team through his high school years, but it won’t be me coaching it. Time to step back and become just a fan. It will be tough, but enjoyable at the same time. But not until we finish this season, which I am expecting to be a blast. I have a great bunch of kids to be around — one last time.

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