“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” – Phil Collins
I’ve spent a lot of time writing posts about how we, as coaches, can impact our athletes in the most positive ways possible. When I was contacted a couple days ago by a player I coached several years ago that I haven’t seen in a long time, it made me reflect upon what I have learned from those players I’ve had the opportunity to coach. Some experiences have been amazing, some were humbling, and some were completely altering in the way I approach this job.
I’ve been blessed to have coached some insanely smart baseball players. Guys like Eric Imhoff, Weats Roberts, Brent Lessley, Drew Hart, Nick George, Hayden Molitor, Thomas Noll and Corey Moore played the game so instinctually. They knew/know the game inside and out, which made/make my job so much easier. I never had to worry about them understanding a situation or not being where they were supposed to be. Guys like these taught me that I don’t have to control every aspect of everything, and that I could trust players to do their jobs and lead by example.
I’ve coached some incredibly, naturally talented players that were just fun to watch. Guys like Zach Sowder, Addison Brown, Parker Ryle, Trevor Dunaway, Matt Gregory, Ryan Chamberlain and Tyler York were game-changing players. They made big plays in big opportunities, and could be counted on in clutch time. These guys taught me to appreciate this game, but at the same time they showed me and everyone else that the guys who are good don’t survive on natural ability alone. They work hard, and they work a lot.
Then you have guys like Tyler Beschman, Tyler Plageman, Corey Day, Chris Vargo, Brady Asher, Jimmy Stevens, Camron Musk, and Austin Smith…the thing I love and admire about these guys is their absolute love for the game and their team. These guys remind me of a younger me, and I could not appreciate that more. The teams I played on, especially in my teens, were teams that absolutely relied on each other for success. They have re-taught me the love for what I do, for this game, and for my team.
As coaches, let us not forget that as much as we teach, we have to learn. We learn from our personal efforts, from our peers, and, I’d argue, a lot more from the people we coach. When I hear from guys that I coached years ago, it reminds me of that. Thanks for the shout out, Ben Kasten.
Have an awesome Saturday,