When Do You Know And Can You Face It?

March 25th, 2012
By

It's inevitable that all things come to an end.... but when do you actually know?

It happens every year with athletes when we, as fans, know that they have past their prime and they should be retiring but as any one of them will tell you, they still feel like they can (should) play.

When WWD! came to an abrupt end in 2010, it wasn't by my choice and it certainly wasn't time considering we've only been up for a couple of years but nothing could be done.

Every year about this time, for the past 18 years, I've packed up my gloves, cleats and visor and headed down to the baseball diamond. This year is no different marking my 19th year of coaching in P.A.L (Police Activities League) and while it may not be as prestigious as in years when I used to play, it's still an avenue available to get kids active and an option to get out and do something since it's a community based league rather than by selection.

I actually prefer that our league is "low-key" now because in truth - as I tell every parent that has had their son or daughter come through the program - "I don't coach baseball".

Wassup Wit Dat!

Well, considering P.A.L's core philosophies, it's something that I value considerably and take to heart although there are many coaches, parents and even players who think and act otherwise. I've always believed that if you want to be competitive and want to play competitively, there are many many leagues to go out and do so - P.A.L isn't one of them and that's why I enjoy and am proud of being a coach in the P.A.L organization.

I straight up tell the parents my one and only goal for the season is to have the player come out a better person and if s/he comes out a better player then that's a bonus.

As intense of a coach as I am, I've always wondered why my players keep coming back and I can only say that it has to be that I respect them as a person AND a player. It doesn't matter to me if s/he sucks okole or if they can't hit the wide side of a barn from 10 feet away (I have player like that right now), but I can guarantee their attitude will change and in turn their skills will improve should they go through one season with me. My only hope is that they take those changes and carry it through their life instead of just the season.

This years roster consists of literally five players (we need at least 10). Usually, once we start practice we have players trickle in wondering if they can still sign up but this year we've had none and the last few years we have seen our numbers decline. The offering of year round sports is the main culprit meaning that you can play ANY sport at any time of year now instead of only in it's dedicated season.

Honestly, I would have done the same and played football year round had it been offered back in the day so I don't blame that because I would have been doing something that I love. The problem with that though is that you're not exposed to different experiences to grow from and also, you don't let your body heal and recuperate from the repetitive motions of the one sport. You also run the chance of burning out at such a young age.

I've always encouraged my players to go out and do something different once baseball season is pau because you'll be able to learn form different coaches and challenge yourself to different techniques. If you stay with the same coach year after year, you really can only take in so much.

Do you have your son or daughter, niece or nephew involved in year round sports? Do you think year round sports is beneficial? Encouraging? Unhealthy? Would you, at that age, have choosen to remain in a singular sport played throughout the year?

This year I probably will not have an opportunity to carry this on and it's not by my choice. It's a shock to me and it feels like a steel door just just slammed right in front of me. I never envisioned leaving the program under this kind of circumstance and always thought I'd be walking towards the sunset on my own two feet.

Maybe it's time to hang up the glove and "retire" but I'd be amiss if I didn't try to salvage the season for the five that are signed up. I've already spread the word around and tried reaching out but no bites so I'm asking the WWD! Hui if you know of any kids ages 10-12 as of May 1st that might be interested in learning a little about themselves. No experience is necessary and all skill levels are welcome as I've seen all kines come and go through the program. The practices are at Salt Lake District Park (makai - the one with the pool) and more information can given to those who are interested.

All I ask is that they want to be out there and have a good attitude.... but if they don't have the right attitude, no worries, I'll change that in a hurry. :wink:








15 Responses to “When Do You Know And Can You Face It?”

  1. Ocean Lover:

    FIRST! Home on a Sunday night but I stay WINNAH!!!!!!!!!
    OL


  2. Ocean Lover:

    Hooey! Kinda long topic as I FINALLY READ IT..... ;-)

    I dunno but wondah if da buggah from da uddah post...the "If can can.....if no can no can" quote is AGE ELIGIBLE? ;-) ;-)

    If da buggah stay oldah den dat............"NO CAN"


  3. lakesidegt:

    BL
    I noticed the banners so I knew it was that time of the year. Whoa, sorry to hear about the turnout. Yes, I know a little of what you're going through. I remember through the years, squeezing - not enough kids, or sometimes too many. Let's keep our fingers crossed.


  4. dihudfan:

    s y hud... hope more kids turn out... you teachin' the right attitude!! looks like you need an ad agency to help you get the word out... good luck!!


  5. M:

    Howzit BL,

    I hope you will get more players in da coming daze.


  6. hemajang:

    Jeez, too bad BL. So you saying that the players that used to play baseball during your PAL spring baseball season are now concentrating on another sport year round like soccer or volleyball? Do they have year round youth football and basketball?

    Or maybe the "serious" players are hooking up with the more competitive baseball leagues outside the Salt Lake community. I think Little League has community boundary rules, not sure about Pony League but there are ways to get around that.

    Perhaps PAL should make a better effort at getting the word out. It may make a difference by making sure every parent in the community knows about your program...you know banners everywhere, notices in the community newsletter, at the schools, library, rec centers, shopping center, etc.

    I have mixed feelings about having your child play the same sport year round. If they want to play one sport all the time, fine, but I would expose them to other sports, try at least a season or two. And not necessarily team sports but individual sports as well, such as tennis, golf or martial arts. My three kids basically played soccer year round. I was coaching competitive club soccer year round for many years. I also had my kids play other sports and later they basically decide for themselves what they want to play or not play at all.

    It takes a special dedication and desire for the player and the parent to concentrate on one sport only. You practice several times a week, clinics and special training sessions every so often, games every weekend, travel all over the island and take one or more mainland trips for tournaments. You fund raise all the time. The team becomes your family. Given the right environment, it can be a great model for character building and the opportunity to excel.

    As you mentioned, there are negatives from year round competitive sports-the repetitive injuries especially when very young, burnout, and financial hardships. Some will pay thousands a year for fees, clinics, uniforms, travel and equipment. Cliques are common among players...and parents.

    Huuuu, getting a little verbose and getting late...laters.


  7. zzzzzz:

    BL, maybe just as well. Now you will have more time for your own keiki.


  8. anklebiters:

    My sons played ice/roller hockey all year round. The travel program started in August, practice 2-3 times a week and the first tournament is in October. The high school season starts then too. In the meantime, house league starts in September and that means practice once a week and games twice a week for 6 weeks and the spring schedule starts in January, same routine again....don't forget the summer sessions too. By that time in October, ice hockey season starts and that means more practice and games at EARLY am on Saturday or Sunday morning until March.

    Once the travel roller hockey tournaments starts, we'd be out of state at least once a month to Corona, Anaheim, Irvine in California and Vegas for NARCH or TPC or SixPac tournaments and the in-state AIHA...leave on Friday and drive back on Sunday. At least we were able to stay at my SIL's house in Moreno Valley so that saved in hotel expenses and air fare. Each of the tournaments would have a season championship - NARCH is the most well known, usually have over 300 teams, teams from North America, Asia and Europe, even teams from HI has participated recently (in fact there is a NARCH regional at the Kapolei rink in May, if you've never seen roller hockey before, take a ride out there, it's a gorgeous dual rink with a/c - from mites to Pro to high school, from Club to Platinum level - held over three weeks, held in Florida or California in recent years. Prior years held in Cincinnati, New Orleans, Michigan, Atlanta and Toronto You have to make hotel/plane reservations for the duration of games scheduled for your age group...so if you're 0-3 (you're guaranteed three games), you're out of luck if you want to go home early, unless you pay the airline's change fee. The TPC finals is in California - LA or San Jose. Same routine as NARCH. For SixPac finals, we've been to Vegas and Denver. The AIHA tournaments are held in-state so that means traveling to Yuma, Tucson, Prescott, west/north PHX valley from November to the finals in May.

    It takes dedication, from both the parent and the kids, to be able to travel all over god's creation.....as well as a few $$$$. We did fund raisings but fortunately been able to be sponsored by equipment manufacturers. My kids never regretted it, even thou it hampered their early teen social life. My youngest decided to quit playing before his senior year and hasn't played competitively since then...except in open hockey sessions to just to hang around with his old team mates. He's never regretted the 9+ years that he played all year round...he's said it was the best times that he had with all of the traveling and visiting new places, making new friends and family bonding....what else can you do when you're in a car together from 5-12 hours :-) Even I as a parent have gotten to know all of the parents and whenever we'd be at practice or tournaments, we would have a blast.

    Now my daughter and her cheer leading adventures...a story to be told later...


  9. King Katonk:

    When my son was just six years old we enrolled him in an Asian basketball league, one of many in SoCal. I was surprised by the skill level of these youngsters; they were definitely well prepared. On the opposite end, my son could barely dribble with one hand let alone master a layup. Thus, he spent most of the time on the bench. It became quite evident that he wasn’t enjoying himself. After the three month season we decided to try something different. To my surprise I was chastised by the other parents for “giving up” on the program. They told me he should sign up for the summer session where they have more practice sessions and play in tournaments throughout the state as well as Vegas. If he didn’t play year round he would fall behind. I thought to myself, WWD!?

    These kids were only 6 years old and they were already indoctrinated as a travel team. Were they predestined to only play basketball? What happened to the excitement of trying something new? No doubt if my son continued his okole would have been chapped from “riding the pine.”

    Periodically I run into these same parents whose kids are still active in the league. I sense in our conversation they have visions of a D1 scholarship or the next Jeremy Lin in store for their offspring. But let’s be real, J. Lin did not earn his stripes in the Asian leagues. He went outside and developed his game against higher competition. It wouldn’t be so bad if these Asian leagues stressed fun and fundamentals instead of winning and competitiveness.

    I agree with you, BL, the world of sports has changed dramatically for our youth. If your son/daughter has no potential skills then they are just getting in the way for those who got game. I’m glad that your philosophy is counter to that mindset. Sports can be a great teacher for life’s experience. Perhaps if there were more coaches like you kids would learn more than just a crossover dribble or how to hit a curveball; they would learn valuable lessons about life.


  10. Lowtone123:

    My son is 7 now and has participated in soccer, basketball and flag football. I believe in trying different sports and being exposed to different coaches, teammates and such. He has been fortunate in being involved with coaches who placed learning the basics, teamwork and fair play above winning. This did not seem to be the case with some of the other teams where the coaches were yelling almost constantly and some teams seem to be stacked with better players (I found out later from a friend on the inside that this was true). And this was when he was playing U6 (I won't mention their name but their intials are AYSO:))
    I really didn't care only that he was having fun and meeting new friends. I'm sorry to hear about your situation, BL. You might check into I9 sports. We have been involved in flag football and basketball and have had a great experience in both. They want and need great coaches like you. I found it less competitive and more about fair play and teamwork.


  11. cojef:

    You gotta keep trying to get more parents involved. You have your soul to console if it doen't pan out this year. Since reading your blog, have started to get a better insight of your being. Keep this blog going, cuz it is moah interesting to follow what's a happening at the ground level, the neighborhood. mahalo


  12. M:

    My son played baseball for a couple of seasons when he was 5 or 6, he didn't like it, too much standing around. He wanted to run so he played soccer all year round after baseball till he graduated from KHS playing for the varsity.
    My daughter played baseball and soccer from 5 and moved up to softball when she got a little older. In her freshman year in HS, she dropped soccer and focus on softball and played all year round. Made the varsity team as a freshman and played for a club softball team that travel to the mainland to play in tournaments.


  13. che:

    When I played there wasn't year round sports so everyone played baseball, basketball and some even played football (volleyball and soccer wasn't that popular in those days). We were even encourage to take martial arts. In high school they encouraged you to play mutliple sports if you wanted to. Now days thats changed. Some parent view sports as a way to pay for college and with the cost of education who can blame them. I however liked it when sports was just sports, some parent get way too serious now.

    I did see a sports show a while ago with a panel made up of 2 former major league pitchers, the Atlanta Braves pitching coach (the one who coached Glavine, Maddux and Smoltz) and the doctor who invented Tommy John surgery. They all strongly believed that the number one cause of arm injuries in the major leagues and in youth baseball is year round baseball. They all were against it. They said pitching all year round without a break doesn't allow the arm to get the proper rest.

    Sorry to hear about your team.


  14. 9thIslandGirl:

    Whoa, it would be a tragedy if you didn't coach, and I mean that sincerely. At the same time, I think zzzzzzz might have a, point that if it doesn't come through, it was meant to be,.and maybe it's time to spend time with your own family. I bet da wife would be happy.


  15. Braddah Lance:

    Ocean Lover:
    FIRST!

    And to you Da Quote of Da Day......
    You always get a special kick on opening day, no matter how many you go through. You look forward to it like a birthday party when you're a kid. You think something wonderful is going to happen.
    Joe DiMaggio

    Home on a Sunday night but I stay WINNAH!!!!!!!!!

    Wat? Strip club not open yet? :lol:
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    lakesidegt:
    Let's keep our fingers crossed.

    Sadly, no luck dis year.
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    dihudfan:
    s y hud... hope more kids turn out... you teachin' the right attitude!! looks like you need an ad agency to help you get the word out... good luck!!

    Well, I tink we just need kids to get off their okole and get active.
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    M:
    I hope you will get more players in da coming daze.

    No such luck. :sad:
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    hemajang:
    Jeez, too bad BL. So you saying that the players that used to play baseball during your PAL spring baseball season are now concentrating on another sport year round like soccer or volleyball?

    Not my players but kids in general. In our league - our community - the kids are mainly football 1st, basketball 2nd and baseball for da rest. I do get more football players cause da demographic in da community is dat.

    Do they have year round youth football and basketball?

    Rogah.

    Or maybe the "serious" players are hooking up with the more competitive baseball leagues outside the Salt Lake community. I think Little League has community boundary rules, not sure about Pony League but there are ways to get around that.

    No even get me started about boundary rules! But yes, PAL is geared for da less "serious" but as I tell my players, learn first and then if you enjoy the game and want to be serious about it, go out and play in oddah leagues.

    Perhaps PAL should make a better effort at getting the word out. It may make a difference by making sure every parent in the community knows about your program...you know banners everywhere, notices in the community newsletter, at the schools, library, rec centers, shopping center, etc.

    It's run by da Police Department.... trust me, I've tried to advocate for PAL in general but it's "money-pit" they don't want there has been drastic cutbacks. It's one of those programs HPD/C&C don't want to lose face in cause it's for da "community".

    I have mixed feelings about having your child play the same sport year round. If they want to play one sport all the time, fine, but I would expose them to other sports, try at least a season or two. And not necessarily team sports but individual sports as well, such as tennis, golf or martial arts.

    Dat is interesting to hear dat about doing both individual AND team sports cause it exposes them different facets. Wen I tink about it, I was only involved in team sports but I enjoyed da "team" atmosphere but most definitely I would have my daughter involved in individual sport as well so dat she learn about "herself" and her abilities.
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    zzzzzz:
    BL, maybe just as well. Now you will have more time for your own keiki.

    Das nevah a bad thing. :grin:
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    anklebiters:
    It takes dedication, from both the parent and the kids, to be able to travel all over god's creation.....as well as a few $$$$.

    I tink das crazy but a great experience as well. You really have LOVE da sport as well as enjoy playing it.
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    King Katonk:
    ...Thus, he spent most of the time on the bench. It became quite evident that he wasn’t enjoying himself. After the three month season we decided to try something different.

    Riding da pine is nevah fun. I see it all da time even in "for fun" leagues. Play da minimum minutes and barely see any extra. If it isn't a competitive league and it truly is "for da keiki" then why act like it's da Super Bowl?

    To my surprise I was chastised by the other parents for “giving up” on the program. They told me he should sign up for the summer session where they have more practice sessions and play in tournaments throughout the state as well as Vegas. If he didn’t play year round he would fall behind. I thought to myself, WWD!?

    Well, you could look at it dat they were only trying to share their experiences.... but then again, if your son didn't enjoy da game in da first place why send him to clinics and other seasons?

    These kids were only 6 years old and they were already indoctrinated as a travel team.

    Holy guacamole! Only 6?! Geez, can they at least hit puberty before any mention of traveling team pops up.

    But let’s be real, J. Lin did not earn his stripes in the Asian leagues. He went outside and developed his game against higher competition. It wouldn’t be so bad if these Asian leagues stressed fun and fundamentals instead of winning and competitiveness.

    Rogah dat!

    I agree with you, BL, the world of sports has changed dramatically for our youth. If your son/daughter has no potential skills then they are just getting in the way for those who got game.

    Couldn't have said it bettah myself. I tink at da young age they should learn to love da sport, then if it goes deeper than dat with aspirations of becoming "da best", then da more power to you.

    I’m glad that your philosophy is counter to that mindset. Sports can be a great teacher for life’s experience. Perhaps if there were more coaches like you kids would learn more than just a crossover dribble or how to hit a curveball; they would learn valuable lessons about life.

    I have to make it clear though dat da PAL league, because of it's "non-competitive" setup, allows me to do so. If I coached in a different league, I'd still stress fundamentals and life lessons no doubt, but only da "gameplan" would change.
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    Lowtone123:
    I believe in trying different sports and being exposed to different coaches, teammates and such.

    Exactomondo.

    ...and some teams seem to be stacked with better players (I found out later from a friend on the inside that this was true).

    Trust me, I've seen it and heard it all before.
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    cojef:
    You gotta keep trying to get more parents involved.

    You know, das da case no mattah wat da issue but I've come to da realization dat parents are ADULTS. They'll only get involved if it concerns/benefits them directly. While some are trying to develop their son/daughter for da sport, more times than none it's just a mattah of getting their keiki out of da house to do something.

    Since reading your blog, have started to get a better insight of your being. Keep this blog going, cuz it is moah interesting to follow what's a happening at the ground level, the neighborhood. mahalo

    *sniff*
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    M:
    My son played baseball for a couple of seasons when he was 5 or 6, he didn't like it, too much standing around.

    I try and deal wit da psychological side of da game as well and if dat doesn't work........ then da game isn't for them. :razz:

    My daughter played baseball and soccer from 5 and moved up to softball when she got a little older. In her freshman year in HS, she dropped soccer and focus on softball and played all year round. Made the varsity team as a freshman and played for a club softball team that travel to the mainland to play in tournaments.

    Sounds like she found her niche.
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    che:
    Some parent view sports as a way to pay for college and with the cost of education who can blame them.

    I certainly would love for Da Baby to get an athletic scholarship of any kine too but not at da cost of her not enjoying da sport.

    I however liked it when sports was just sports, some parent get way too serious now.

    Amen!

    They all strongly believed that the number one cause of arm injuries in the major leagues and in youth baseball is year round baseball. They all were against it. They said pitching all year round without a break doesn't allow the arm to get the proper rest.

    Das da repetitive injury syndrome. Das why I tell oddah players to go out learn/try/do something new all da time so dat your body learns to work oddah parts of da body.

    Sorry to hear about your team.

    Yeah, sadly unless you're in a competitive league for baseball like Cal Ripkin or Little League, baseball is a sport you can't just jump into wen a ball is being hurled at you 50+ mph.
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    9thIslandGirl:
    Whoa, it would be a tragedy if you didn't coach, and I mean that sincerely. At the same time, I think zzzzzzz might have a, point that if it doesn't come through, it was meant to be,.and maybe it's time to spend time with your own family. I bet da wife would be happy.

    Happy Wife, happy life right? :lol: