By Braddah Lance
Last week I was given a heads up from a Kwonic who's also an avid reader of Uncle Rodney's Midlife Crisis blog. In one of Uncle's post last week - besides talking about old people stuff - he brought up an issue we've blogged about on many occasions: changes in keiki today. Hea's an excerpt of wat he wrote:
I know that Bruddah Lance is very old-school when he coaches. He teaches respect! His players always answer with “Yes, sir” or “No, sir”. And they wouldn’t dare answer back to Bruddah Lance – not even under their breath – unless they enjoy running laps.
Then a past Kwonic had posted dis response:
@ct @mark – Went to school with coach (B)rian Yoshii. Back in 2010, Hawaii was doing good in the Little League in Williamsport and almost took the whole enchalada. His method? Whenever he instructs the kids, it’s always in this sequence. Praise first, tell the kid what he’s doing wrong, and then praise the kid again. Braddah Lance’s way is sort of outdated and should be modified with Coach Yoshii’s way.
BL: How’s the arm holding up?
Pitcher: Still got some juice left.
BL: You know after each fastball you throw for a strike? You cannot pick your nose and put the booger on your uniform thinking how it intimidates the batters.
Pitcher: Uh, okay.
BL: You can do it, and don’t put any snot on the ball.
Pitcher: Okay, coach.
And hea's my response:
Uncle Rod – I going apologize ahead of time for hijacking your post by responding but when someone questions someone elses character and suggest they change without justification behind their back, I definitely going respond.
@ Seawalker – “Braddah Lance’s way is sort of outdated and should be modified with Coach Yoshii’s way.”
Before you go on criticizing or even generalizing about someone’s coaching, go find about it first before you slam that person with your suggestion to “modify”.
How do you know my methods are outdated? Have you been to any of my practices in 19 years? Yes, 19 straight. Do you even have a clue what goes on in my practices? Do you know that I volunteer my time (Feb-Jun six days a week), equipment (I had to get a shed for it all) AND money (I stopped keeping track after $7k) to kids I have zero relation to? And no, I have NEVER had any sons, daughters, nephews, nieces or cousins on the team.
Have you even the slightest clue as to the population area that I coach in?
They are either latch-key kids with divorced parents, single parents, (several) boyfriend/ (several) girlfriend or just left alone while their parents work and I’ve seen kids as young as six or seven cruising the park. Only this past year have I seen more than half the team with steady married parents. Most just drop off their kids for “free baby-sitting” and “exercise”.
Majority are destitute and are considered “park-rats” (same as gym-rats but at the park) since they are at the park from after school till the evening just hanging out.
The kids lack basic discipline and any type of motivation to do anything. Now while that is not the case for all kids, it is the theme that goes around this neighborhood. And that is just the bare layout of the situation.
As far as coaching goes, as Uncle Rodney mentioned, I am old-school. I’ll make ‘em sweat, cry, tear them down and yet have them coming back for more because they’ve never been pushed like that before. And yes, I ALWAYS use POSITIVE REINFORCEMENTS! And I don’t tell the player what s/he’s doing wrong…. I SHOW THEM!
I’m a firm believer that if I can’t do it, why should they? I run laps with them, I do drills with them and believe it or not, I make it fun for them at the same time because why would anyone do anything that isn’t fun?
Furthermore, the reason why I coach is – and I’ll bet my house, bike and truck on it – is far apart from about 95% of all youth coaches out there. All the coaches I’ve seen have a son or daughter on the team and move with them. I don’t. My goal, as I tell every parent in the MANDATORY team meeting, is to build a better person – not a better PLAYER. Baseball is just the tool to do it.
Every coach I’ve come across only wants to WIN WIN WIN. I don’t even tell our players the score and if they ask, they’ll run during the game.
Coach Yoshii is a stand up guy (from what I read about him) but it’s like comparing a Mercedes to a Pinto. Keep in mind that the players he – and the like get – are experienced players for the most part and have been around the sport for years. I get players don’t even know that 3 strikes and you’re out. And btw, he has a staff of coaches…. I’ve had only one other main coach but he’s since retired 7 years ago and I’ve been doing it alone ever since.
And I always spin some back to people who say that I only coach this way cause I can’t win with players that I got…….. tell that to the last 7 of 12 regular season championships and 6 of 12 playoff championships we’ve taken. On a side note about that though, the biggest joy the players get out of the championship game?
The grinds aftah, not the trophy.
That’s just scratching the surface and sorry, this is not the time nor the venue for it. Sorry again Uncle Rodney.
Next time you try and drop my name insinuating my coaching methods are obsolete, put on my cleats and step up. Until then, shut da heck up King’s Okole [he called himself that in an earlier response]. If that’s the type of respect you teach your keiki, I certainly hope they sign up next season for a rude awakening.
btw, hannah-battah on da ball is illegal.
I also wanted to add that I try to instill character, morals and values into every single player that comes through my program and as "old school" as it may seem, it works. I have players that come back the very next year after leaving the program wishing they could play one more year. I have players that come back YEARS later - even aftah graduation - to da field to talk story and let me know wea they're at. Can oddah youth coaches say da same?
Oh yeah, do oddah youth coaches do grade checks without it having to be required by da league? Do they also assign regular essays and offer tutoring before or aftah practice? Do they stay, at times, till 8pm+ at da field with da player(s) waiting for their parent(s) to pick him/her up?
I also actually "talk" to my players as well. We talk about da fights they witness, da girls they are texting and things they may or may not share with their parents. I stress to them that it's ok to stand up for what's right no mattah how hard it may be and that it definitely is the world's toughest thing to do to stand in front of a friend and say it's wrong.
I am not paid nor am I rewarded by any means. In fact, HPD (Honolulu Police Department) has not even once thanked or acknowledged my efforts and contributions to PAL (Police Activities League). Wait, I did get a koa bowl from Officer Frank who was the ONLY PAL baseball director (I've had about seven or eight different ones) who cared about the program but that was once in 19 years. But I don't do it for the thanks and I certainly don't do it for the recognition - it's just something that I truly feel I have an opportunity to give back and help keiki grow. As cliche as it may sound, my biggest reward is just being able to contribute and help ease the tough job parents have already.
It's really sad to see someone "suggest" that one's methods should be changed without even having an iota of wat the methods are. It's just like someone telling Sam Choy, Roy Yamaguchi or DK Kodama that their signature recipes should be changed up. Would you tell someone how to do something without even having done it yourself?
Wassup Wit Dat!
Anyways, sorry for da long winded mo'olelo but it's kinda hard to condense 19 years into a single blog. Oh yeah, if you got any 10-12 (depending, but 13 year olds too) dat you want to send to an old school boot camp next year.... send 'em my way and like I tell parents, I can't guarantee they'll become a better ball player but I can guarantee they'll come out a bettah person.