Search
Related Links



    

Informative Articles

3-Pointer by Gary Whittaker (Feb 15)
Point 1: Basketball's Mr. 3000 Lakers celebrate Bryant's return with a loss against the next great one. Hopefully Kobe, who was watching King James on the court for 41 minutes, was able to take enough notes to see that you don't need to be a...

I Could'a Been A Contenda
I Could’a been a Contenda  I am not going to say that I could have been a contender, but at one time in my life, as well as I am sure most men my age we thought we were destined for the “Big Show”. I mean Baseball was our world. I remember all I...

More Great Quotes
I love what prominent baseball people have to say about the great ballplayers. They seem to eloquently capture what we are thinking. "It was his solemn duty to catch a ball that wasn't in the stands." - Monte Irvin (Newark Eagles OF, May 6, 1981),...

Successful Baseball Hitters Always Have a Plan!
Successful Hitters Always Have a Plan! Here are some thoughts on the above topic from a buddy of mine. The guy’s name is Steve Springer. “If baseball is 90% mental, why do we work on it less than 10% of the time?” "You cannot control getting a...

The Value of Custom Baseball Gloves
Baseball gloves have advanced tremendously over the years. From the original game played with the bare hands to the advanced models of today, baseball gloves have as rich a history as the game itself. The first gloves developed were not accepted...

 
Coaching Sports For All The Right Reasons

The Glove

It was during a March evening in 2002 that I received word that my grandfather was dying. I drove the four and a half hours to Ironwood, Michigan in a snowstorm to say goodbye. I was able to see my grandpa and he was able to recognize me and acknowledge that I was there.

The next morning, he was gone. The doctors said that they were not sure how he had survived for so long. He had many health conditions and a lot of pain that he hadn’t really shown on the outside. Yet, he had visited my grandmother every day in the nursing home where she had moved just a few months before. The staff marveled at the fact that my grandpa could even make it up the stairs each day. But, he did it. He was always there to help someone else.

I stayed in the town where my grandfather had been born, lived and now passed on. The funeral was scheduled for just a couple of days later. I thought a lot about my grandfather during this time. He had inspired me to be an athlete and coach. I remember him showing me the pictures and ribbons that he had won as a hurdler in track and field. But his real love was baseball. He was a great first baseman who played for a while with the Union City Greyhounds farm team and even had a try out for the St. Louis Cardinals. Rumor has it that he left baseball to come back for my grandmother. He continued to play ball in his home town. When times were tough and jobs were scarce, my grandfather was offered a job at the mine... if he would also play on the company’s baseball team.

Two days passed and the preparations for the funeral were made. I spent a lot of the time at my aunt’s house with the rest of my family. Late in the morning, there was a knock on the door. An older gentleman stood outside and carried a small object under one arm. My aunt answered the door and had a short conversation with the man. He then handed her the object, said goodbye and walked off.

My aunt entered the room looking sad but strangely happy at the same time. In her hands, she cradled a baseball glove. It was old and battered and some of the laces were missing but you could still see the words US ARMY branded into the leather. My aunt set the


glove on the table and filled the rest of us in on what had just happened.

“This was Dad’s glove from the Army,” she said. “Remember that when he got back from the war, he helped to start the first little league here in town. That man was a member of Dad’s first team. His family didn’t have much money and he couldn’t afford to buy a baseball glove. Dad gave him his so that he could play like the rest of the boys.”

The man had gone on to say that he had never forgotten my grandfather’s generosity. He had kept and cherished the glove for over 45 years. He had seen my grandpa’s obituary in the newspaper and had wanted to return the glove to the family and let us know what a great coach, and man, my grandfather had been.

The glove was put on display at my grandpa’s funeral. And, of course, the minister’s sermon contained many allusions to sports and frequent quotes from A Field of Dreams. All this made me ever so proud of my grandfather who enjoyed coaching and passing on his love of athletics to the youth in his town. It also made me remember why I chose to be a coach.

How many times have you wondered, “Why do people coach? Why do they give up their time and energy for little or no money, sometimes even less respect and the opportunity to be targeted by parents and fans alike?”

That cold and snowy March day, I was reminded of the answers to those questions. We coach to touch the youth. To instill values into young people that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. We coach to make a difference and to show the right way to play, work and live. We coach so that, even 45 years can pass without a man forgetting his coach and the impact that he had made on a young boy’s life.


About the Author
Tim Alan Kauppinen, or Coach K, has over 20 years experience as an athlete and coach. He has worked with athletes of all ages and abiltities in track and field, football, speed training and strength and conditioning. Coach K publishes a free daily fitness email with current tips on getting stronger, faster and in the best shape of your life. To sign up for this no cost service, visit Coach K's website at http:\www.makesyoufast.com

Sign up for PayPal and start accepting credit card payments instantly.