Tuesday, June 12, 2012 -
The OYO Tournament: Where Memories, Life Lessons Happen
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When practices began on those chilly March days, coaches had rosters full of young ballplayers dreaming of hitting the ball, making catches in the outfield, scoring a winning run, striking out a batter, and so much more. As our regular season concludes on these sizzling June gamedays, those same players are now living those dreams – and so much more – with regularity.
Coaches and players are preparing with great anticipation for the final phase of our spring season – the OYO Tournament. The excitement and enthusiasm are on the rise. This is the time of year where teams can showcase what they have learned on the ballfield but also where coaches and parents can teach many life lessons.
Know Your Part – And Approach It Positively
A New York Yankees’ great once said, “It takes a cool head to play a hot game.”
We’re not the Yankees; we’re not professional ballplayers, but it’s easy to get wrapped up in a Major League playoff environment when players simply need support and encouragement. How we handle ourselves will make all the difference between positive memories that will have these young baseball and softball players continue playing for years to come or that will scare them away from a game they have truly enjoyed during the rec season.
That’s why, if we all accept our part and handle it positively, we will create many lasting memories and teach valuable life lessons to every ballplayer during the tournament. So, what is your part?
Umpires umpire, coaches coach, players play, and fans cheer.
There Are 525 Winners – and Dozens of Winners with Hardware
Take a look at the 2012 Tournament Season numbers for our players ages 6-12:
- 47 teams
- 525 players
- 150 head and assistant coaches
- 1000 enthusiastic and motivated fans
- 87 tournament games
- 7 tournament winners
Not all teams will win a trophy, but at OYO, every team, coach, or player is always a winner. How can that be?
At OYO, is your child a better player, teammate, and individual than when the season began? Based on my personal observations these past four months, I’m confident families can answer that with a resounding “Yes!” That makes a winner. And more importantly, that’s why winning is not everything, but player development and good sportsmanship is.
Choose Words, Cheers Carefully
In closing, every coach, player, and fan is encouraged to review the Code of Conduct, where we emphasize sportsmanship, respect, and team-first concepts. Even more importantly, how you respond to any situation on or near the ballfield can have a lasting impact. So I will leave you with this poem that accompanied a Norman Rockwell baseball illustration. I believe – and hope you do, too – this tournament season involves so much more than wins, losses, and hardware.
He Is Just a Little Boy
He stands at the plate with his heart pounding fast.
The bases are loaded and the die has been cast.
Mom and Dad cannot help him, he stands all alone.
A hit at this moment would send the team home.
The ball meets the plate, he swings and misses.
There’s a groan from the crowd with some boos and hisses.
A thoughtless voice cries, “Strike out the bum”.
Tears fill his eyes, the game’s no longer fun.
So open your heart and give him a break.
For it’s moments like this a man you can make.
Please keep this in mind, when you hear someone forget.
He is just a little boy, and not a man yet.
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Tuesday, June 12th, 2012 at
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