Saturday, April 9, 2016


Here at BYB, we are Yankees fans, sports fans, moms, dads, coaches and more. I’m a coach of several youth teams and coaching is one of my favorite things in the world. I love being a dad and a husband, but after that I love being a coach. It’s where I feel I can have the most impact and I truly have fun at the ball field.

I, like other coaches though, can get frustrated. I am fun and like to crack jokes and have a good time, but as a coach, I am also stern. I can be loud and can correct in an assertive voice. I don’t baby the players and I expect things to be done as asked. That’s not something I can turn off. If a player gives me effort, I won’t be upset. I will still correct mistakes, but if he is legitimately trying, I’ll be content.

For example, the other night at my 13-14 year-old practice we were working on basic cuts to the bases. I had the players throwing to second to start and the first couple of throws weren’t perfect; no biggie, that’s why we practice. Then they got lazy and weren’t getting into position. When they got lazy, I got upset.

Several of the players are shy and quiet and I could tell I may have spooked them a little when I yelled and made them do push-ups for being lazy. I made the whole team do them, not just the couple of players who got lazy on me. Everything for me is team oriented.

I called them in and explained that I’m not mad and I’m not a jerk, but in order for us to get better, we have to do things correctly and it all starts with effort. If you give me the effort, I’ll be a happy coach.

Did I feel bad? Ya, kind of. That’s my nature. I don’t like to upset people, but at the same time, what kind of person am I if I let the players’ half-ass something? I feel I would not be doing my job if I allowed the players to slack. How would they improve as ball players and people if they were allowed to not give it their all? While they may have been upset that night, in the future I hope they grow to appreciate the accountability I try to instill in them.

I’m not perfect and I never will be. I overreact sometimes and make mistakes just like we all do. The most important thing though is to learn from mistakes. That has to start at the top, in this case myself as the coach, and work its way down to the players.

In life we are given opportunities. Some are recreational, some are educational, some are professional. If we choose not to give it our all, how would we ever know what our full potential is? 

I feel if you are not willing to give it your all, then choose something else to do. If you give 100% and you fail, you can hold your head up high knowing that you did everything you could to accomplish your goal and it just wasn’t meant to be at that moment.

I screwed up in college when I had the opportunity to play baseball. I didn't give it my all and only lasted a couple of years. I regret the hell out of it every single day.

The players I coach are all great kids. Some are willing to do what’s asked and some need a kick in the butt. Some need a huge kick in the butt! I would like to reverse that course. I’m hoping that over the course of the next couple months, the team, my great coaches and I, can learn to understand each other and the boys can start to mold into young men.

I hope the boys learned a lesson the other night. I learned a lesson myself. I learned a little more about them and learned some things, both on the field and off. What was it? That we all need to work on. In order to be successful though we need to start with one thing…


 --Dan Lucia
BYB Senior Writer
Twitter: @DManLucia

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