Are metal bats unsafe?

ESPN’s Outside the Lines presents a terrific look at this issue here.

When a player in Marin County, CA suffered a horrific injury from a line drive off a metal bat, the conference voted to use wood the remainder of the season. A California Assemblyman has introduced legislation to put a one year moratorium on metal in high school for 2011. Metal bat proponents say there is no evidence there is any more danger using aluminum. Should metal bats banned?

Be quick, but don’t hurry

John Wooden passed away over the weekend. In addition to being the greatest basketball coach in history, he was a profoundly philosophical man whose life of grace, humor, spirituality and honor served as a model for all who knew of him. The book, Wooden, is required reading for my children and many quotes from it adorn the walls of their room.

Acclaimed SI columnist Rick Reilly’s column is a wonderful tribute to a man he was fortunate enough to have met. For all who knew him or admired him from afar, he will be missed.

What Do You Think is Most Important to Your Players?

I’ve already discussed the origins of the word, “Coach”. The word originates in England, from “coach” as in “carriage”; a vehicle that transports one from where they are now, to where they want to be. University students in 19th century England likened their instructors to carriages, “guiding” the students through their classes and exams. The word in that sense first appears in the written record in 1848. The “instructor” sense was then applied to sports trainers by 1885.

If you buy into the notion that your job is to transport your players to their desired destinations, it is important to understand that they each may have different goals. Your team may very well consist of players whose objectives are to make an all-star team, or play high school or even college ball. But you may also have players with no such aspirations. They may be on your team for no other reason than that they love to wear the uniform, play the game and get a snack. Wouldn’t it be awful if you coached both players the same way?

I would find it fascinating if a survey were done of all young athletes, asking them to rank the following things in order, from most important to least important:

•    Win
•    Have fun
•    Not get yelled at
•    Do something spectacular
•    Not get hurt
•    Learn something to make me better

My sense is that, in many instances, different players on the same team would rank all six choices differently. And then I would find it equally interesting if all coaches would take a similar survey, truthfully ranking the following items in the same fashion:

•    Win
•    Make sure everyone had fun
•    Conduct myself in a calm, respectable manner
•    See my own child perform well
•    Make sure everyone was safe
•    Teach something about the game to the team

There is no right or wrong order to either of these lists. But the best coaches are the ones whose list aligns most closely with their players’.

Have you ever wondered where the word, “Coach” came from? The word originates in England, from “coach” as in “carriage”; a vehicle that transports one from where they are now, to where they want to be. University students in 19th century England likened their instructors to carriages, “guiding” the students through their classes and exams. The word in that sense first appears in the written record in 1848. The “instructor” sense was then applied to sports trainers by 1885.

If you buy into the notion that your job is to transport your players to their desired destinations, it is important to understand that they each may have different goals. Your team may very well consist of players whose objectives are to make an all-star team, or play high school or even college ball. But you may also have players with no such aspirations. They may be on your team for no other reason than that they love to wear the uniform, play the game and get a snack. Wouldn’t it be awful if you coached both players the same way?

I would find it fascinating if a survey were done of all young athletes, asking them to rank the following things in order, from most important to least important:

· Win

· Have fun

· Not get yelled at

· Do something spectacular

· Not get hurt

· Learn something to make me better

My sense is that, in many instances, different players on the same team would rank all six choices differently. And then I would find it equally interesting if all coaches would take a similar survey, truthfully ranking the following items in the same fashion:

· Win

· Make sure everyone had fun

· Conduct myself in a calm, respectable manner

· See my own child perform well

· Make sure everyone was safe

· Teach something about the game to the team

There is no right or wrong order to either of these lists. But the best coaches are the ones whose list aligns most closely with their players’.

CoachDeck “Extras” Page

We are in the process of re-building our CoachDeck “Extras” Page, which is an additional online resource for all CoachDeck customers. We offer free, useful downloads for volunteer coaches and will soon unveil our new “Marketplace” chock full of special offers from selected vendors with whom we’ve established special relationships. Most of these companies won’t be the same ones you see running commercials on ESPN, but they provide quality goods and services aimed at the community youths sports marketplace. If you’d like a sneak preview and access to our “Extras” page, send us an email at info@coachdeck.com, indicate if you’re interested in Soccer, Baseball or both and we’ll get you in.

In the meantime, here is an up-and-coming company sure to make a big splash in the baseball market. XProTex batting gloves are different than any you’ve seen and will add loads of confidence and protection to players of all ages. Check them out at www.xprotex.com.

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