Baseball and softball teams don’t work without coaches.

Coaches are key to crafting ball players. They teach fundamentals (throwing, catching, fielding, hitting) and more nuanced skills that make players better, even dangerous to the opposition.

They deal with a lot, from player tantrums and snotty noses to parent tantrums. And they do this for free.

They speak or yell instructions at your sons and daughters. They guide. They console. They motivate. They speak louder when player discipline falls short on the field or in the dugout. They question umpires’ calls, most of the time calmly. They support our children.

Coaches form better players, and in many instances better human beings. The good ones teach sportsmanship, losing and winning with grace, playing with grace.

Many of these coaches are sharing their time and talents with our children now.

To the coaches, thank you for your time and help in developing our children. You take a lot and we’re thankful that you have broad shoulders to complete these tasks.

I remember many of my coaches growing up, learning to play baseball in the Highland Park baseball league in Topeka. One that sticks out is Carl Bush. He was my coach after I moved from a rookie league similar to the 9-10 league in Babe Ruth to the next level, when bases were farther apart and pitchers’ offerings seemed to whistle past you or spin just out of reach of your bat.

Bush took the time to work with players in their positions (catcher and outfield) and at the plate. He instilled confidence in players and a desire to win. Players responded.

Thank you, Mr. Bush.

And thank you to all the coaches who have helped my children in sports and the many who work now in our leagues and other teams that represent Parsons so well.

The game doesn’t work without you. And the game is certainly better for your involvement.

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