I was disappointed watching the last few seconds tick off the clock last night as the Chicago Blackhawks lost Game 7 to the St. Louis Blues in the NHL playoffs. The series was as good as it gets. The pace was intense, players were hitting each every chance they could, and the chirping after the whistle was constant.
However, after the final horn sounded, the players participated in one of the greatest traditions in sports. They lined up and shook each others hands. Just seconds after they were beating each other up, they lined up and patted each other on the shoulders. The Hawks congratulating the Blues, and the Blues acknowledging the Hawks great play in the series.
We can learn a lot about sport from this tradition. You lay it all on the line on the field of battle and when it is over, it is over. You give your all and that is all anyone can ask. Then when the horn sounds, you look your opponent in the eye and say great job. There is no time for excuses, or complaining, just sportsmanship after a great contest.
Hopefully, we can learn from this series. Give it your all and when it is over, it is over.
Young in my baseball career, a coach once told me, respect every one and fear no one. It sounds simple, and true, but I see this hurting teams on daily basis at the youth level. If you take someone lightly in this game you will get beat or underperform. Because you have beaten a team in the past, or a team lost to teams that you have beaten before, should not matter. If you take someone lightly, or do not respect them, you are setting yourself up for disaster.
Just as crippling, is fearing a team, or player, because of the name on the jersey or past accomplishments. I was told by a great coach, "I don't care if the New York Yankees show up tomorrow, you look them in the eye, and go play your hearts out, the way you know how."
Stop worrying about the press clippings, enjoy the game, and play it the way it was meant to be played regardless of who is on the other side. Play Hard and Have Fun!
FROM THE COACHES DESK: It has been a very good week. Jason Cast, one of our 17U player’s, had a feature article written about him in The Daily NorthShore.
Diamond Instincts @diamondinstinct Apr 21
Bright days ahead for Lake Forest's Cast Great article on @DawgzBaseball unsigned Jr. Jason Cast tearing it up early http://jwcdaily.com/2016/04/19/bright-days-ahead-for-lake-forests-cast/
Sam Harris, Diamond Dawg alumnus, currently at Oberlin, has been tearing it up lately. Sam is starting every day at SS, and hitting close to .400!
Grinnell College, current home of former Diamond Dawgz player’s Jay Goldsher and Brad Weaver, have cracked into the National Rankings for the first time in school history. Jay and Brad were members of the first ever Diamond Dawgz team and part of the first Dawgz graduating class two years ago.
Congratulations also go out to Dawgz player’s that have recently signed to be #nextleveldawgz: Tyler McHolland (Heartland), Drew Martinson (Middlebury), Andrew Hennings (Middlebury), and Tommy Giella (DePauw). More to come soon!
12U: Week 1: Silver Series Champions
13U White: Week 1 Silver Series Champions
All teams are getting better and will continue to get better! It will be exciting to see the continued improvement of all individual player’s and entire teams as the year goes on. I saw every team, minus the 14U, as my schedule did not allow me to get to one of their battles. I was really impressed with what I saw on the diamond last week. I saw confidence grow, and teams get better within the weekend, and that is all we can ask. I am excited to see everyone this weekend.
The player’s that succeeded played fearlessly with confidence. That is what we will continue to look for and preach. That is what leaders try to get others on the team to do when others are going through the motions or are playing nervous. Let’s encourage our player’s to just go play this weekend. PLAY! LET IT GO EVERYTIME! Play Hard & Have Fun!
Here is to a fun weekend at the ball park! GO DAWGZ!
Go have a great day today!