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Leadership Surrounds Us, Especially in Our Youth Sports Organizations
Parents: Here are 8 Ways You Can Support Your Local Youth Sports Organization.
In youth sports, leadership is all around us. There are thousands of coaches/volunteers who make great ones who’s work often gets taken for granted. Here is how we, as parents, can be of support.
In 1994–95, I had just started to hit my stride professionally. I had a really good Physical Education teaching position with Dawson College in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I taught to young adults from all over the world. We had students form multiple types of programs, from academic to technical, from nursing to welding to sciences. The courses we offered were very diverse from stress management to fitness & lifestyle to outdoor education and mountain biking to team sports and dance. We had over 30 teachers in the department and served over 6000 students. The student curriculum had them take 1 Phys.Ed. credit per semester. Most students were there 4 semesters. I was tapping into all my education to teach some of the courses. Some of which were in my comfort zone, like team sports, learning to skate and fitness/weight training. Some stretched my skills and gave me a challenge like mountain Biking (a weekend intensive that blended camping and mountain biking), and outdoor education for special populations. When I look back, it was one of the most rewarding gigs I have had in my career. We continuously got feedback as a department from students on how much they enjoyed and benefitted from the courses. The curriculum was designed to provide health and life skills for these students, many of whom would be taking on very demanding careers.
Then it stopped. Well, it stopped for me. It was cut back for students.
Physical Education requirements were cut back by 50%. Instead of 4 credits needed for most students, they now needed 2. Staff requirements went down by 50% as a result. My position was eliminated. There were protests and campaigns lobbying the government on the damage these cutbacks would do to the collective health of the new generation hitting the workforce. The lobbying did no good. The decisions were made.
I remember thinking back then, that the real crime was not the cutbacks, or losing my position. Those were bad, but rather that the awareness of the benefits of the Phys. Ed. Curriculum was so low. The decision makers knew little about what we were doing. They were cutting a gym program. At the end of the day, who’s fault was that?
As Phys. Ed. specialists we were focused on safe and progressive instruction to our students. We were not focused on marketing and growing awareness of what went on inside those classes. Perhaps if we had held more open houses, invited government officials to sit in and attend classes and share the testimonials before threat of cut backs we would have had a different fate. Awareness. Marketing. No one realized how important this was in our fate of offering the program.
In 2020, as we look around to the events of our world, one of the topics that comes up a lot is the lack of leadership on a global scale.
In Canada, I think we have been blessed with some strong leadership during this time of crisis. But this is not a political article. This article is about all the leadership that is around us.
I regularly see leadership in the grocery stores for example over the last 16 weeks. Under very difficult conditions, we have seen some outstanding decisions and policy creation and enforcement that has made access to essentials very manageable.
In youth sports, there is also an abundance of leadership. We hear of the terrible stories of those in leadership positions making bad decisions, however there are thousands and thousands of volunteers who make great ones and never get acknowledged or recognized. Just like the Phys. Ed. program back at Dawson, the awareness of all the good things going on in youth sports is not where it should be.
That volunteer coach on the youth soccer or baseball team puts in tons of hours of preparation, training and planning. They do so while managing their full-time job and their families. This same coach has assistants. All of these coaches have an administrative board behind them that organize everything from field rental to uniforms to certifications to equipment to scheduling to marketing and overall administration of teams and leagues. Most of these folks are volunteers. They do so because they want to create an environment for youth that is positive. They also support coaches so they can have a positive experience.
However, many coaches have more than on the field planning to do, they often have the administration of the team, alerting to schedules and organizing practice times. Everything from record keeping of the games to team pictures falls under the responsibility of the coach.
The organizational skills and leadership required is significant.
The demands are equal to a 2nd full time job. Often their personal health and family time takes a back seat.
It is only the most polished that can add a staff that is competent and delegate accordingly. Burn out is not uncommon. Long season sports like basketball, soccer and ice hockey are especially grueling on coaches. Shorter season sports like football and baseball can give a couple of months of slower times. But even those are ramping up to becoming more full season sports.
The leadership is there. It is all around us.
There are hundreds in your community who are investing tons of hours for the sake of creating a positive experience for our children.
Here are 8 things we can do as parents to support out local youth sport leadership:
1. Be aware how much coaches do. Showing up for game time and watching your son and daughter is the culmination of tons of planning behind the scenes. Kind of like your kids in a school play, there is a ton going on behind the curtain for us to see the performance on stage.
2. Don’t be shy in offering support or encouragement. Coaches and organizations are always looking for volunteers on the administration side. Criticism is tempting, don’t fall into the trap. Support by offering your support.
3. Show some gratitude and respect through your actions as a parent. If your son/daughter has a concern about what is going on at practice or playing time, teach them to approach the coach to discuss the issue. This is not our realm as parents. From a very young age, children can learn to bring up concerns for discussion. This is one of the life skills of playing a sport and having a coach. Show respect for the coach. 2nd guessing coaching decisions is not helping anyone. Learning to deal with things when they don’t go our way is a productive outcome to challenging situations.
4. Ask for coach’s expectations and standards at the beginning of the year, or during tryouts. As a family you then know what is required in being on the team.
5. Find an appropriate time to ask questions. If questions or concerns persist, ask for appropriate time to do so. Coaches should structure this as part of expectations of being on the team, but if not, asking permission to ask questions is appropriate before launching them after a heated game.
6. Use game day as an opportunity to marvel at your son/daughter’s effort, physical coordination and commitment. Let them have fun. This is their day, not ours. Our athletic days ended years ago! Give the stage to the next ones!
7. Understand that most sporting events end without more than 1 winner. 48 team tournaments sometimes get 2 winners. (consolation and championship round). That means 46 end with a loss in their last game. That is part of what everyone has signed up for. Being surprised when that happens or upset is not serving anyone. Dealing with things that do not go the way we anticipated is another one of those life lessons. What are we teaching our kids on how to deal with that?
8. Keep the main thing the main thing. As parents, we want the best for our kids. We want them to develop themselves to their full potential. We want them to learn how to be good members of society when they are older. Sports can teach them a ton around these principles alone. When you add up the physical and mental benefits of being active and focused on an activity, as well as skill development, work ethic, working within a team, goal setting, dealing with wins and losses with dignity and other benefits, you have the making of a solid foundation for your next one.
Leadership is all around us. No where is it more under the radar than your local sports organization. The volunteers put in the time to make the experience positive for our kids, they do not do it for the press or the money. Any coach will tell you, that recognition and money are not what they take away from the experience!
In fact, as parents, recognizing and supporting the leadership in place in your local youth sports is its own form of leadership.
Originally published at https://thephysicalmovement.substack.com.
Leadership Surrounds Us, Especially in Our Youth Sports Organizations. was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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It is a simple philosophy.
It applies to any coaching and teaching situation.
It applies to business as it does to sports.
It applies to elite athletes as it does to recreational athletes.
It applies to team sports as well as individual.
It applies to the weight room, the practice field, the field of play, the boardroom and the classroom.
DO NO HARM.
Why is that so hard to follow as a guiding principle?
There is a disturbing trend* that has brought to light some practices that are tolerated under the watch of people in trusted leadership positions.
Here is one excerpt from a report in the hockey news (listed below) in a newly filed lawsuit:
“These are systemic issues that have been in place for quite a while. There has been a good deal of knowledge in the hockey world that abuses are taking place. And to this day, we have the leagues being very slow to respond to these types of abuse,” says the lawyer representing the plaintiffs”
See list of a sample of documented issues under the supervision of a coach. They run a wide range of issues, from negligence, to ignorance, to racism to physical and verbal abuse.
The focus in youth sports needs to be development of the person.
The focus of elite sports needs to be development.
The focus in the boardroom is development.
The focus in the gym is development for the playing field.
Let’s make it simple.
DO NO HARM.
As my partner points out: there is a difference between getting a desired behavior and developing character and potential. It really comes down to personal power and how, as leaders, we put ourselves out there.
Is it about exerting control? If that is the case, does it come down to our own insecurities to feel that we must dominate and/or coach the winning team? Or is leadership about guiding the process of development?
While the below articles and documented transgressions may seem like extreme at first glance and easy to dismiss as isolated incidences, they represent a failure from the leadership at many levels. One of those levels is to follow a simple guiding principle.
DO NO HARM.
Notice I did not say it was an easy principle.
I said simple.
Simple in the sense that it should govern decisions and planning. It needs to be the foundation around philosophy and culture within the sport, team, business and/or training environment
Not easy in the sense that it does require planning. Physical conditioning practices that are not planned in accordance with safe progression are not a test of grit or endurance. They are maxing out the physiological limitations of the individual. At times going over the line of what the body can endure based on some of these incidents.
Returning from injury to soon is not a test of commitment or toughness, it is a test to the mental and physiological limits of the body.
The strength and conditioning coaches where my son trains (http://jointhepursuit.com/ ) follows a simple rule : DO NO HARM.
That does not mean they go easy on the athletes (of all ages) they lead. But it does mean that they consider training time within their 4 walls as “time under their care”.
DO NO HARM requires thought.
It requires skill to find the right words in a difficult situation. It requires consideration of the person. It requires a knowledge base and experience level that allows for leaders to be able to deal with unexpected situations. It requires humility and security in oneself as the leader.
So where does applying DO NO HARM start?
It starts with setting boundaries and expectations. Athletes, students, employees and parents need to know what the organizational (team or business) and coaches (or manager) philosophy is around leadership. That includes what is acceptable and not.
Underage drinking? Not.
Hazing ? Not.
Verbal abuse and profanity? Not. That seems to be one area where the standard slips. Yes? .
The great Coach John Wooden had 3 rules. Don’t be late. Don’t criticize a teammate. And no profanity. To many that may seem like a small thing. But it sets a slippery slope of a standard. Once you acknowledge that profanity is acceptable within the culture, then what? Especially around young people.
This article is courtesy of:
· Bus rides with 13–15 year old young athletes should not have coaches drinking alcohol on them. This should apply to any team event, period. But for sure for any event with underage students or athletes. Alcohol clouds the judgement. Leaders need clear thinking when others are under their care. Coaches should not be around alcohol at any team function or overnight trip. That needs to be a standard, a policy. Again, a slippery slope if it is tolerated. Simple to enforce if the organization hiring the coach has a clear policy of where the standard lies at the beginning of the position.
· Berating or criticizing a young athlete in front of his/her peers is not the standard of care that should be tolerated. This is especially hard for young athletes playing with a parent as coach. Extremely hard on the young person, and the parent coach. There must be a standard there. Sometimes parents are the only ones who will volunteer. How do you set the standard? Education. See below.
· This means that not letting a young athlete know why they are sitting or getting playing time is not the standard of care. Promoting a culture of speaking up to coaches when they have concerns or questions (without risk of ridicule!). This is critical beyond a certain age, yes? The level of parental involvement with young athletes today, even at the elite level is appalling. Communication protocol needs to be set. Rules on how and when non coaching parents can be involved needs to clear.
These are just a few examples of what is both well documented and personally, I have witnessed in my time as a coach, teacher and parent.
Coaches don’t take an oath like doctors do, but they should.
The summary of the Hippocratic Oath is to set a standard for the doctor in terms of having a guiding principle of care. It can be summarized as treating the ill to the best of one’s ability, to preserve a patient’s privacy, to teach the secrets of medicine to the next generation, and so on.
Organizations have the responsibility to set and enforce standards of care for all concerned. Certifications need to evolve from just skill and strategy development to leadership training that covers the guiding principle of DO NO HARM.
A great example is the injuries that occur during practice or gym time, when training for competition. We are not talking about turning an ankle, but rather prescribing workloads that the body/athlete are not ready for, perhaps in conditions or a climate that is not conducive to progress.
DO NO HARM.
A guiding principle of leadership for any position at any level.
The stakes are too high to not acknowledge and enforce this principle.
*some of the documentation around a disturbing trend is below:
- College Football: Conditioning Them to Death; Splenic… : Current Sports Medicine Reports
- Michigan gymnastics coach resigns after being arrested on charges of having public sex with an athlete
- More explosive and shocking allegations against junior hockey in newly filed lawsuit – TheHockeyNews
Originally published at https://thephysicalmovement.substack.com.
Do No Harm: A Leadership Philosophy or Forgotten Principle? was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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From the outside looking in we focus on the outcome of the competition.
Did they win?
If we won, we did well and that validates everything we do. Right?
While that might be the case, many coaches would beg to differ.
From the insider perspective, the coaches will tell you that attention to detail is the key ingredient to outstanding performance.
Regardless of whether the group is very young, just learning the game, or older at an elite or pro level, attention to detail is the road map that allows the athlete to develop.
In The Physical Movement’s recent interview with Lee Taft, when referring to the skill of moving, Lee mentioned that breaking a skill into parts too soon is detrimental to the development process. That early on, the athlete needs to absorb the instruction. They key is to let the athlete absorb the skill, how it feels, and the coach must guide it and not overtake it.
As the athlete develops, and the understanding of the skill matures, then the attention to detail takes over. Coaches will discuss the details of team and/or individual execution of the skill. Play as a team on offence or defense. Play of the individual on offence with the ball/puck and without. Play of the individual when on defense, in defensive zone or on offence. Regardless of the sport, team or individual, attention to detail is paramount for success.
In baseball, when hitting , the release of the ball from the pitchers hand, the timing between release and decision time to start swing. That speaks to the act of hitting, but does not speak to the situation. There is the score in the game, the inning the game is in, how many outs, runners on base or not. If runner on 3rd less than 2 outs in a close game is a slightly different approach than opening an inning down by 1 or 2 late in the game. On defense, the wind, the grass, the time in the game, the type of pitcher you have, the batter in the lineup and the type of hitter, previous at bats tendencies if any etc.
Attention to detail.
Mastering all the little things that go into the process of skill execution with the backdrop of thousands of repetitions = top performer.
With the backdrop of years of study and experience. At the elite level the amount of preparation is directly related to the level of play.
This article courtesy of:
Every single inch, every fraction of a second can make the difference between progress and decline, between developing and not.
Recently came across these 2 descriptions of athletes at the top of their craft, describing the details around their execution. What exactly they consider when planning their execution. It is remarkable really.
Before you go through these short videos, remember that as a coach, our goal, as Lee Taft says is to understand the skill. Break it down for our athletes.
Let them absorb and guide the process.
From there, we can give them opportunity to refine and practice.
To put in the repetitions and do the homework so they have a backdrop of experience from which to draw.
Lastly, this also applies to having the athletes prepare their bodies and minds for the demands of the game.
The details in that preparation will not only accelerate that development, but give our athletes the best chance possible to stay on the field, court or ice.
In my experience in youth sports, the focus on skill development is only matched by the importance of giving them the best chance possible to stay on the field.
Without the practice and playing time, the young athlete can not develop. And without having the body be able to withstand the demands of the game, they will not get the chance to practice and play.
As young athletes under 13, playing as many activities and sports as possible will provide a great way to develop a multitude of skills. At 13ish, it is time to build the body to meet the demands of the sport or sports they prefer so they stay on the field.
Attention to detail. Don’t skimp on this detail. Preparing the body for the demands of the game.
Here are some great reference points. Notice the detail in each of these:
Phil Mickelson,golf. Arguably the best iron player of all time.
Dennis Rodman, basketball hall of famer. Arguably best rebounder of all time
Originally published at https://thephysicalmovement.substack.com.
Attention to Detail: What Most Don’t See is Why Only a Few are Top Performers. was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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The Physical Movement, Leadership: An Interview with Jerry Weinstein. Lessons from a Fascinating 60 years in Baseball.
There are leaders in every community. Those who have committed to coaching life lessons to young athletes through sports participation. We meet one today who has spent 60 years coaching and teaching.
This article first appeared in The Physical Movement. A weekly free online newsletter on leadership, coaching, teaching, contribution to community and personal development.
There are leaders in every community. Those who have committed to coaching life lessons to young athletes through sports participation. Whom spend time introducing skills and discipline, perseverance and practice. Whom taught the values of teamwork, commitment, competition and dealing with disappointment.
As coaches, teachers and parents we have significant influence over our youth and setting the standard high needs to be our top priority. Learning and paying it forward helps us prepare the next generations for successful contributions to society. This is the first in a series getting to know some of the influential leaders in our community of coaching.
We can learn a lot from the success of others. Their patterns. Their best practices, the skills they have mastered and the priorities they have.
To kick off this series, we had the great pleasure of speaking with Jerry Weinstein. You may not have heard of him prior to this, but 45 000 people on Twitter know him. The baseball community know him. He has been referred to as the godfather of baseball and baseballs’ greatest scientific coach.
When looking at Jerry’s career and contribution, some things jump out.
Over 60 years of coaching in baseball. That alone is something special. Starting as a youth coach, Jerry played with UCLA in the 1960’s, graduating in 1965. He spent 23 years coaching at Sacramento City College, where he accumulated 18 championships, had 28 players go on to the major leagues and 213 players drafted to MLB. He has coached in Olympics (1992 and 1996), at the World Baseball Classic (2017 managed Israel). Most recently he has been in the Colorado Rockies organization for many years. Jerry is a member of the California Community College Baseball Hall of Fame, the Sacramento City College Athletic Hall of Fame, the ABCA Hall of Fame and the La Salle Club Coaches Hall of Fame. In 2018, Jerry received the prestigious Tony Gwynn Award for his contribution to baseball.
His presence online is incredible. Jerry has a following of over 45000 on Twitter, has written 3 books and contributes to his website almost daily. The baseball community obviously values the level of his instruction, and to have someone of Jerry’s experience use these platforms for the greater good of baseball instruction is one of the great benefits of the internet age. The fact that he is using this platform to support and help so many is a testimonial to his leadership and commitment to helping others.
“My statement has always been: The more you know, the less you know,” Weinstein said in an article in baseball America in 2018. “You will never have all the answers. You have to keep reaching and you have to be willing to adapt.”
The Physical Movement took some time to get to know Jerry, we hope you enjoy.
TPM: Jerry, congratulations on a fantastic career. You have been called the greatest scientific coach in baseball, how has ongoing learning influenced your career?
JW: Thank you. Coaches and teachers with the most information wins. So many things change so rapidly, it is to our advantage as teachers to have the most information possible. In baseball, for example, analytics have become highly valued in baseball (and other sports) in the last 3–4 years. There is real data here that can help us be better coaches. That does not mean that everything we measure is meaningful and not everything meaningful can be measured. But this is a priority in baseball right now, so why not use it?
TPM note: The first thing that comes across in talking to Jerry is his ability to communicate is very clear. He is friendly, he is open, he is gracious, very humble, but most of all he communicates very well. Very quickly, it becomes obvious that Jerry not only takes great pride in building a knowledge base, but also has developed some excellent communication skills. This interview was done on the phone, not video call, and the pictures he painted to what he was describing were crystal clear. This is a common theme throughout the interview. The message around information being king is a real important one for coaches, teachers, young athletes and parents. Being empowered on topics relevant to skill development, and self-care is something I have picked up from other interviews with Jerry. (see resources below). I realized in talking to Jerry that there was a skillset here that is very rare. Pursuit and commitment to knowledge, and development of the skills in communicating that knowledge at appropriate times.
TPM: You attended and played baseball at UCLA in the 1960’s, it was a time of significance there, with the presence of one of the all time great coaches in John Wooden, what was that like?
JW: well playing is a generous statement, but yes, I had the good fortune of being at UCLA and on the team and it was a tremendous experience.
We had started on our regular field, Joe E. Brown field during my time there, but had to move to make way for the building of Pauley Pavillion, the new home for the basketball team. John Wooden was a tremendous baseball fan and coached baseball earlier in his career, and he attended every one of our home games. Knowing that I wanted to coach/teach, I got enough nerve to approach Coach Wooden and ask if I could observe some of his practices. He was very gracious in allowing to me to do just that. I learned a ton in how Coach Wooden conducted practices and the speed and pace of practice. It was a tremendous learning opportunity and many of the principles I learned there, I carried on through my career as a coach.
TPM note: John Wooden is considered one the best coaches to ever live. He arrived at UCLA in 1948 and retired in 1975. Over that time, he won 12 national championships, at one point winning 7 in a row. His track record of success went beyond the court, where his teams at UCLA dominated, but also set the standard in identifying principles of success that could apply to all walks of life. He very famously created the “pyramid of success” on these principles. His leadership material is still very relevant today. Coach Wooden’s teams were known for being fast paced and in great condition. Coach Wooden’s definition of success was that is the “peace of mind that is the direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming”. TPM touches more on John Wooden and his philosophy here:
TPM: Where did that interest and passion for coaching come from?
JW: It started from a very young age and with a passion for the game of baseball. Most, not all, but most successful people in any walk of life need a passion for what they do. I played other sports, but baseball became my passion. In little league I had a coach named Murray Burke, a Korean war veteran who was a very positive influence on me.
This is important, I think. for young coaches, teachers and parents to realize that there is a great opportunity to make an impact on young person’s life. Often, it seems that we don’t acknowledge this, yet coaches/teachers often spend more concentrated time with kids that their parents do. The experiences at a young age can shape and influence lives for years to come. That was the case with me, where experiences I had created a passion for the game that has endured over a lifetime.
TPM note: A 60 year coaching career sparked by positive experiences in the sport at a very young age. That is a great message and reminder for all of us who work with young people. The experiences we lead can shape and influence lives. This is powerful and should never be taken for granted.
TPM: What has been the most rewarding about a career in coaching?
JW: When I look back, I think the entire experience little league through Olympic athletes to the pros. The buses, the practices, the people, the game. Every day has been rewarding. The entire journey stands out . Not one event but the entire journey
TPM note: So much is made of the pursuit of a specific outcome. Winning. Scholarship. Making the team. Being the best. However, the journey is where most of us (coaches, teachers, players, parents) spend the majority of our time. Respecting and enjoying that process, the journey is a great message. If we only focus on winning, well, most don’t win more than they lose. If we only focus on being the best, well the process of being the very best we can be is more realistic for most of us. The sense of satisfaction that comes form the journey. If there is no joy in that, then no wonder it’s not of interest for most.
TPM: You spent 23 years at Sacramento City College. You had an incredible winning percentage, 28 players in your program went on the to the big leagues, 213 players drafted. What do your remember about that time?
JW: A lot of things came together for that run. We had great support in the community, baseball was the #1 sport. We had some great people come through the program. We had great support from the college, great facilities, the coaching staff was with me for most of that time. We were able to build some momentum by helping student athletes build self-esteem, and that confidence grew and grew over the years in the program. It was really a perfect storm of a lot of things coming together for that run.
I remember the time there and all the good people, yes we had some really good ball players who went on play professionally, and we had a lot of good people go on to be doctors, lawyers, teachers, coaches, all walks of life making contributions to their communities. I am proud of that.
TPM Note: an 831–208 record at the College, 18 championships in 23 years. What is particularly impressive is that almost all players coming into the college were not drafted, and many more went on to Division 1 schools. Jerry’s leadership led to his induction into the California Community College Baseball Hall of Fame, the Sacramento City College Athletic Hall of Fame. The comment that caught my attention was the one about building confidence and self-esteem. He did not mention outcome or focus on winning. Jerry mentioned building self-esteem in his players and program. That led to growing confidence and that created momentum.
TPM: You have a terrific presence online. The website is terrific, you have almost 46 000 followers on Twitter, people can access your teachings in current ecommerce version. How and when did you transition to delivering your teachings online?
JW: It started by using the time riding the baseball buses to write. I was approached to publish them and got those done. A friend of mine Alan Jaeger , founder of Jaeger Sports, suggested I get a website. So I got help for that to get it done. I do not know anything about any of that stuff. Another friend asked if I was on social media in about 2013 and I said no, so I got help setting that up. I learned enough to add some stuff, but mostly I surrounded myself with good people to help with technical side.
The internet provides a tremendous platform for the access to information. There is awesome content by some very knowledgeable people on all aspects sports, strength and conditioning and in different aspects of life. Yes, there is some nonsense out there, but there is a some really good stuff. I try to put out something almost every day, get some content and updates out. I don’t really do it for the money. When I speak I don’t bring books with me to sell. I love getting good information out there so others can benefit. I have learned so much over the years, I like to share what I have found and experienced.
TPM note: the value of Jerry’s content and contribution is measured by the following he has on Twitter. This is a testimonial to what the coaches and baseball community thinks of Jerry’s teachings. Again, they are delivered in very clear and precise ways. This is more evidence of ongoing learning and using the tools that are out there, even though he admits to not being that knowledgeable on the technical side. I would say that surrounding yourself with good people is a big message here, and again a recurring theme throughout the interview.
TPM: It sounds like MLB teams will reduce their minor league affiliates; how do you think that will impact baseball in North America?
JW: Not sure. It could be positive, or it could have a negative impact. Yes, it could impact some cities and towns that have had a long history of minor league baseball, where it has become a big part of the community. For many, their first exposure to baseball is through attending minor league games. They are accessible and most often a great fan experience. If independent baseball leagues and college leagues fill that void, it could be ok. So here is hoping that happens.
From a baseball point of view, by reducing teams in the minor leagues, reducing rungs on the ladder, younger players may have less steps to get to the big leagues and can get there faster. There would be less barriers for them. Less teams would also create a higher % of prospects as opposed to career minor leagues on the teams. This would help the feeder systems, the community colleges and universities. Going through college and university better prepares players for professional baseball. Professional baseball is a business and managing costs is part of business. So the hope would be that the changes would create a better product for the business, and hopefully would not affect baseball in a negative way. The beauty of it is, if reducing the teams does have a negative impact, they can always add some teams back.
TPM note: I really enjoyed my discussion with Jerry Weinstein. It felt like we could talk for hours. I could not write down notes quick enough. There is so much to learn from his experience. Especially when his experience has been built on so much ongoing learning wrapped around such strong communication skills.
Resources supporting this interview:
For those of you who really want to dig into the baseball side, this was a great podcast:
The Physical Movement, Leadership: An Interview with Jerry Weinstein. was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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