Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Value of Assistant Coaches

I was blessed for the 10th consecutive season to be the head coach of the Cotuit Kettleers in the Cape Cod Collegiate Baseball Summer League. In the months prior to each season I spend a great deal of time trying to hire four of the best assistant coaches available. They are not required to have baseball coaching experience or even much baseball knowledge. But, each must be passionate about working with young people, college players and campers, and 100% committed to carrying out there responsibilities and our team philosophy on and off the field. I sometimes think how can this assistant coach tradition continue to be so strong each summer for the Kettleers? Then I mumble to myself how can this head coach be so fortunate to have been associated with so many outstanding gentlemen, who love baseball as much as I do, who come to teach/work with the Kettleers players & campers, and become an integral part of the Cotuit community. The four Assistant coaches who drive into Cotuit around June 1st each summer have usually talked on the phone but rarely have ever met in person. They always seem to make the adjustment quickly to living together in a house on Main St. And are excited to begin their work. Some days it is definitely work, instead of just fun, like the first day is usually replacing sod at Lowell Park, edging the entire infield, and just getting the field in immaculate shape before the players arrive. We all work most of the daylight hours every day each summer, and I ask the assistants to pretty much be on call at all hours the entire summer, and yet each coach comes to the park and camp venues with great attitudes and smiles. Every summer I am amazed how these men work, teach, and commit themselves to help college athletes and young campers get a little closer to their personal, academic, and athletic goals. I learned once again in 2013 that a head coach is only as good as his or her assistants. Because of the detailed teaching work done each day in practice, defensive positioning done in the game, experienced coaches on the bench to help the head coach think ahead, this incredible staff led the Kettleers to another Cape league championship in '13. However, I want to make sure to honor each of my assistant coaches in my 10 seasons in Cotuit by saying "Thank You" for being so terrific and building such a classy tradition that I know will be carried on for years beyond my stay as the head coach. Sincerely, Coach Mike Roberts

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