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#Champs. An Undefeated Season In The Books. Let’s Talk.

Well, the season is over and we win the League Championship…yet again #BacktoBack.  Boston dominance in the House.  The Hip Daddy coaching staff did a wonderful job this season, teamwork all around, and the kids played hard each and every game.  Bad News Bears? Not happening on our watch.  So let’s talk about winning, resiliency and what it means to be a Champion…

Champions know how to win, it’s just in them.  They are resilient.  When faced with a challenge and pressure, they dig in and just perform.  And we are talking 8-10 year olds here folks.  Coming off a championship season the year before, all eyes were on the Clippers and all coaches determined to knock us off.  The Spotlight was on, but we took it game by game and just played fundamental baseball.  Three defining moments:

1.) After starting the season 2-0 with two blowouts (and no runs allowed), we faced a legit opponent in Week 3.  A scoreless first inning led to our opponent scoring 2 runs to take a 2-0 lead.  Our team was somewhat shocked that they were actually losing, and in a calm manner, went on to score 6 unanswered runs and making plays in the field that resembled what you might see at Fenway Park.  A 6-2 win and lots of smiles.

2.) After breezing thru the next 4 games, we were 7-0 leading into Week 8 where we were facing the same team above, which had spent the past four weeks practicing and practicing (and winning), determined to get the “W.”  Furthermore, we were down two of our best players, the weather was gloomy…things actually felt a bit weird.  Nerves.  Could this be the day?  Game time.  We score a quick run to take the lead.  Then we get rocked and give up 3 runs to go down 3-1 late in the game.  Our pitcher locks in and shuts them down as we score 2 in the bottom half of the second to last inning.  Tie game.  With one out in the top half of the last inning, our opponent gets runners in scoring position (second and third base)….but, no worry, our pitcher calmly strikes out the next two batters keeping it tied and we have one last chance to keep the streak alive.  Done.  A few solid hits later (and some smart base running), the Clippers score the winning run.  4-3 final.  8-0 and counting…

3.) Final game of the season, League title already secured but we wanted the #undefeated season, period.  Solid opponent again, a beautiful day for baseball…70 and sunny, and a full squad.  We score 3 in the first inning with some long balls and aggressive base running, things are feeling goooood.  But then, next thing you know, our opponent responds and scores 3 of their own to tie it up….you could tell the kids were somewhat nervous and aggravated…or maybe not.  Then the cheering got louder in the dugout, high fives around, and the team support mounted.  These kids were ‘together’ and ready to dig in and play harder.  And the rest is history.  We went on a 10-0 run with doubles, triples, singles at the bat and errorless fielding, ending with a 13-3 win.  Each and every player contributing in their own right, playing together to achieve their goals.

These were the defining moments.  Refusing to lose, that’s what Champions do.  Finding ways to rise up as a team and work together…resiliency is a beautiful thing.  Now, let’s not get too carried away, we did have a ‘stocked’ team complete with some all-stars, but it went beyond natural skill.  They were coached hard by the Hip Daddy (and Mommy) coaching staff and listened.  At this level, coaching the fundamentals, basic skills, and overall attitude is paramount…these are the years they can grow to really fall in love with the game of baseball or so we can hope :).  We love coaching….oh, and not losing is kinda fun too!

Another Championship, undefeated season, and most importantly, tons of smiles, cheering and teamwork in the books. Youth baseball is most certainly Hip Daddy Approved.  Long live America’s pastime…

And okay, this post is rather long, and a bit self-serving and most of you will not care…but hey, welcome to Fatherhood and Coaching your kid’s team!