Steve Wiley Talks Baseball, Coaching his Kids, and Little League of Their Own

Categories: Parent Hood

Did You Do a Background Check on That Guy?

So when I first brought my son Ben down to sign up for YMCA baseball at age 5, and they asked me to coach, what could I say?

Was the thought of being a coach ironic? To say the least. But hey, they needed the help, and I had the type of schedule that allowed me to do it. Besides, at this level, how hard could it be? I remembered the fundamentals, and I figured I'd do some research to learn the drills. I conned them into letting my 3-year old, Jonah, play, and my coaching career had begun.

And you know what? It wasn't bad.

So I coached that little seven-kid tee-ball team. They learned. They got better. And best of all, I was spending time with my boys ... and my beloved game.

(BTW, they did do a background check. No problems.)

Will You Still Be Needing Me?

A year later, when we moved to Tempe and we showed up to join the Tempe Rio Salado Little League, I knew we weren't in Youth Baseball Kansas anymore. These guys had Spring Training. Opening Day. Coaching clinics. A total organization. They weren't gonna need me.

Uh, think again.

Better league, same need for coaches. So I'm coaching again. The tee is gone, and now I'm throwing pitches to kids. Same fundamentals. A little better skills. I can still handle this level.

One year later, and we are ready for the kids to pitch. This must be the level where actual baseball coaches take over and Dads like me hit the stands again.

Nope. The league is almost begging me to manage a "minors" team. I say, "Are you sure?" They say, "The parent reports have been great." So what can I say?

I guess I'm a coach.

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