Touring with Taylor: Who’s your favorite coach?

Dan Taylor's summer job.

Greetings from Grand Rapids, MI…

We all find ourselves trying to reel in the honest truth, and, for me right now, it’s simple: We are without baseball until next spring training. So what do we do until then?

I, for one, am glad to say that college sports exist. I could do without all of the pro sports and stick right with college athletics. To me, it is the most pure form of competition; none of the players are worried about their contracts, and none of the coaches are worried about who is going to be traded and what they are going to be left with. It is pure uninhibited competition where player pride in a school is only overrun with the will to defeat anyone challenging them. I take my college sports with any flavor: football, rugby, field hockey, basketball, volleyball, soccer — you name it.

With that in mind, and all of the national headlines, I offer a bit of a thought for all of you out there looking to fill your time these days. Who are some of the coaches who have come and gone in your life, but left an everlasting impression? I have been very blessed, by having many good coaches in my life who have helped me become the player, and the man, I am today. Although I am not quite sure it is fair to narrow it down to one, I think the idea is one worth thinking about anyway.

I will leave you with one short story of my past about one of my favorite coaches. When I was just starting out in Little League I had a coach who was very tough and rugged, but was the most caring and committed man I have come to know. At the time, he told all of the parents, “If you cannot stand seeing your child yelled at, then do not come around my practices.” Now you may be thinking, “holy cow!” but it’s quite the contrary. This was his scare tactic to keep parents, the distractions, away from the practices so he could work with us and keep our 100 percent attention. Every practice, we were working on something new, and he always had more than one way to teach us drills, so we all understood in our own minds what, and why, we were doing.

I cannot say specifically one thing that it was about this coach that made him stick out to me, but more so his outlook for all of his players and who he wanted them to become. Do you have anybody like this in your life, who was so passionate that they were even willing to ward of your parents, just in order to get complete focus and dedication from you?

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