Baseball can be a great educator for young athletes. As a coach, your job is not only to teach them the game but also educate them on life. International baseball can be a perfect example of where life lessons spill out past the foul lines.
International play is more common in all-stars and postseason. These unique experiences can add to the championship flair. It can also provide opportunities for travel and other life-changing memories. For coaches, it can be a major goal to reach this level and give your athletes room to learn.
“It’s an incredible learning experience for these guys. It’s not just about baseball,” says PONY Baseball manager Warren Furst of the United Kingdom. “It’s about different cultures and different areas and they have an incredible experience.”
EARNED, NOT GIVEN
The privilege of experiencing international play is earned through high-quality competition. The best of the best clash to prove who is the world’s rightful champion. Interacting with other athletes during these championships can be a victory for everyone involved. Coaches can help influence that interaction by reminding their players of the opportunities presented.
“The experience that these kids get, you know, meeting kids from other countries, different cultures. It’s just a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” says Dave Barr, manager of the Hagerstown, Maryland, PONY team.
Learning about other cultures through baseball can create a memorable experience. International play can help coaches and athletes broaden their horizons. Strive for greatness this season and aim for more than the winner’s circle with your championship effort.
Looking for more coaching Pro Tips? Find out how to manage competition while still having fun with these additional tips from the PONY League World Series.