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More than winning

By Richie Ann Ashcraft

The Jayhawks lost three more games.

But, it's okay, for all of us, really it is.

The coaches and I were discussing after practice how much the team has improved week over week, and we weren't talking about winning games. These kids were unruly when we started. They wouldn't listen. The competed with each other. They woudn't share.

When we lined up for the National Anthem at the first game, half the boys had their hats on their heads, poking the boys in front of them and talking. A-hem. That was the first lecture about acting right delivered by the manager.

Back in the dugout, we've had arguments, put-downs, and inappropriate discussions about boy parts. A-hem. Ball players don't do that. Not in my dugout.

There was even an issue one night when two of our boys went for the same ball and argued, ruining the play. There was forced handshaking after the inning.

Seven-year-olds are the most disorganized little people there ever were. After repeatedly searching frantically looking for lost gloves and hauling forgotten baseball bats home, I threw down a new rule: You forget your stuff, you owe me pushups to get it back.

Point is: There is so much more to teach these boys than how to win a game. Sports, like baseball, really does instill some of the right kinds of discipline and integrity. Those things are so much harder to teach than pitching but they are things that our team is adament about working on.



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Good job, Richie. Learning the rules and how to be part of a team are life lessons. Go Jayhawks!

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