In (further) praise of Cal Bailey

by Jack Warren, Top Coach editor and host

About a week ago, we learned that former guest and legendary West Virginia State baseball coach Cal Bailey was being inducted to the West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. Coincidentally, just a few days ago we interviewed for an upcoming Top Coach podcast episode, one of his former players and coaches, Tim Christy, head baseball coach at Myrtle Beach (SC) High School. During our interview, Coach Christy, of course, told several good Cal Bailey stories. Before and after the recording he told several more. Frankly, the whole episode could have been about Cal Bailey. And, of course, we got several more great Cal Bailey quotes.

You see, if a coach approaches this “calling” (as many describe it) in the correct way, then people will be telling many stories about their former coach as well. To paraphrase our friend Jeremy “Sheets” Sheetinger of the ABCA, you’re lining up guests for your funeral every day. Done correctly, people will not recall first thing what your record was, but instead what kind of person you were and are. In our two interviews, Coach Bailey was quick to note that he was far from a perfect coach and even noted that, along the way, he had to change his methods. But you’d be hard pressed to find one of his players or coaches that would not remember fondly the effort that Coach Bailey put into helping them become better people.

When your players look back at you five years and twenty years down the road, will they remember first a great baserunning drill or will they remember how you challenged them to get better, to improve, to to not accept good enough, to be a better citizen, family member, and human being? Take stock of where you’re at. Look at yourself in the mirror. Try to see yourself as others see you. And as Nebraska softball coach Rhonda Revelle likes to say, ask yourself, “Who needs me today?”

Jack is available to speak to your team or organization or at your next function. He also provides individual and organizational coaching and consulting. You can get more information on these services at Jack’s professional services site,

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