by Jack Warren, host of the Top Coach podcast
Over the last week or so, my wife and I logged some 2200 miles on a road trip that took us from Illinois to Florida and back. We didn’t take the direct route, however, and we were able to fold in stops along the way to visit with some old friends.
One man that I try to stay connected to as much as possible is Keith Madison, former long time coach at the University of Kentucky. If you have the good fortune of being connected to Coach Madison in any way, don’t take that relationship for granted. Although involved in seemingly scores of efforts, he always seems to have time for you.
On this particular trip, my timing could not have been better, as it was time for the weekly UK Baseball staff bible study, led by Coach Madison. Coach Nick Mingione was very welcoming and allowed me to sit in on the meeting. I’ve got to say, it is encouraging to see a group of men praying together. Looking for indications that coaches care about you as a person? How about having them pray for you? That was an awesome experience.
After visiting with my daughter in Florida, we set the GPS for Georgia Gwinnett College where, as rumor has it, there’s a new sheriff in town. The old sheriff was awesome, but the new sheriff is SHEETS. What more can be said? Sheets (aka, Jeremy Sheetinger) is a friend who has always been there to provide encouragement and motivation. Now it was time to see him in action with a fungo in hand.
As I’ve often proclaimed, Sheets is the man! And as I’ve nearly as often wondered through the years, is Sheets actually more than one man? As his last several years with the ABCA have demonstrated, he appears to be in more than one place at one time. The multiple Sheets have now been consolidated in Lawrenceville, Georgia, where he has unleashed a hailstorm of baseball, coaching, instruction, motivation, enthusiasm, caring, details, schedules, and b r e a t h i n g, that has the GGC players’ heads spinning a bit as they realize they’re going to have to work to keep up.
As I mentioned in my talk to the team and staff, there is something that they will appreciate much more as time goes on. That is, Sheets gets it. He gets that it’s not just all about baseball. He gets that the years that the players spend in the program could impact them beyond what they ever dreamed. He gets that their love for the ball and bat and dirt and grass could help them achieve their dreams — be it baseball or otherwise.
Yes, in just a few days time, I got to see why amateur baseball is worthy of our time and effort. I’ve got to see the men who helped shape our game and influence young lives and I got to see those men who are carrying on that tradition. We are indeed in good hands.
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, JackWWarren.com.