Saturday, February 9, 2013
Coaches Are Teachers Too!
I have the privilege of counting as facebook friends three baseball coaches- Mel Zitter, Pete Matsoukas, and Walter Paller- who have changed the lives of thousands of young people , the vast majority from working class families, through their work in two organizations- Youth Service League and the Bonnie Youth Club-along with high school teams they coached. Hundreds of scholarships to colleges and junior colleges; scores of players drafted by major league teams, several major league players and a handful of major league stars. All three were great teachers, because coaching is teaching, and none of them were motivated by money- their sandlot coaching was all done as volunteers. When Education Reformers start throwing around concepts like test based accountability and merit pay, let us remember that our greatest teachers and coaches are motivated by their students and players achievements, achievements over the course of a lifetime, not on one test or in one season. I have seen this first hand through my son Eric, who played for all three of these amazing people, and came out of it with a pricieless expeience of being part of a multiracial community of athletes as well as a much better ballplayer