Baseball Magazine

Stepping Down as Head Coach

By Meachrm @BaseballBTYard
About 10 days ago I officially announced that I was stepping down as head coach of my high school team.  This is something I have been mulling over for a couple years now and just finally came to the conclusion that it was time.  Being a head coach at any level takes up an enormous amount of time.  This, of course, is somewhat predicated on whether or not you want to do it right.  When I started as head coach of the school 13 years ago, I was not married and therefore my wife and I didn’t have the pleasure of chasing around our three little ones yet.  Times have changed.  Basically, I can no longer keep up with the schedule I created 13 years ago.  Those off-season morning and evening workouts, lifting and running sessions, etc. all have helped turn our program into a successful one.  When players enter our high school, they look forward to this schedule and usually ask to start even earlier and include more options.  This expanding program just doesn’t match my need to back off the time commitment.  As a result, it was just time for me to move on.
I feel very blessed that I have been able to decide for myself when it was time to step down.  Many coaches do not get that luxury.  I am lucky that school administrators, parents, and community members bought into our system and let it proceed as we saw fit.  The players played.  The coaches coached.  The parents cheered.  The administrators backed up our mission.  I know how fortunate I was to lead such a program.  Many of the pitfalls that throw large wrenches into programs just didn’t seem to occur for us.  Not really sure why.  I’ve heard many horror stories from and about other programs where good coaches are/were not given the same treatment.  I consider myself lucky.
When I was younger, I paid attention when players and coaches were interviewed on TV.  I also read books about and sometimes written by people in the game.  At the end of these players’ and coaches’ careers, ultimately the same question was asked to all of them.  “Do you have any regrets?”  In virtually every single case, the answer was “I didn’t get to see my kids grow up.”  I’m not sure why but even as a little kid, I remember hoping that if I was ever asked that question in the future, I would truthfully be able to give another answer.
Two of my kids are now playing their first team sport - the "S" word (soccer).  Watching them both run around in a swarm of players around the ball with gigantic smiles on their faces is priceless.  I want to see more of that.
We'll see when I decide to get back on a field to coach.  Expanding the blog, making some videos, maybe a book, organizing coaching seminars and player clinics certainly will keep me busy and connected to the game.
A big thank you to all those who played a role in our program.  My only request of you now is to continue giving the next coach the same treatment you gave me.

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