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Be Remembered


   January 2006


How Do You Want to be Remembered?
By Nicholas Caringi
Director of Operations
Little League International

My experiences as a player in Little League are memories that are "priceless" to quote a popular credit card advertisement. But let's examine why.

Here is what I don't remember:

I don't remember how many hits, home runs, (probably not many) wins, loses, strikeouts, league championships, all star wins or loses. For whatever reason, these just must not be important enough to remember.

Here is what I do remember:

I remember how it felt when our phone rang and the coach informed my dad that I was drafted to be a member of the Bastian Tires team. I remember the feeling I had when I first put the uniform on. I remember our coach rewarding us with a snow cone if we committed fewer than four errors in a game, regardless of whether we won or lost.

I remember my all star coaches, Mr. Cioffi and Mr. Hieber, who put so much time in working with us as kids that we often forgot we played baseball. We seemed to gel as friends first that happened to play on the same team. Mr. Cioffi's practices were filled with interesting, fun drills that reinforced sound fundamentals.

My point is that too often people get caught up in the winning and losing of games and often lose sight of why they are there. Staying true to reason adults volunteer for the children of their community is most important. The reason should be to provide a safe fun atmosphere for kids to learn and grow as individuals. Learning how teamwork and dedication can help them accomplish any goals that they set for themselves.

I now see Mr. Cioffi from time to time as he is a volunteer team host at our Little League World Series as well as my daughter's third grade teacher. Visiting with him reminds me about all that is good about Little League and how much of an impression he has made on me as a child that carried through to adulthood.

Now, let's get back to my original question. How do you want to be remembered?

Wouldn't it be nice to have one of your former players approach you with their son or daughter and say "Let me introduce you to my Little League coach!"

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