When my son was 9 years old, I discovered The Matheny Manifesto. If you haven’t read it, stop and go do it now. You won’t regret it. Mike Matheny is currently the manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, but this letter is his reaction after being asked to coach his son’s baseball team after his playing days were over. After reading this letter about a dozen times and really trying to understand the meaning behind all of the concepts, I completely reevaluated my thoughts on youth sports in general.
Sure, I enjoy watching the kids celebrate a tournament victory and hold their trophy with a smile. As with any sport or competitive activity, striving to win should be part of the equation. However, there is so much more to it than just racking up victories. Whether the kids I coach end up playing in the Major Leagues or working a 9-5 desk job, I want them to do it the right way. That is why I have committed to Matheny’s coaching goals.
- Teach the boys to play the game of baseball the right way
- Have a positive impact on them as young men
- Do all of it with class