Once upon a time I used to think that I could never be a full-time instructor. The rationale at the time was born from the snobbish attitude I had acquired from all those years of coaching really good players at the college level. The idea of working with young, inexperienced players seemed like a jail sentence more than an opportunity.
Boy oh boy, was I wrong!
What I have found is that the joy on the face of a beginning player who just conquered a fundamental skill is just as gratifying as the smile on the face of the skilled player who accomplishes something of equal meaning to them.
In many ways seeing the spark in the eyes of the beginner is way more satisfying than that of the veteran player, because it is all brand new to the beginner.
The end of the high school season this fall has presented me with a list of more than 20 players who I work with who have been named all region, all county or been selected to the Dugout Club Senior All-State games. Many of these same players have been recognized as team MVP, outstanding defensive player or pitcher of the year, or many other superlatives.
So I feel blessed to have the opportunity to work with so many very skilled and highly successful older players. Seeing these players recognized has me smiling from ear to ear.
So do you want the good news or the really good news?
Good News: I get to work with about two dozen really talented kids, many of them every week.
Really Good News: I get to work with about three dozen 8- to 12-year-old players who aren’t old enough to receive the formal recognition of their older peers. But they will.
About the Author: Tory Acheson brings a wealth of knowledge to the Fastpitch Prep staff. He has coached at all levels of the game, including the last 25 years at the college level at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside, Tennessee Tech and Kennesaw State. He began his coaching career at the high school level spending 9 years Whitnall High School in Greenfield, Wis. and is now working as a professional softball instructor.