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More than just baseball

A few months ago, I put out a request for readers to share stories of practical ways we can prepare students for adulthood. I was finishing up the manuscript for my new book, Artifical Maturity (set for release in June!), and wanted to include real-life examples from people around the world.

The response was absolutely overwhelming! I’m so thankful for everyone who took time to share ideas. There were so many more than could be included in one chapter of a book. But I wanted everyone to hear these great ideas. So here’s the plan: over the course of next year, I’ll share a story that someone submitted. I hope you find them as challenging and helpful as I did!

Here’s this week’s story:

A friend and I recently watched our boys play through the All-Star baseball season in our area. The more we watched them play the more we had the desire to create a travel team. The more we talked about starting a team the more we realized it had to be about more than just baseball or else it wasn’t worth doing. Therefore, our tagline became “more than just baseball” and we created the Bleckley County B.E.A.S.T. baseball team. Our desire is to help these young men grow to be leaders with character on and off the field. We teach them more than just baseball – we teach them B.E.A.S.T.ball. Every practice we drill our 5 core values:

B – Be your Best
E – Encourage the Rest
A – Attitude is Everything
S – Leaders Serve Others
T – Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Each week we key in on one of these core values and teach a lesson to enforce the value. Parents are saying, “I didn’t even know who my son was this week because he has been doing things around the house without being asked (the focus of this week was on serving others). In the last game of our first tournament we jumped out to a quick start and then fell behind. Our boys were getting down on themselves so the focus for the rest of the game became being their best one play at a time. Boys who hadn’t hit the ball all day were hitting the ball solid and getting on base. They adjusted their attitudes, focused on being their best one play at a time, and encouraged each other to come from behind and finish third in our first tournament.

Our dream is to help these boys learn to be leaders with character on and off the field, but we also hope to help parents see the difference positive interaction has on their children. Maybe this will begin making a difference in the way parents interact with their children at home. I know it has made a difference in how I interact with my children at home.

Tracey Deavers, Cochran, GA

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More than just baseball