Jock Talk with Kris Meloche: A coach to his players

When you start a summer of baseball at the Bantam level in South Western Ontario the level of competence needed to be successful is great.

As a coach, the question always faced is, what is success? Wins? Or is it effort and attitude when faced with adversity? Winning at the Rep or travel level is important for any kid playing, they will say it! Attitude and effort for me far out weigh any results statistically.

When we took the field this year, we lost…a lot, 6 in a row.

I don’t know if my guy’s know how that affected me as a coach but to say the least, I was doubting myself and my ability to convey the messages I felt were needed to help guide them through the games. Playing the game for along time was the only reason I was able to realize and understand that sometimes the bounces just don’t go your way!

So we practiced…a lot, to everyone’s credit, they all showed up…. faced with an 0 and 6 start it could have been easy to just pack it in. At this point, it wasn’t just our coaches and the boy’s doing this, it was parents and family coming together in support of our team as well, a true full team effort!

We started winning, boy did we start winning! Every game they played this year was up against bigger centers, more eligible players to choose from with years of development under them. Sun Parlour and the Mic Mac league are home to some of the best teams not only in Ontario but in Canada as well.

My first win as a head coach was on my son’s arm, something I will never forget and the guy’s allowed for me seeing as I didn’t give Riley a start until the seventh game of the season, they played like giants against the defending “B” provincial champions, 4-0 shut out closed out by Eric Parker!

Faced with the toughest schedule in Sun Parlour, with Tecumseh, Riverside, Walker Homesites and the Windsor Stars all ahead of us, we started to rifle off wins, 9 out of 13 to be exact with big wins over AAA Riverside a team we’ve never beaten and Walker Homesites as well as Tecumseh and a NO HITTER against Oakridge AA in a tournament with results being lodged with Ontario Baseball!

Attitude and effort garnered these wins for us, perseverance and heart along with pride for ourselves; our town and the game guided us along for this stretch. It was great to watch.

Now we enter into the Ontario provincial final tournament, what is important? I know the young men that I coached this summer will say “Lets win it all coach” and that would be fine by me but what’s important for me is that we now have a group of 14 year olds in this town that don’t back down, won’t succumb to adversity and will always play to the last out, yes winning feels great but it’s how we handled our losses that have truly made us a stronger team.

It’s not how you start boys; it’s how you finish!

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