LovePrints. From bat boys to men.
When done properly, LovePrints is a mutual exchange of the good in us to another. It is a conscious choice to be active for the better in us. When done properly, everyone is forward on their path, and they are headed up from where they are. In this case, I got to witness the growth of a former bat boy, to an amazing young man.
As a coach and as a man, I wish that I could be everywhere at once. Its just not possible. I have young people all over the globe who are having special events and ceremonies. In spirit, I am at each one, cheering at the top of my lungs. I stand for them in celebration, and I rejoice in their successes. I really wish that I could be at them all. They are all wonderful stories. I thought I would share this one.
I did get to attend one such graduation, and as they are all special, I find myself reflecting once they are over. This family is special. The Walsh family is spectacular in how openly loving they are. Intelligent, brilliant in spirit, worldly, and still familiar. They are joyful and good. Special is the word that most often comes to mind.
I met the young Master Walsh as a bat boy for a high school team in Virginia. When he came to introduce himself to me, he had this smile on his face that let me know that everything I had read about him in the letter of reference was true. He was bright, athletic, and he loved the game of baseball. An odd thing happens when adults are around those type of young people. The adult grows. I had simple tasks for myself as a coach, and the top of them is to keep the young peoples smiles bright. Don’t screw it up. Add to. Love him. Pretty simple.
He was my worker bee. He was on top of the drills, he participated in the practices, he was a wonderful addition during games, and he paid attention to what I said and did. For a coach, the part about paying attention is big. I need to make sure that my actions are good for him. Do they make him better? Do they help him? Is it good?
I never got to coach him as a varsity player. We both moved from Virginia to Texas, and as fate would have it, the same community. He attended a public school while I coached at a private one, but we stayed in touch. I got to hear about his task of making new friends in a college sized public school, his decisions on playing ball or singing, his eyes toward college and everything that came to mind.
He had an issue with his transfer from Virginia, and the 4.0 GPA system in Virginia created problems in the 5.0 Texas GPA system, so he had some serious work to do to reach academics levels to go where he wanted for college. We talked about the process and his struggles, which to me were landmarks and successes. He would come and walk with me. Those walks let me know that no matter what was put in front of him, his family had prepared him for it. He was going to be fine. He was going to be exceptional. He already was.
I was invited to attend his graduation with his family, and I felt extremely proud watching the evening move along. My bat boy had become a man. He had found a way to excel. He had found a way to shine. Let me tell you this, in a night of stars, his shine was as bright as any other. I got to listen to his family, and I certainly have a great understanding of how this happens. Great families make great people. Great people make great families. This is true for the Walsh family.
Congratulations, to you and your graduates, no matter where they are graduating from. Well done., parents. Well done, students. Well done, teachers. Well done, coaches.
Congratulations, Mr. Walsh. The University of Texas will be better because you will be there. They can’t be ready for you, because you are ready for them. Go and be epic. I will be here, cheering.
Just don’t lock your keys in the car. Mom can’t be there in ten minutes.
Thank you for your LovePrints. I expect to see them all over Austin, Texas.