Mike Matheny is the St. Louis Cardinals Manager and when I read this article I wanted to stand up and cheer…or, as jlo would say…I got goosies! As a teacher and advocate for children, I kept making connections to the classroom. He’s got more COMMON SENSE than many of the Ph.D.s I know!
Here are some of my favorite clips:
“I always said that the only team that I would coach would be a team of orphans…” (I had to laugh because I often say that I’d love to go back to the classroom if I could find an orphanage!)
“I believe that the biggest role of the parent is to be a silent source of encouragement….” (Children also need parents to be their constant support in learning.)
“The thing that these boys need to hear is that you enjoyed watching them and you hope that they had fun.” (Shouldn’t everything in childhood be like this? Children want to hear that you enjoy being their teacher and watching them learn.)
“Let the record stand right now that we will not have good umpiring. This is a fact, the sooner we all understand that, the better off we will be.” (In other words, life isn’t always fair. Get over it. You won’t always be at the front of the line or get an A.)
“A large part of how your child improves is your responsibility. The difference for kids at this level is the amount of repetition that they get.” (I think we call this purposeful practice for automaticity in the classroom. Parents need be partners in the learning journey by encouraging reading at home.)
“I would like these boys to be responsible for….” (It’s not the parents’ job to remember homework, lunch, jackets, etc.)
“I know that times have changed, but one of the greatest lessons that my father taught me was that my coach was always right…even when he was wrong…Our culture has lost this respect for authority mostly because the kids hear the parents constantly complaining about the teachers and coaches of the child.” (Try not to overreact and be too critical of teachers and coaches. No matter where you go or what you do you will always have a “boss” that you need to respect.)
At the end of the day, Mike Matheny’s mantra is SPORTS CAN BE JOYFUL FOR KIDS.
And, my mantra is LEARNING CAN BE JOYFUL FOR KIDS!!!
P.S. If anybody knows Coach Matheny please tell him that I’m his biggest fan and I can’t wait to order his new book.