Northwest NEWS

June 11, 2001


These coaches are examples of what is right in youth sports

This time of year the sounds on the baseball diamond echo throughout our community as hundreds of kids take part in Little League Baseball.
   My two sons have been lucky enough to have many good coaches throughout the years. However, there are two who deserve special recognition this year Darran Littlefield and Jim Florentine.
   Darran and Jim personify what Little League coaching is all about. They teach the fundamentals of the game within a bigger context, the individual child. Nothing is more important to them than giving each child a chance to succeed. In these days of coaches and parents who put an overemphasis on winning and performance, Darran and Jim have a clear vision of the big picture. They are an example of what is right in youth sports.
   They have been able to teach my son with special needs more important things than catching and hitting a ball. He has learned what it truly feels like to be included as part of a team. He has learned to be confident and say things like "I want to try and pitch," and they have given him that opportunity. He has developed a love for playing and watching the game, something I will be able to share with him the rest of my life.
   We owe a big thanks to Darran, Jim and people like them who are such positive influences in youth sports.
   David Shelton, Woodinville