I love this quote from an interview with Chris Ballard, the author of One Shot at Forever, the story of a high school baseball coach, Lynn Sweet, and his team in rural Illinois.

“As for the town, it took a while to come around. Mainly because they couldn’t understand Sweet’s coaching methods. The standard at the time, especially in the Midwest, was for coaches to ape Vince Lombardi. It was a militaristic approach—players were to follow orders. Then in comes Sweet and he lets his players run practice on occasion, and choose their own positions. He treats them like adults, not kids, and then, day by day, finds ways to boost their confidence while helping mold them into men. At the time, that kind of approach was incredibly unusual, not to mention threatening. One of my favorite quotes in the book comes from a rival coach during the state tournament, who grumbled to a reporter that Sweet had “set back Illinois high school baseball ten years.”

The interview also discuss Sweet’s leadership method which was based on inspiration and respect instead of on control and power. He also reiterates the power of believing in people and acknowledgement.

(The Coaching Conversation is an amazon affiliate. Any purchases you make through this site support our work.

If you need leadership coaching or are interested in the team-building work we do, please get in touch with us at info at the c0aching c0nversation dot com.)

Marcia McDermott

Marcia McDermott

Former college and national team athlete who made a career coaching college, pro and international level. Now I coach the coach and am committed to coaches and leaders building high performance teams.

One thought on “One Shot at Forever

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.