I love it when a plan comes together


John Mills

During the last few days, I have had the pleasure to re-engage with two life projects begun many years ago.

On Tuesday last I sat in as Technical Advisor at the assessment of Halton Baseball & Softball Club for Clubmark accreditation. I handed the "Club Halton" file to the new club leaders when I stepped aside from club activity a few years ago and it has been really good to see how this has progressed since then. It has taken a while, but as the pages of the file were turned I saw familiar documents and the names of great volunteers who have all stepped up to make the club one of the best.

Clubmark is all about volunteering and standards and I was pleased to see that Halton had opted for "above minimum quality" in an area which has always been dear to my heart -- coaching. Great players need great coaches and it has always given me pride to see the year-in-year-out membership of our youth national squads include young players from Halton.

I started off by mentioning two things. Last Sunday, I wrapped up a Level 2 Baseball Coach Award course in Manchester and it was good to see three Halton players gaining their coaching wings. All three are young volunteers in the club and I remember all of them way back in the Rookie and Bronco stages of their development. To have a place in the "coaching chain" of each has been a privilege. A fourth Level 2 candidate from Halton, the father of a young player,  took me back many years to when I was a Rookie baseball dad, learning alongside my children and being able to contribute to the sporting development of so many others. 

Over the years It has been a pleasure to watch my sons grow up playing baseball and for two great years to manage Halton Jaguars with both of them in the team at the same time.  With one a pitcher and the other a catcher, you can imaging the dinnertime conversation the evening before a game! I think it fair to say that they had a plan for every batter in the teams we played!

My wish for all baseball and softball parents at this time of year is to relax and watch the kids play, to relish their achievements, to contribute to the running of their club or team and to see the work of being a sporting parent bear fruit. The hard work is put in by the club over the winter, by the coaches working towards their qualifications and by other volunteers making sure that quality is at the root of all sporting activity. All is directed to this point -- the new season and the time to Play Ball.

tagged under: baseball, coaching, halton

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sam 13:48

You are starting to sound like Hannibal Smith from the A Team
great stuff!

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About John Mills

John Mills

John was the National Development Manager at BaseballSoftballUK responsible for coaching matters in British baseball and softball, until October 2012. He started professional life as a teacher back in the late 60s, and worked in Sheffield, the Bahamas and Cheshire with other employment in Cumbria for the Outward Bound Trust and at various centres in North Wales.  Academically a physical geographer, John’s early teaching revolved around outdoor education. He has taught mountaineering, rock climbing, canoeing, caving and orienteering, and at one time or another was qualified to lead and instruct in all of these sports.  While working in Nassau, John became heavily involved in SCUBA diving, photography and marine conservation.  John’s involvement in baseball began in 1996 with the formation of the Halton Polecats Baseball Club, which¬†his two sons joined. The Halton club renamed their Runcorn-based baseball diamond as ‘John Mills Ballpark’.

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