Friday, June 25, 2010

Discrimination ain't so bad!

We use the word discrimination in a negative sense so much that it’s hard to see it that being discriminating is a positive thing. That is, until you’re forced to.

This past week, it’s become harder and harder for my Ambassadors to get games scheduled against competitive teams. At the start of the season, our schedule was stacked, but after a lot of embarrassing losses, teams started mysteriously rescheduling and cancelling games.

By the way, the other teams are white and my Ambassadors are black, so does this means the other teams are discriminating against us?

Yes it does. Not the color of our skin, but the quality of our play.

Competitive teams:

• Will travel to the ends of the earth to play an intense, dog fight of a game, but not to play a team that gives up in the 3rd inning.

• Expect for the opposing pitcher to throw strikes. Notice I didn’t say throw fast (which wouldn’t be bad either), just throw strikes.

• Expect to be challenged.

My boys have had a hard lesson in competition that needed to be learned in order for me and my coaching staff to change the culture of inner city baseball. We don’t need teams playing us out of pity because we’re black, we need teams to play us so we can sharpen their game and they can do likewise.

Discrimination is bad most of the time, but being discriminating is necessary for success.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Have your cake and eat it to!

In the inner city of Atlanta, it looks like there is a baseball diamond on every corner. There are definitely more fields in Atlanta than in the suburbs where I live. The fields are nicer in my neck of the woods, but we still have less.

In the suburbs, you won’t find marching bands practicing on the baseball fields. They aren’t used for parking during football games and it is a crime to practice your chip shot and walk your dogs. But when there are no programs to use the fields for the designed purpose, these things happen to baseball fields in the inner city.

Everything starts as new but it has to be maintained. I hear theories that baseball will experience resurgence in the black community if new fields are built. What we need to do is restore the fields that we have, maintain them and offer strong programs to put them to best use.

On Saturday, July 17th, L.E.A.D. will restore the baseball field at Perkerson Park with Georgia Sports Turf Management Association (GSTMA). The field will be restored by pros and will be just as immaculate as Turner Field. GSTMA will also train the L.E.A.D. coaches and parents on the proper way to maintain the field for sustainability.

L.E.A.D. will continue to offer its program to help inner city males access college using baseball. We have a proven track record; 83% of our Ambassadors have entered college with baseball scholarships and 100% have gone to college.

On July 17th, inner-city middle and high school baseball players will be able to have their cake and eat it too!

Monday, June 21, 2010

8 is great!

In the fall of 2009, 8 high school seniors were selected to be Ambassadors that would represent L.E.A.D. Our bigger goal as an organization was to put these eight families in a position to access college.

Like baseball, sometimes you swing and miss, hit a homerun or a combination of both. Well in 2010, L.E.A.D. is 8 for 8 with 8 homeruns. All 8 of our graduating seniors will be attending college in the fall of 2010 with baseball scholarships.

Strategic planning, persistence, commitment and good ole fashion love is a good formula for success. There is an infinite amount of numbers in the world but this year for L.E.A.D., 8 is GREAT!