This summer, as every summer, Little Leaguers from all over the world are playing for a chance at the World Series.
Obviously, most teams won’t make it there, but it is still a valuable experience that everyone involved enjoys and learns from.
Steve Paasch, manager of the , says he very much enjoys coaching during the All-Star season. Also a coach during the regular season, Paasch feels he can up his coaching game during All-Stars.
“It’s a different experience from the standpoint of you have a group of boys who are very talented, obviously that’s why they were selected to All-Stars, and it raises your coaching demand and responsibilities,” he said. “You can kind of push them a little more and develop them to kind of a higher level than some of the regular season teams because you have such a wide variety of skill levels. I always look forward to and very much enjoy coaching the all-stars because you can be much more aggressive with your coaching techniques and methodology that you apply to that team.”
Let Patch save you time. Get great local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone every day with our free newsletter. Simple, fast sign-up here.
In the same vein, Paasch feels the players up their games as well.
“With the All-Star kids, when they’re surrounded by other players that have a similar skill set to them and are very motivated to improve and play at a high level, it kind of raises all of their games,” he said. “They’re all good players, but it seems like they all even raise their game to another level just because you can tell they enjoy playing with teammates that kind of push them and challenge them.”
Obviously the players are very talented, but it takes more than that to have a successful team. Paasch says that it’s the personalities on the team and the ability for all the boys to gel together.
“You could have one “bad apple” on the team that has a bad attitude or has a negative attitude and it can poison the entire team,” he said, adding that he has been lucky to have teams of kids who are upbeat, supportive, positive, never talk down to each other, and are always cheering for each other and wanting every other player to succeed.
Paasch likes that every team has the opportunity to advance and has a chance to get to the World Series or the national championship.
“No teams are excluded,” he said. “Everybody has the same opportunity as any other team – whether they’re from the United States or from some other country – which is what’s great about it.”
Not only are the players learning and developing their baseball skills, but they are also learning things about life.
“There’s a lot of diversity that goes along with it,” Paasch said. “You can see the different cultures all kind of coming together at the end in the championships and the world series. It’s just a great dynamic. With everything that goes on in the world these days, you see the kids out there being very respectful of a game they love and respecting each other and the coaches and the umpires. It’s definitely a great atmosphere for kids to grow up in in my opinion.”
Fans of Major League Baseball will know that there are often flashbacks of when current pro players were Little League All-Stars. These are still important memories. Paasch says that he tells the players that these are memories that they’ll remember forever, and not to take them for granted.
“Enjoy it, have fun, and embrace it, because you may never get this opportunity again,” he said.