Winston & Damman June 2019

On Your Side (810) 966-WINS (9467)

June 2019

Like Father, Like Son Honoring Shawn and Zack’s Baseball Connection

I often joke that our son, Zack, was born with a baseball in his hand. This will come as no surprise to anyone who has ever met my husband or knows the way our family has spent every spring and summer of Zack’s life. When Zack was first born, his dad, Shawn, coached the local high school varsity baseball team. Zack attended those games when he was still just an infant snoozing in his carrier, and when he was 4 years old, he stepped up to the plate himself. From there, Zack’s youth baseball career continued through T-ball, pitching-machine leagues, and standard youth teams. Shawn eventually stepped back from coaching school baseball teams to focus on our kids and their many sporting events. At one point, all three kids were in softball or baseball leagues, so our springs were packed with practices and games! Shawn became Zack’s Little League coach when Zack was 8, and it has been that way for the past four years. Shawn has always had a passion for coaching baseball. He played through college, and he was even coaching 14- and 15-year-olds when we first started dating! But in a completely unprecedented move, Shawn decided that as Zack shifted into

travel baseball this season, he would stop coaching.

I was often amazed at how patient and knowledgeable Shawn was with our players. He always knew just what to do next. Things that would take me forever to figure out are second nature to him, but I suppose when you have been around the sport for as long as he has, some things are just instinctive. I will always be impressed with Shawn’s remarkable coaching ability. After countless seasons on the diamond with our children, I am grateful for his care and dedication to their growth. These are memories Zack is going to have for the rest of his life, and to know he will share that bond with his father is something this mom will always treasure. Happy Father’s Day to all dads, including my husband, Shawn!

Then fate intervened.

This spring, Zack’s travel league coaches asked Shawn if he would lend his expertise to the team this season. Of course, the lifelong coach said yes! I’m excited that Shawn will join Zack on the diamond once again. Watching a father and son share this hobby is very special, and I can’t wait to watch their relationship grow. Of course, this does create an interesting dynamic. As a catcher, Zack is in the middle of the action, so it isn’t uncommon for him to make a few mistakes each season. I can tell Zack is fearful that he might let his dad down, but having known Shawn as a husband, coach, and father, I know patience is one of his greatest qualities. When our daughters were younger, I helped Shawn coach their softball teams.

–Nicole Winston

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