AND THE VALUE OF PLAYING ON A TEAM In 1939, a married couple named Grayce and Carl Stotz developed an idea to start an organization that would promote teamwork for all youth residing in their neighborhood. After pitching their idea to local families, they were met with resounding interest, resulting in the first ever Little League game. “You have to practice constant empathy, communication, and preparation in order to reach the best outcome, and the lessons basketball taught me as a teen have definitely impacted the way I approach situations in both my personal and professional life.” Just as baseball had been dubbed America’s national pastime, Little League games had the same captivating effect. In 1964, President Dwight Eisenhower proclaimed the second week in June National Little League Week in order to recognize the youth program’s ability to instill sportsmanship, volunteerism, physical fitness, and an appreciation for a game that has been loved for generations. As the father of a baseball-loving 7-year- old, I’ve had the great opportunity to watch him take the field over the last two years. He usually bounces around the infield but primarily plays either shortstop or first baseman. He also loves when it’s his turn NATIONAL LITTLE LEAGUE WEEK
to take the plate. He
wields a bat that is much too big for his tiny body, but the joy on his face shows how much he loves the game.
I actually played in Little League as well, and I even played baseball in high school for a season, but my favorite sport growing up was basketball. Since I was 6 feet, 2 inches before I reached my senior year, I typically served as the small forward for our team, a position I liked because it allowed me to shoot from the outside but also work in the paint. While I enjoyed each and every season, my most memorable one was during senior year. My teammates and I had been playing together since our freshman year, so we developed this indescribable camaraderie. We spent hours practicing in the gym together, riding buses to and from games, taking classes together, celebrating the huge wins, and commemorating the painful losses. Spending my adolescence with these guys taught me the importance of working with others. You have to practice constant empathy, communication, and preparation in order to reach the best outcome. The lessons basketball taught me as a
teen have definitely impacted the way I approach situations in both my personal and professional life. Between working with clients, physical therapists, and other athletic trainers, we create the most advantageous exercise programs. While my competitive basketball heyday took place in high school, I still make sure to spend some time on the court. I play on a sand volleyball team, too. As people all across the globe gear up to celebrate National Little League Week, I will set aside some extra time to help foster my son’s love for the sport. If you have any kids or grandkids of your own playing Little League (or any other sport this year), I encourage you to do the same! -Daniel Tribby
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