credit to players kopitzke baseball

Credit goes to the player

May 24, 2023

I've always been hesitant to boast about players that I work with in order to promote myself or my business.  I hold to the belief that the coach takes blame and the player takes credit. So mentality it's difficult for me to promote myself or my brand, based on me being the reason a player is so good or became so good.

I scoff when I read or see travel organizations boasting about the number of their players that went on to college or professional ball as if they are the reason for it. It's simply opportunistic and frankly, dishonest and I won't do it. I've never tallied the number of my athletes that have gone on to play at a high level. Most of the credit goes to them. They had to put the work in and perform when it mattered. It also doesn't recognize the player that didn't achieve those levels but worked their butts off and made strong personal gains.

I've spent single summers or off-seasons with many college and pro athletes, and with others I've spent a decade, working with them since they were in their early teens. No two situations or relationships are the same. I take no more credit for the successes of the decade long athlete than I do for the the single season one. Most of the credit still belongs to them.

I like to believe that I played some role and had some positive influence that helped them along their path. Exactly how much I don't speculate. It isn't measurable. However, having participated in sports from a young age, I've experienced how powerful the impact of a coach can be. There have been a few throughout my life who had very strong, positive influences on me.

When I reflect on the impact and interactions with those individuals, there's no focus on how to perform a skill or complete a play. It wasn't about the nuts and bolts of the sport. As an adult and someone who has deeply researched the subject of skill acquisition, I can say that many of the things they tried to teach me were wrong, but it didn't matter then and it doesn't matter now because I realize that what they did teach me was far more lasting and valuable.

I think of the ways in which they spoke to us, how they treated us, how they motivated and inspired us. These were stand-up, honorable men who gave their time to the young, impressionable boys we were. I looked up to them then and still do. They are not perfect. I don't hold them up on a pedestal. I simply appreciate them for who they are and what they provided me.

I hope that I have had similar impact on the many young men that I've worked with over the years. For me, it's always been about helping them chase, helping them reach, and potentially achieve their dreams. It's never really about doing well in the weekend's tournament or tweaking their swing or teaching them a new pitch. My intent is to give something much more far-reaching.

Nothing warms my heart like getting a call from Damian Henderson just because we haven't talked in a while or receiving a baby pic from Will Gilbert, both of whom I've known for nearly 1/2 of their lives and whom I view more as family than clients. Or receiving a hand written letter like the one from Drew Harrilchak expressing the positive impact I had on his life.

This is why I do what I do.

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