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Between The Lines 4/24/2013

POSTED April 24, 2013
BY John Nestor
Twitter: @nestorjdn

Between The Lines 4/24/13

One of the more enjoyable things I get to do in my spare time is coach youth sports. I volunteer every season for a  variety of sports because my kids still ask me to and I enjoy it, I'm a jock at heart. Always will be.

After Dad and husband, one of the best and most important things a man can be called is coach. I always get a kick out of seeing a kid that has been on one of my teams and he gets my attention or comes up to me and starts talking and calls me coach, it's a good feeling.

As a coach with young kids my job is to pass along guidance on fundamentals and make sure the kids are having fun while learning their sport. I am not about goofing around, we are there to have fun yes, but to have fun while learning a sport. But I don't go all Bobby Knight on the youngsters either, that doesn't work.

I believe my other job as a youth coach is try try and pass along a few simple life lessons. They may be cliche and maybe the kids won't remember them, but I truly feel some will, and that makes it work it. If you work hard at something you will improve. The kids see it in their jump shot or throwing motion, how they kick or catch and I then hope they realize that it translates. Work had in the classroom you'll get smarter, work hard at a job, you'll get better and rewarded.

Along the way I've learned a thing or two through coaching as well. It's not just a one-way street and I was reminded of an important lesson recently by my son James. 

James is a great kid, smart, outgoing, funny and genuinely kind. One of his best traits is that he just doesn't seem to have any fear, at least of potential failure and what other people think. 

He recently played in his first lacrosse game of the new season and did it as the goalie. I was impressed with his willingness to play in goal, because one it is not easy, two, it's his first season on the junior level and three, he had never done it before.

It's not the first time I have watched James put himself out there and try something new, something out of his comfort level and I found his willingness to do so without reservation very inspiring and refreshing. 

I know I don't always take things on the same way, but I know I am going to try to from now on because on that day James was the coach and I was the player, and he taught me a valuable lesson about the game of life.

HOT BAT: Mike Odenwaelder is having a strong freshman season for the Amherst College baseball team. The former Wamogo star leads the Lord Jeffs in hitting with a .372 average. In 23 games, all starts, for the Jeffs (19-6), Odenwaelder is 29-for-78 with two home runs, five doubles and three triples with 15 RBI. He is also 10-of-11 in stolen base attempts and leads the team with a slugging percentage of .590.

With Odenwaelder leading the way offensively, the Lord Jeffs look like one of the teams to beat in the NESCAC and they should contend for a spot in the D-III NCAA Tournament.

NEWS AND NOTES: The Lewis Mills boys lacrosse team has won four straight and is 4-2 on the season. The Spartans look to be a pretty good bet to return to the Class S state tournament after missing out by one game last season. ... Of the eight undefeated softball teams left in the state, five are in Class L. Torrington (11-0) leads the pack and looks like it has a good shot at a 20-0 regular season with tough games against Holy Cross and Naugatuck left as potential stumbling blocks. ... The Celtics are done. Paul Pierce may have a little bit left for a contender but KG is no longer a real force and who knows what Rajon Rondo will be like once he comes back from his knee injury. There 
are some younger pieces in place but Boston is going to have to make some moves to contend in the East in the future. ... Pass along any questions, comments, ideas to and you can follow me on Twitter @nestorjdn.

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