Below, you will find a breakdown of Daddy Ball from the perspective of a coach and father of an elite ballplayer. Coach Trent Mongero is the founder of Dirt Bros Baseball, Winning Baseball as well as the co-host of Trosky Tuesdays & Mongero Mondays.
I've known Trent for years now, and he's the real deal. He has a wealth of baseball wisdom that he shares on Twitter @coachmongero.
Trent Mongero Transcripts on Daddy Ball:
Want to tackle, another tough one tonight, the topic of daddy ball, coaching your own kids. And here's the angle I want to take it. I can't tell you what you should do, but I'm going to share with you, my journey would Tabor a little bit. And some things that I chose to do that I felt were beneficial and want to make a real clear off the bat here that tapers no superstar.
He's not some great player, but when he was a young boy I was very strategic. You're going to hear my dog whining here. He was very strategic. He was very strategic..on how we went about things. And I know he was a very late developer.
He had decent skill sets, but I didn't, ever push him too hard. So really it started out with just typical rec ball, just playing in the towns that we lived in.
And then he played a couple tournaments, probably starting at about nine, but just a couple at the end of the rec ball season. And we moved to Georgia, got them involved with a local team.
It was kind of a travel team, they didn't travel too far. And they played in a league and with other travel teams and played in a couple of random tournaments.
But, he wasn't quite fully committed to doing the things that I was hoping he would do as a dad. But I knew from experience that those things would come in time, if I didn't push too hard. And that's exactly what, I did. I just left him alone.
And if he wanted to work, which you would some we, I'd go throw to him or hit him ground balls. What have you. And then, as time went on, he started to intensify his desire to compete.
At the age of 12, I got him involved with the travel team. Something that was very important to me was to get my son involved with other coaches. I didn't want to just coach him myself.
I knew one day, if he was going to play for me at the high school level, that he was going to have thick skin.
Because, even when you go about doing things the right way, people are going to accuse, players who played for their dad of having advantages. So I'm well aware of that. And even though that wasn't going to be the case. So at 12, I put them with a really, really tough coach, really tough. And it was a tough summer for Tabor.
He was much smaller than a lot of the players, but it was a very good team and he had a good skill set, but every weekend the coach would bring in new players, the latest, greatest players to come play and Tabor typically would find himself on the bench a lot.
And that was fine. I didn't run and jump him to another team. I told him he had to figure out a way to get on the field and that's exactly what he worked on that entire time.
When he got into high school, he played for me. And, I was very fortunate that his skill set allowed him to step onto the field.
I had seniors that literally came to me before the season, his freshman year and told me that, Hey coach, if you don't start Tabor, you're hurting the team.
And this was varsity. These were varsity seniors, but the whole thing I tried to get Tabor to understand was that his self worth and my self worth was not wrapped around and his ability to play baseball that I loved him regardless. Still love him regardless. And he's playing in college right now. It doesn't make me any more important or it doesn't make me puff my chest out.
If he's a great baseball player, I'm more concerned about his character, his work ethic, the things that are going to carry him through in life, being a loyal husband, committed, being a teammate, all the things that I preach on.
It's, been an amazing journey. Wouldn't trade it for the world. And couple of other things really that I think I should share when he was playing for me, we made a pact that when we got home after games or practices, that we wouldn't talk baseball, unless he chose to bring it up. If taper brought it up, then we would talk about it.
And I adhere to that and he never called me dad in the field. He was just another player. And I'm fully convinced that if he wasn't good enough to play that he would have been on the bench.
I truly have blinders when it comes to that and maybe some don't, but I feel confident that I did. But anyway we had that agreement when he was at home and we stuck to it.
So it was an amazing journey. Wasn't even sure I wanted to coach him, going into high school. I remember talking to Sonja, my wife, and she said, you've coached all these players for all these years and you're not going to coach your own son.
So I talked to other coaches that had sons that played for them in high school and pick their brains. And, I determined that one thing I wanted to do in games, I was going to have my assistance coach Tabor when it came to giving him advice, if there was something I wanted to say, I sent it through my assistants. So we never had that tension of father, son, at least very little. So I just want to encourage your dads.
First. I want to applaud the dads that are out there coaching without you. There wouldn't be a lot of teams.
And that's something that a lot of other people need to understand. You know, we got to step up and volunteer.
If you're not happy, with the way things are going and then volunteer, but I don't encourage you to be a team hopper. And when things get tough, just run from adversity, find ways to battle through it, and get better.
Allow your kid some sometimes to fail. There's so much we can learn from, failure when things are going our way and everything is just perfect. There's not a lot of growth that takes place during those times. So, when we're challenged, that's when we tend to reach down deep and really respond. So I got a few guys here.
I appreciate you guys coming on, Mark, Karen, Nick, Douglas, appreciate you guys being here. And to tie this up, to tie it all together, you have to make a decision.
I just don't think that we create teams just so our son can have, or our daughter for that matter can have this amazing opportunity that they don't deserve.
Lead off, play short pitch when they have no business doing, they need to earn their spot just like everybody else.
And we can still have a quality experience. One of my best friends that I played college baseball with, I know when his son was, was young, he went through that. His son did not start all the time.
And you I think his son is better off for it now he earned what he got and there's something to be said for that. So, anyhow, I've created this dirt bros baseball website it's solely to help. I'm not here to sell. We're looking to put quality content out there to help people.
And I hope that you'll take a look at it, maybe sign up for our Newsletter and I'll keep you up to date on any new content that we're putting out there.
Also good God sticking ball TV coming out. I've been very blessed to have the opportunity to share. I'm excited that we have a good crowd on here tonight. And we'd love to get some more input from you.
This was a tough topic. I mean, the politics side and the perceived politics, the real politics, all those kinds of things. And I just want to walk away from that step aside from that, just kind of give you a little idea how I did it. So I'm rambling at this point.
I'm going to go ahead and end this, but appreciate y'all and hope you have an amazing Wednesday. See you back tomorrow around seven o'clock take care.
Dealing With Burnout
I've been thinking long and hard about this one, whether I wanted to bring it up and I have a feeling that it may step on a few toes, but I really got to share it. I got to share my heart and here's the topic, burnout, player burnout.
For 27 years, now, I've been coaching at the high school level by choice. And I can honestly tell you that the level of burnout has gone up significantly over the last eight to 10 years.
And you guys know me, I'm all about being a dirt bro, grinding, working hard, putting in the time, getting better. Everything that I post about on Facebook and Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, it's all about the work, but you've got to allow the kids an opportunity to be kids.
Don't Be "That" Parent
The kids love to play. I get it. I hear it from the parents all the time. My son loves to play.
We were going to take a vacation, but he wanted to play.
And here's what happens when they get into high school, sophomore, junior year, I'm starting to hear these words, "Coach, I played baseball all year round since I was eight years old and I'm tired of it, I need a break." And that's where we don't want to end up as parents.
We don't want when it matters most, their high school years or potentially their collegiate years, where the guys are burnout or the girls are burnout from playing so much.
They're putting in so much time playing so many games and it is fun. But ultimately I want to encourage you to be parents and to keep the fire burning by giving them a little break, here and there.
For instance, in the summer, the last month, before they go back to school, kids need to be kids.
Go on a family vacation, take the money you would spend on the last couple of tournaments, and go away and get away and put the ball down, put the bat down. Keep the fire burning, allow your children to play other sports.
High school coaches, college coaches, pro scouts, we love athletes and you get athletic by playing.
You get it by playing other sports, by exposing yourself to other skills that can transfer into the game and keep you from burning out, or having overuse injuries. So, as a parent sometimes we got to put our foot down and say, "No, we're not going to play anymore, we're going to need a break now" We're creeping up to the season, so this is probably not the time that you want to be taking a break.
You got to start getting your arm ready. You got to start swinging a bat. In Georgia, we're already two weeks into baseball season for high school. So, really this comes down to playing every weekend, probably too much, playing all summer, probably too much, playing all fall, probably too much.
The arm and the body's got to get a break. The mind's got to get a break. I know as a coach, I need a break. And with us finishing school in May, we play all the way through June in the summer.
And then I take July off, and I encourage my players to do the same thing. So, we want to keep them hungry as they get into high school and through high school. And that's the ultimate objective. Don't feel like you're missing out.
Don't feel like your kid's falling behind.
In fact, I would argue that they're be better served and hungry if you give them a break occasionally and encourage them to take a break, or even make them take a break occasionally. So, be careful of this burnout, it's real. It happens to everybody.
And as a high school coach, I don't want to hear ever again, the guy's telling me, "Coach, I'm done, man, I've played forever, since I was eight and I'm ready to do something else."
So, hopefully, there's somebody out there that can learn from it, and look forward to catching up with you all tomorrow, about seven o'clock. And really, really I'll share this tidbit with you.
We're very fortunate at Glynn Academy, one of our alumni is Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals.
And was pretty cool, he got his first bullpen of the year in today, out with the guys, mixing it up with the fellows. And so just to end on a positive note, to see a big-time, big leaguer like him, get down on the level of high school guys and mix it up.
That tells you what that guy is all about. Humility and just being a great, great role model for the players. Anyways, look forward to catching up with everybody tomorrow.
Shoot me some questions and see if I can address those in the next few days. Take care.
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