For many living in the Florida Panhandle, youth sports are a way of life. Getting up on the weekends to play tournaments is what teams work toward. Spending weeknights practicing is just as natural as going to school or church. And countless hours are spent on the field building friendships and making memories. At the forefront of the experience are coaches, who dedicate their efforts to making sure kids learn not only the skills of the game, but skills of life as well.
Here in Panama City, one of the premier recreational leagues with a focus on youth sports is Southport Youth Baseball. Alemga Sports' owner Marie Walker conducted some on site interviews at Southport Baseball Park to understand more of what and why coaches do what they do.
Park co-director Jamie Pettis coaches the Southport Red Sox and 12U Allstars. He's a long time coach with intimate knowledge of the game and its values. Coach Pettis made a quick explanation of what has helped the park really succeed in recent years, and how quickly registration has grown. He closes the interview saying, "We just love being around kids and teaching them life and ball." Click the video to see the full interview.
Marie also interviewed park director Brock Poe who coaches the Southport Spartans and 8U Allstars. Also a seasoned coach, he knows how to succeed both on and off the field.
When asked what it takes to run a ballpark, he responded with, "Commitment. It takes a ton of commitment and a lot of good parents... We cant do what we do if we didn't have parents that were right here pushing us."
Coach Poe went on to explain how all coaches at the Southport park are nationally certified, and his program brings in some of the best in the area.
Marie asked Coach Poe his take on people saying his job was a 'thankless one'. Coach Poe laughed lightly before saying, "It's a relentless job," but at the end of the day as a coach, kids leave you saying, "Wow. And I just want to be a part of that."
Marie also wanted the coach's view on one saying of the park- 'We're not raising boys, we're raising men.' Coach Poe grinned, "That's just what we do."
Even with all of this, we really wanted to know the answer to one question in particular; what motivates someone to not only be a coach, but to direct a program centered around helping kids become great at something. The coach didn't disappoint with his answer, "Seeing kids develop. It's a lot of fun to see and know that you had a part of something that could later on materialize into something great." Click the video below to watch the full interview.
Southport youth baseball is a phenomenal example of what youth sports mean to so many people. If you would like to register for the fast approaching fall season, just follow this link to their website! You can also check out their Facebook page here!
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