Wise Words from the Little League CEO

I ran across this link at Baseball Musings but it really bears repeating.  Stephen Keener, Chief Executive Officer of the Little League, was a keynote speaker at a Little League Diamond Dinner in Syracuse, NY.  Keener had a few surprising, and in my view positive comments about the role of Little League in our communities. 

From an article by Sean Krist at The Post Standard:

Keener said he’ll get calls every year from Little League coaches around the country, who’ll tell him their teams had undefeated seasons and won numerous championships. Those coaches want to know if there are special awards for going unbeaten.

Keener said he’ll tell them, every time, “No, there aren’t.” And then he tells them he kind of wishes their teams had done a little losing.

Because the point of Little League, Keener said, is not to win all the time. The point of Little League is community, and offering small lessons in dealing with adversity that might help children when they someday encounter the real thing. I think Keener used the word meaningless, or something like it, to describe the long-term meaning of the actual winner or loser of a Little League game, which was incredibly powerful, if you think about the ridiculous tension that can surround Little League competition.


That may not go over with some over-achieving coaches (and parents).  But I think it’s worth thinking about.  I have seen some youth sports teams who have become so accustomed to winning that when the time of adversity comes, they are not prepared to deal with it.  Parity and competitiveness should be the goals, not domination.



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One Response to “Wise Words from the Little League CEO”

  1. It should also be about FUN!!! Learning to play the game and improving are also quality goals, but above all else – baseball is a game!!!

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