A more accurate label for this section of the Web site would be 'About Me'. I started the Web site in the summer of 2000 after my first year of coaching tee ball. Although the popularity of the site has increased each year, I'm still in the initial phase of building something that I hope some day will be very special. It would be nice to have a staff that could help with this project, but for now it's a one person (part-time at that) business.
Owner: Don Edlin
Major League Playing Experience: None
Minor League Playing Experience: None
College Playing Experience: 4 year college starter; 2 time all-league selection; senior season BA .397
Coaching Experience: Over 18 years, tee ball through High School.
Day Job: Web Application Developer
Personal: Married with 2 sons; ages 19 and 16.
As you can see I'm not an ex-big league player or brother of an ex-big league player trying to cash in on a name. I'm someone who had a successful college career and wasn't drafted. It was tough not playing after my senior season when I hit almost .400, but I went to a smaller college and I realized that of the 5 tools that pro scouts are looking for I didn't have 2 and wasn't completely there on a 3rd. Speed or natural power, what I would have given for either.
After graduating from college with a secondary teaching degree, I starting teaching as substitute teacher and coached at the high school level. While looking for a permanent teaching position, I was given a job offer to work as a computer programmer. Since it made financial sense at the time, I made the change. I looked back on that decision with a great deal of regret for a long time. I didn't realize at the time how the financial part, that seemed so attractive at the time, would also make it nearly impossible to make the switch back. When I left college, my dream was to coach at the high school level for a few years, then look for an opportunity to coach at the college level and see how far I could go. I was hoping to become a major college coach someday. I spent much of my late 20's looking back at what might have been. It took a few years, but finally I realized that paying too much attention to what might have been is a very unproductive way to live. I made a few changes in outlook and made a necessary job change. I stayed in the computer industry, but made the change to web development. I soon realized that I had found my niche and what a difference doing something you really enjoy can have on all aspects of your life. My dreams still involve baseball, but in a different way. My dream now is to have this Web site become the best resource on the web for youth baseball. That's a broad statement and is refined further in the vision statement, but the core of the statement for me involves helping people. In this case the people are coaches, parents, and players.
I hope that gives you a feel for where I came from. As you read through some of the material it will give you insight into some of my comments. I wonder why when I look back on my playing career I immediately think of reasons why I wasn't good enough to be a professional player. Why don't I look back and think of the high level of success I had? As my boys grow I wonder how I can help them develop into young men who are happy with what they are doing and what they want to become? There seems to be a pendulum for parents that ranges from not caring on one side to the child being the only focus on the other. Both extremes seem very unhealthy for the child and parent. The thin line somewhere in the middle that is the correct blend of support and guidance is a moving target and different with each child and age. It's something I'm striving for as my kids grow. I've already missed the mark a number of times, but I keep trying to do better. The research that goes into this site and the interaction with the great people that visit has helped me become a better coach and parent. If people that visit the site get even a portion of what I have got out of it then I feel that I have added something of value.
I have been involved in baseball most of my life, early on as a player and later coaching at the high school and junior high levels. While I had worked with younger children at a number of baseball camps, I nevertheless felt a little nervous as I approached my first practice facing 4,5, and 6 year olds. I decided to look to the Web for help on how to approach this age group. In general, I found a number of Web sites that would provide 1 or 2 drills as an enticement to buy their book, video, or other related baseball product. Not that I'm against making money (I would love this site to make money or break even at least), and not that these Web sites don't have some really good information, but I was still disappointed. The experience left me feeling that the Web could use another source for coaches, parents, and players to gather information on all aspects of baseball. More importantly the information should be free.
While I've already admitted that I would like to have this site generate some revenue, that certainly wasn't the driving force to start it or to continue working on it. Sports, baseball in particular, have meant so much to me over the years. I was shy and self-conscious as a youngster and sports provided me with the confidence I needed to help me succeed, not only on the field but more importantly off. I was blessed by having some tremendous coaches as I was growing up. My supportive parents and these role models helped develop me into the person I have become. It's that past influence and the impact it had on my life that has translated into me taking the responsibility of coaching young people very seriously.
I graduated from college with a teaching degree because I enjoyed working with kids and wanted to give something back to the community. I have since gone on to another career, but my desire to give something back has not changed. I hope this site will help teach and get coaches thinking about the important role they have coaching and teaching young people. I hope I can also continue to learn from all of you.