“The Gift”

Recently, I received a couple of books in the mail from fellow American Baseball Coaches Association board member, Bob Bennett. Bob Bennett was a terrific baseball coach and he’s passionate about the game. Even though he’s been retired from Fresno State University for several years, you can’t be around Coach Bennett more than five minutes before he’s sharing knowledge about pitching mechanics, the proper way to throw the curve or perhaps the finer points of receiving as a catcher. He’s not only a coaching legend, he’s also an author, a poet and a baseball treasure.

One of the books I received from Coach Bennett is, Words & Rhythms of Baseball. It contains one of my favorite baseball poems, “The Gift.” I’ve used it in several speeches and baseball clinic presentations. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have:

The Gift

Three young players asked God for talent

This they would use in sports so gallant

Each wanted strength of arm, power and speed

With these great gifts they would certainly succeed

The first player was granted his request

These were gifts that God had blessed

But this player drifted and wanted more

He succumbed to greed and began to explore

He tried alcohol, drugs, parties and more

His destiny was failure and a life to deplore

He failed to use the gift received

Family and teammates, they were deceived

The second player was also blessed

But he was lazy and soon regressed

He took for granted his special skills

And became complacent with simple drills

Desire was missing from his game

His play was inconsistent and never the same

Though he had the tools to build his dream

His lack of hustle spoiled his scheme

The third player was not granted his wish from God

But desire and determination were his to plod

He often wondered why he was denied

But still he pressed on and really tried

Finally, in prayer, he thought he heard

From God the final word

“You my son, I blessed to reach

And now you live to teach.”

“I could have granted your first approach

But then you not have been a coach.”

Bob Bennett

If you are coaching, you too have received this “gift.” Inside Pitch Magazine is all about helping you develop this gift. As I have said before, our goal at Inside Pitch Magazine is to encourage, inform and even inspire the coach, the serious player and baseball fans.

We love to hear from our readers. Let us know what you think about our publication and, also, let us know if there is a coach or baseball “guru” that you would enjoy hearing from. We will make every effort to feature them in our magazine.

article by Publisher Keith Madison