MILWAUKEE – With every bat, there is always a lesson to be learned.
That’s the mantra of Lake Park Little League coach Antonio Colon.
“I try to teach them not to get caught up in the score,” Colon said. “It’s not really about winning or losing. It’s about what we learn there, their performance, building our confidence and showing that we can play the right game.”
The right game and also the right attitude.
Colon joined the coaching ranks when his kids got old enough to play.
He says his philosophy is to set his players up for success somewhere down the basic paths.
“Having the chance to be a head coach was a pleasure,” said Colon. “And passing on my knowledge and sharing the passion with the kids they have and helping them grow and learn in the game, regardless of their skill level, is just something I enjoy.”
Players and parents have really enjoyed Colon as a coach.
So much so that they named him Little League Coach of the Year.
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Colon knocked it out of the park.
“I’m still in shock,” Colon said. “It’s honestly an honour, something unexpected. I’m grateful to the parents who nominated me and worked to write something for Lance and Little League to make this happen.”
The honor comes with a $5,000 prize for Colon to use for team gear.
His advice for any parents who are reluctant to enroll their children is to simply do so.
“Enjoy the game,” Colon said. “If you don’t think your child has the talent, still find them a league or a place where they can hang out, enjoy the game and have fun. It’s about getting out there and making memories with friends, to make new friends and to learn and try. You’re going to fail, and you just have to learn from it and enjoy it.
Colon says he won’t be hanging up the clipboard anytime soon as his players and parents want him back.
“I will go as far as my kids go with it and as far as the parents still allow me to be here having fun with their kids and teaching them the game,” Colon said. “I continue to share my passion, my joy and my knowledge of the game with them.”
Colon will be officially honored with the award on Sunday in Williamsport, Pennsylvania as part of the Little League World Series festivities.