Results tagged “coaching” from Hawk Talk - Christian

I've been keeping kids off the streets for almost six years already.  I have these kids for a good two to three hours on scheduled days to do two things:  play baseball and have fun.

A lot of people ask me if I get paid to coach baseball.  I tell them no.  I think teaching my young players life lessons, how to handle rough situations, and most of all how to play the greatest sport in the world (under my book) is good enough for me.  Money cannot match the price of coaching baseball.  Heck, I think it's priceless.  Giving back to the community is something that I have enjoyed for many years.  I just have a great feeling inside.  I honestly can't explain that feeling, but I know for a fact that I'm doing something good, and making a difference to my players' lives.

I can tell you straight out that the world we live in is very different than what it was two decades ago.  Nowadays, you see gangsters walking down the street, giving other people bad looks, swearing their heads off, and being complete punks.  If you give them a bad look, you are a potential target.  These gangsters grew up without anyone to look up to.  If they had someone to look up to, it must have been a gangster himself/herself.  Bad influences causes kids to jump into the wrong path, which leads to a bad life.  As a coach, I want to change that and prevent these kids from making wrong decisions earlier in life.  I want these kids to grow up to respectful young men, who is not a drunk, a druggie, or a criminal.  Sure, I can't hold their hands 24/7, but I believe that distracting them from the hardships of life 3 hours at a time can make a huge difference.  Instead of hanging out in the streets and learning how to beat up a kid, the kid can learn something new and POSITIVE.  It does not have to be baseball, or sports in general.  Taking dance lessons, drawing, hanging out with the family, reading, or playing a musical instrument can pull kids away from the "hard knock life."

That's why I'm here.  That is why I give up 6-8 hour work shifts.  That is why I give up studying hours.  I want to be there for the kids and to make a difference in their lives.  I want them to learn how to play the game correctly, how to handle situations, how to be better people. 

I'm proud to be a baseball coach and this is my call to all of my readers.  If you want to make a difference, go out of the box or "plus ultra."  Show your true colors without money or fame in your minds.  Take time to give back to your community.  Every community needs a hero, and you can be one.

- Christian

Addicted to Baseball

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Like what my friend said, baseball is like an art.  There are many different approaches to the painting (the game), different techniques and styles (ways of hitting, fielding, running, etc), and only one can paint that picture (a pitcher throwing the ball, a fielder catching a pop fly, a hitter hitting the ball). During your time thinking of what to do to paint that picture, you can feel the silence of the air while the pitcher takes a deep breath against the lonely blue sky above, as the sun slowly yet steadily sets on the horizon.  If you just sit there on the bench, listen and hear the silence, you definitely know you are in a world only a few can understand.  Everything is perfect - the diamond's 90ft outline, the athletic positions of the players, the stoic faces of the coaches, the umpire's stance before the pitch and the batter's focus and understanding of the situation, the picture.  Sure, perfection in many people's sense may mean an error-less, flaw-less situation or setting.  There are sure times when errors occur in baseball or players falter because of injuries or soreness.  But the way the game is played, the way a team stays focused for that ball that was hit, or the stride you take towards the hit - it just makes the game so enjoyable and worthwhile - just like perfection.  I bet I'm not making any sense at all.  Maybe you don't have the same love for baseball, the same feel for it, and the same respect to all its dimensions.  A good movie to watch to understand this feeling or to get you to understand what baseball means to me is The Field of Dreams.  This movie makes grown men cry - unfortunately I did not cry but I was moved from it.

As I sit here listening to the crickets outside, dusting off the baseball dirt from Maplewood Park, I just sit here amazed on how much I have given to the league and its players.  I still can't believe I've been coaching for six seasons already - 3 in Little League and 3 in Babe Ruth with one championship under my belt.  And now I'm still here strong and willing.  Now I volunteered to coach a great group of 14 to 15 year old kids who are probably the best in Babe Ruth.  Even if I chose to coach this team, I still feel honored for being their coach.  This 24 Hour Tournament I'm part of is one event of many for the 50th Anniversary for Malden Babe Ruth.  It is basically a set of games that the players can play for free and showcase their talent to the public.  There are no winners or losers.  We are basically raising money for the Jimmy Fund.

Then after that game I have two choices.  I can either go to Lynn and watch the North Shore Navigators play the Team USA Baseball squad or play a coach's softball game around 5:30pm.  So many choices, so little time. 

I'm growing tired and I promised one of my regular season players that I will watch his 3am game, which is part of that same tournament.  I will leave you with this remarkable speech Terrence Mann gave near the end of Field of Dreams -

"Ray, people will come Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won't mind if you look around, you'll say. It's only $20 per person. They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they'll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh... people will come Ray. People will most definitely come" (imdb.com).

- Coach Christian


If you want to come support the Jimmy Fund and watch the baseball game that I will coach, you can come down to Pine Banks Park (Kezer Field) at the Malden/Melrose, MA line around 9am June 14, 2008.  It is right on Main St. near the MBTA Oak Grove Station.  My younger brother who plays for the Malden Marlins will play the final game of the tournament around 3pm the same day.  I hope to see you there!

Have you ever found yourself driving around looking for the lowest regular gas price?  Have you ever driven up to a gas station, look at the regular gas price, and say certain phrases such as, "You got to be serious?!" or "Well, there goes my paycheck" or other expletive group of words that I can't dare to put in this blog post (and get fired)?  Well, I bet most of you feel the tension at the pump, especially those who have a high volume tank, or a gas-eating SUV.  Even with a fuel efficient car, it seems like I use more gas looking around for a "cheap" gas station.  There is a way where you can save gas without even hoping into your good ol' automobile.  I've noticed a rise in gas price websites in the past few years.  The following websites helped me find the "cheapest" gas prices in a particular area:

wbztv.com gas price check

MassachusettsGasPrices.com - gas prices based on driver feedback

AAA (Triple A) Gas Price Finder


Here is an interesting link.  If you are (still) planning to take a roadtrip to another part of the country, AAA created a road trip fuel cost calculator.  Included in this calculator is your starting city, your destination, and your vehicle information.  This is a helpful calculator that will help you determine how much money you will need to keep your car on the road (and be less stressed-out).  Obviously, with the variable gas prices, your total cost also varies.  

Here is the link for that: http://www.fuelcostcalculator.com/.

 

With internet research, you can find ways to save up on gas without searching the city for the "cheapest" gas prices.  Like I said, this approach to saving money has helped me beat out the pump.  This is my theory if you take this approach.  If you head to one of those websites and find a "good" gas station, you will save some gas since you haven't left your house yet.  Since you haven't left your house and hopped into your car, you are also being "green" by of course saving gas, and reducing the release of more carbon dioxide/monoxide or other harmful gases.  With less harmful gases, there will be less pollution.  Okay, okay, that may be a stretch, but I believe that by being smart at the pump and spending less time worrying and searching for the least inexpensive regular gas price, you will survive the year.  Any little change in your routine (such as less joyriding), your pockets will be a bit fuller than before, and like I said, less harmful gases will be extracted.  So yeah, it's like saving the world little at a time. 

Throughout the semester I will continue to give tips and particular websites that I find helpful for my trips to Lowell.  Next week, I will talk about car maintanence and how important it is to "keep up" with vehicle appointments. 

 

In a side note, I'm planning to take a 3-hr online course this weekend so I can be a certified Babe Ruth coach.  This means that I can coach an all-star team and actually be a "real" baseball coach.  Fun stuff.  My baseball team is doing good, but not as good as I thought the team would.  Our record is 3-3 and we are still in the race to make it to the Malden Babe Ruth Playoffs.  If all goes well, we should be able to dominate. 

I hope all is well for everyone!  Have a good day, stay safe, and take it easy!

 

- Coach Christian Tiongson


Coach Christian Tiongson  
Casey Hobart Photography 2008

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