Little League coach focuses on teaching teamwork
By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Thompson - posted Tue., Jun. 14, 2011
Desrochers beat Barnes Concrete 14-4 in the first of the scheduled playoff games at the Thompson Little League complex on June 13. The pitcher for Desrochers played a full game, throwing 77 pitches, according to coach Dave Dalpe. There were three different pitchers for Barnes Concrete.
The game was close for the first few innings, but eventually the fourth-place Desrochers team widened the gap between them and fifth-seed Barnes Concrete. Dalpe shouted out advice when he could, telling a batter with a 3-0 count not to swing at the next pitch, or reminding his runner that with a full count on the batter and two outs, he should take off running as soon as the ball was hit.
Dalpe reminds his players that they need to play the ball game, not watch it. “I always tell them, ‘The fans watch. You play. Be a player, not a watcher,’” he said.
“I look for details,” he said. When there is a play at second base, I want to know what my third baseman is doing. I want to see them make the plays and hit their cut-offs. I want to see them being in the right position for the plays.”
Dalpe admits he gets attached to the kids. He has been a coach in the league for eight years. This year, he is coaching boys ranging in age from 9 to 12. “You get attached,” he said. “Some of these kids I’ll be with for four years. I coach in the fall and the spring. There can be big changes from one year to the next.”
At the end of the game, Dalpe brought his team to the outfield for a talk. “I reel them in,” he said. “I don’t want them to be too excited. I point out the negative points and the positive points. I don’t want to bring them down, but I don’t want them to get too confident. It’s not easy. You just have to let them know where they’re at. This is just a learning experience in life. It’s a stepping stone, how to work as a team. Whether you’re a surgeon or a nurse, or a cop on a force, or a lawyer on a team, whatever you are, you need to be a team. You need to learn to play as a team and help each other out. This is a stepping stone. It’s not just here. It’s more the classroom. Don’t settle for an 85. Go to a 90. Try for a 95. I want them to move on. I don’t want them to settle.”
Desrochers Little League Dave Dalpe
Eight seasons as coach.
Coach Dave Dalpe gets a lot out of coaching Little League teams. He’s done it for eight seasons, coaching his own children along the way. “Little League is about education and showing the kids things,” he said, “but they want to win, too. As long as you win in a good, fair way, with sportsmanship, that’s good.”