Dear Jim Pecot,
I want to thank you for the many years you spent as the Director of Umpires for Loveland Youth Baseball. Your countless hours can never be repaid, but they were appreciated. As a parent and an educator I saw you lead this developmental program with commitment, integrity and a vision to build strong citizens.
Loveland youth umpires benefitted greatly from the many lessons they learned on early Saturday mornings, on the field and in one on one conversations. Through their participation in this program my children learned:
- Persistence -Youth arrive early on Saturday mornings to sign up for games. Those who show up early or stayed by the phone for make-up game calls get rewarded with a chance to umpire.
- Resiliency -99% of the interactions with coaches are positive, but sometimes challenging situations arise. When they did you took the time to talk with the youth umpire to help them understand the situation. I can remember a time when one of my sons had a challenging situation with a coach. You called and asked if it would be okay to put my son in a game with the same coach so my son could have an opportunity to face a challenge.
- Leadership -every youth umpire is required to be in control of the game. They make eye contact and speak directly to adults, with authority in their voices.
- Responsibility -Each umpire knows they are responsible for their actions on the field, as well as having a responsibility to ensure good sportsmanship.
- Time-management -Umpires are responsible to coordinate their schedules, arrive early for games and ensure that the game is moving along.
- Money-skills -This program gives 12-15 year olds the chance to make money and learn how to save and/or spend it.
- Work ethic -You started the young and new umpires with the younger players (8U) and allowed them to prove themselves competent to umpire more challenging games as they developed. I know from my own sons that sometimes there were tense moments, but you always supported them and they knew it. Your belief in them gave them the strength to face uncomfortable situations.
I am sure received some emails and calls from disgruntled coaches, etc., but you held strong to your commitment for Loveland Youth. Your actions exemplify the Little League mission, abbreviated below:
Through proper guidance and exemplary leadership, the Little League program assists children in developing the qualities of citizenship, discipline, teamwork and physical well-being. By espousing the virtues of character, courage and loyalty, the Little League Baseball and Softball program is designed to develop superior citizens rather than superior athletes.
For that, you will always be an All-Star in my book.
Amy Van Strien
Casey, Jonah and Liam Smith’s mom