Story Construction

Managing Me

July 28, 2010

I coach a baseball team for my 10 year old son, Nate. I learn a lot in coaching boys this age. I already know a lot about baseball skills, drills, game management, situations, rules, etc. I learn a lot, though, about trying to see the game through their eyes, trying to prepare them to see it through my eyes and measuring my emotions and actions in the process.

Seeing and knowing baseball is a very cerebral activity. There are things that are blatant and obvious, and others that are subtle, yet significant. For example, good throws are obvious, but good throwing mechanics can be subtle. Running the bases fast is obvious, but rounding the bases properly is subtle. Hitting the ball is obvious, but keeping your weight back to hit it hard is somewhat subtle. This list goes on and on…

I try to teach the boys the obvious and the subtle. These boys are 9 and 10 years old. Some of them have great capacity for both the obvious and subtle, while others have little capacity for the obvious and none for the subtle. It is a coaching challenge and a personal challenge for me.

As a coach, I am loud. I use my voice to get their attention and to teach. I try to give them energy and focus through my volume and instruction. My tone, however, is where I can get into trouble. From time to time it is where my impatience shows when they do not see the obvious, and sometimes the subtle, aspects of the game. I do not belittle players, but I can be very direct about what should have happened.

When going through our succession planning process at Story, I was told that the higher up you go in any organization (company, church, family, civic, etc.) the less it becomes about how you manage others and the more it becomes about how you manage you. This is a great pearl of wisdom. It applies at Story, it applies in projects and it applies in coaching baseball.


Coaching young boys in baseball is a great test for me in how I manage me. Leading a construction company in these economically turbulent times is a test too. I am getting better and need to continue to improve in my learning how to manage me. The boys are getting better and continuing to improve in their skills and knowledge of the obvious and subtle. I learn a lot in coaching baseball that applies to everything else I do. I am always working on managing me.

Mike Espeset

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