A crazy number of home runs and countless lead changes - leading to countless pitching changes - made this series one for the record books.
It also provided a number of lessons for kids to remember as they compete in sports. Here are just a few of the teachable moments tucked into that momentous World Series that a youth baseball coach should can keep in mind when instilling good values through sport.
Good sportsmanship vs. bad sportsmanship
In Game 3, Astros first baseman, Yuli Gurriel made a racially insensitive gesture to Dodgers pitcher, Yu Darvish.
After the game, Darvish, who had every right to be angry, responded saying, “No one is perfect, that includes both you and I. What he had done isn’t right, but I believe we should put our effort into learning rather than to accuse him.” He went on to say we should “stay positive and move forward instead of focusing on anger.”
What a great lesson for kids to learn! While your youth baseball coach teaches your kids not to disrespect and insult their opponents, they should also remember to be civil, instead of retaliating, when someone acts out against them.
Gurriel ended up acknowledging his mistake and tipped his helmet to Darvish as a sign of respect the next time he faced him in Game 7.
Persevere and never give up
Dodger’s Chris Taylor is a prime example of perseverance. Starting out this season in the minor leagues, he was called up in April and became integral to the Dodger’s World Series team. Entering 2017, Taylor only had 1 home run in 383 at-bats. After working religiously with a hitting coach and tweaking his swing, he ended the season a lead-off hitter with 21 home runs.
Taylor’s hard work and persistence is a great example for kids. Kids who work hard and never give up will have more opportunities open to them. Just like Taylor who seized the opportunity to be a driving force on a World Series team.
Another lesson in perseverance came in Game 5 of the series. This wild game had so many lead changes it was an emotional roller coaster. With LA up by 4 runs, the Astros responded with 4 runs of their own. Then, LA proceeded to rack up 3 more runs. Houston matched it with another 3. It continued like this the entire game. Neither team gave up hope when their team was down. Instead they rose to the occasion and persevered. The game went into extra innings where the Astros eventually won 13-12.
It’s easy for kids to get frustrated when their team is loses a game in their baseball league, but these two World Series teams show just what can happen when you never give up.
Keep things in perspective
Whether it was Enrique Hernandez dressing up like Chewbacca, or Joc Pederson dancing and skipping his way around the bases after a home run, it was evident the players were having fun.
Kids who play little league baseball, as well as those who coach them, should realize the need to keep things in perspective and have fun. Kids need to be challenged and practice hard – but if they’re not having fun at their sport, then what’s the point?
An even better illustration of keeping the game in perspective hit home during Game 4. The entire stadium stood speechless during the Stand Up For Cancer moment of silence. Everyone in attendance – fans, coaches, players, even broadcasters – held signs personalized with the name of a friend or loved one battling cancer. Yes, you can be sure there are more important things than baseball.
Even though the 2017 World Series didn’t end the way LA had been dreaming of all season, kids can take away valuable lessons from this crazy and wild World Series.
-Sports Coaches for Kids