Bob Haney peers around the room, glancing at the “Sunday Showcase” coaches who have gathered for Saturday’s meeting. He reviews his notes and gets ready to begin. Introductions are made and discussion is now ready to begin.
The Sunday Showcase teams are basically Play Ball Indiana’s version of All-Star teams. The most promising players from each age group are selected to play against ready and willing opponents from nearby suburban rec leagues. Haney impresses the importance of these matchups on his coaches.
“I’ll tell ya,” Haney says, “we are gonna get our [expletive] beat a lot, but we’re gonna be competitive.”
Most of the coaches lean back in their chairs, but the looks on their faces begin to change. They recognize that Haney is about to get serious. His ambitions for the Sunday Showcase teams are clear. He wants to compete, hopefully even win. He wants to instill confidence in the Play Ball program’s participants.
Haney continues to stress the ultimate goal of the program–giving underserved kids a summer outlet.
“The kids who are 7 or 8 now, we want them to be playing when they’re 14 and 15,” declares Haney.
The meeting adjourns. Outside of the building, a coach tells me that Bob Haney has done an excellent job building up Play Ball Indiana. Watching him stare down a room of dedicated coaches, it was not hard to understand why.
April 20, 2017
By David Blumberg