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** because I know you're wondering...... these are ALL the reponses recieved... not just the "hand picked one's" **
 

Coach Prater,

I want to let you know that as a parent who doesn't have the means to support her son from a professional sport aspect...........I greatly appreciate the time and energy you spend working on a program that is doing just that; preparing my son to be a professional, productive person whatever avenue he chooses to travel.  Your recent message was obviously inspired by the drive you have to see these kids succeed, as achievers and producers in which ever profession they end up in (which at this point they all want to be baseball). From that message I felt a tremendous amount of positive energy that, will do wonders for the kids (in spite of the negative "groans and complaints") that honestly want to succeed. Thank you again for taking the time. On the lighter side..... in your message you said you are willing to bet your bank account that there is no winner that wrote his autobiography about how he got screwed..........Sam Walton wrote his about how the owners of TG&Y (dime stores from the past) screwed him, so he came back with a vengeance and started his own store......Wal-Mart :)  The key is he didn't sit around complaining and groaning he moved forward, stayed positive and achieved success! 

thanks ABC mom

 
 
 
Andrew:

I just read your 7/24 message on the web site and I thought it was 100% on target. No doubt there will be some parents who will get their underpants in a ball over a few of the points you made. These same parents are the ones who find it necessary to orchestrate their children's lives in every stage of life. Such people tend to think they deserve to be first in the reward line, no matter the cost to others!  You and your staff do a great job in working and teaching the kids enrolled at ABC. There will be cases where you and your program will not be successful. When that happens, you must always keep in mind no one has the ability to be able to help each and every person in this world. Keep going strong for that is what makes you the special person you are!     ABC Dad

 

Dear Coach Prater,

 I just finished reading your message and I wanted to take the time to respond personally to you. First I want to say that I have nothing but praise for your organization.  _______ has enjoyed it and has learned and developed a lot in a short period of time......  We were glad to find a baseball home for ________ in ABC that could help him to reach his goals in baseball and life. ....  He knows that with hardwork his time will come and he just has to be ready when his opportunity arrives.  ..... I just want to say that _______ has truly been inspired to work hard and enjoys ABC.  He goes to the gym and throws daily.  Everyone would love to see their son play every inning but that has to be earned and not given. ________came back from ________ and not once did I hear from him how much or how little he played, all I heared about from him was the 4 innings he pitched giving up 2 runs but pretty pleased with his performance and the coach's praise. But he did add that he should of caught a ball hit back to him like he had the inning before because he allowed the team to get the tying run.  I am glad he is able to critique his own playing and own his mistakes.  Thank you for your program and dedication even from a distance....I look forward to seeing you when you return. 

Sincerely,   ABC Mom

Coach-

I read your recent posting on the web site, and understand your frustrations/concerns.   I don't have any answers, but I am certain you understand that when one is in the business of providing a service (teaching young adults), it becomes a very emotional issue for parents striving to ensure that their child is the number one focus.   In many cases it is not about the team or the success of the program/organization...it is only about their child.    I can honestly say that there have been times over the years when I have felt that my son has been slighted, especially when I can see that he is hurting.    In time, ______and I are able to work through the disappointment and move on.   I am certain that many of these families will be able to work through their concerns by talking to you and working through their issues.

Based on your comments in your note, it sounds like you are developing a plan to improve the program.   I look forward to hearing more detail about your plans.   Take care and will talk to you soon.

Regards,  ABC Dad

 

Coach Prater-

We appreciate your message and agree with your philosophy of what you want to provide and what you want the boys and families to strive for. Thanks for your motivational words and hope to get to meet you soon. ______ has been working very hard and has been noticeably improving.

Thanks - ABC parents

 

 Andrew;

Bravo!  Great message.  _______ and I are new and weve stood back this year and watched; its been interesting.  I think the direction you are steering the club will make it the best in the state.  Its always hard to be everything to everybody.

I look forward to seeing if ______is up to your challenge

ABC mom
 

 

Coach-

After reading your e-mail today sounds like you been catching a little hell from some folks. Remember my saying, "It ain't nuthing but a thang" (East Austin Slang) ______ said he's ready to play ball anywhere, anytime and looking forward to playing ball right through till Christmas......  Anyway, keep up the good work. Just another thought, You know the reason the good Lord gave us a little extra padding on the backside, it's for people to chew on......  I still got plenty back there. Remember, just refer back to my saying.  ________ looking forward to playing ball this weekend and next weekend.  He's in there working his glove right now while watching some game on TV.  Talk to you soon.

ABC dad

 

Prater-

I just read your memo or statement about the grumblings and such.  Thank you for the direct and sincere comments.  Even within our own "family" there have been differences of opinions about how the summer went!   What you put into it is what you get out of it, plus the life lesson of not giving up went it doesn't go your way.  I was very disappointed to hear that some  players did not show up for a game because it had not gone the way they wanted  the last game.  What happen to determination??? What happened to consideration and sportsmanship??? I wanted to thank you for calling me back when I had requested.  Even though we did not talk, I appreciate the effort.  The summer for ______ has been interesting and a learning experience.  He felt he did not perform to his best but he kept trying. Which is what I wanted him to learn....Your engery level was greatly missed ..........   I think your change in format will greatly enhance the program and the outcome. 

ABC mom

 

Andrew-

Andrew,
As a parent I am truly looking forward to seeing the program evolve as you described in your message today.  I am ready to see the players in the program accept the challenge/opportunity you will layout for them ... it should be an exciting time.
 
By the way I am "practicing" the things we discussed several weeks ago, thanks again.
 

ABC dad

 

Coach-

I have read (and agree entirely with) your statement about the approach that you intend to take regarding ABC. I think in this case smaller is better. In the end, I believe you will end up with a core group of boys who will all want to make the extra effort to excel as individuals and as an organization. The coaches will also be better able to focus their efforts with a smaller group. ABC's past success and reputation ironically contributed to any problem you might have had this summer. Everybody wanted to be part of this elite group. Frankly, that just isn't feasible with any type organization. Some will be left behind, but that is part of life. Certainly, we  would love to be part of this new philosophy this fall. Currently, for every hour that ________ workouts at ABC, he spends another two to three hours working out with me or on his own. Hard work is no problem with him.

ABC dad