University of Louisiana baseball coach Tony Robichaux spoke at length during a news conference last week about the lack of toughness in kids who come from select baseball, and it seems to have struck a nerve with people.
He related a story about his grandson getting a ring from a United States Specialty Sports Association baseball tournament that was bigger than a Major League Baseball World Series ring.
Kids win, they get a giant ring, Robichaux said. And when they lose, they’re still rewarded with pizza parties and trips to the zoo and theme parks.
That’s not how real life works.
“We’re not teaching them anything,” Robichaux said. “Life’s not that way…We shouldn’t be fooling kids into a false model.”
When the Cajuns drop a game, he said, “they’re waiting for me to take them to Water World.
“Dude, we ain’t going to Water World.”
Robichaux has long been known for valuing toughness among his players. He praises those who have “throwdown,” who play with passion and leave it all on the field. He has earned a reputation for turning boys in grinders.
Toughness, Robichaux said, can compensate for shortcomings in talent. “If you can get your kids tough, then you have an advantage,” he said.
“I don’t care what mental weakness a kid has, what lack of ability he has, if he’s been taught how to throw down … he’s gonna make it,” Robichaux said.
Here is the full text of what Robichax had to say on this topic, courtesy of FootballScoop.com.
“We tell them all the time, you’ve got to work while you wait. Most people, in their personal life, they stop working until the door opens, and then they want to work again now that the door is open. But in this profession you’ve got to work while you wait.
“That’s why the select model is such a bad model, you know? Because nobody sits the bench. But then in high school, you’re going to sit the bench. Then in college you’re going to sit the bench. In rookie ball, you’re going to sit the bench. In low A and high A, you’re going to sit the bench. Double A, you’re going to sit the bench. Triple A, you’re going to sit the bench, and at the big league level you’re going to sit the bench,” Robichaux explained.
“Why would we go down and create a stupid model that doesn’t allow people to sit the bench, when every other model after that, you’re going to sit the bench?
Contributing: Kristin Askelson, The Daily Advertiser