Children running and calling out, parents cheering in support, and the sharp crack of a ball on a bat; this is the soundtrack of summertime.
Summer baseball is a tradition for many families, especially Josh Otkin’s, a Daktronics production supervisor. Otkin helps coach an 11-12-year-old team in Canton, South Dakota.
Otkin has been involved in coaching for many years. “This is my first-year coaching in the Canton youth baseball league,” he explained. “My son played on the team there last year, but our family had just moved to Canton in June, so I wasn’t able to help out with coaching last year. I have been involved in coaching youth sports of some kinds for over fifteen years.”
Canton youth baseball consists of seven teams with ages ranging from 7-12. Otkin’s son plays on one of the 11-12-year-old teams, of which Otkin is the coach.
“I got involved in the youth league because I love to help and coach kids in all sorts of activities, but especially baseball,” he said. “I am also the president of the Canton Parks and Recreation Board, so we have a huge impact on the baseball, softball, and recreation programs in the town.”
Otkin described how he has been impacted by working with the youth baseball league.
“I think it provides unique challenges in that it is all voluntary,” Otkin said. “I think that it has affected me the most in the fact that you don’t see a lot of the behind the scenes things that take place until you become a coach or a member of the Recreation Board.”
There are many memorable moments that come from working with youth and Otkin shared what he has already experienced from the beginning of the season.
“The moments so far from practice are them just learning and having fun,” he described. “At the end of practice, we always go over what we worked on and what we learned from that day. If the kids can relay that information back to me on what we worked on or what was said in practice, it definitely shows that what you are teaching them is getting through and they are learning.”
Otkin continued, “When they come back to practice and tell you that they worked on the things that you told them, and you can see in practice that they did work on it, that is all you can ask out of the kids, that they learn and have fun.”
Otkin will use the Corporate Sponsorship to help buy hats and equipment for the kids.
This article is by Erin Smith
in Employee Communications.