Friday, September 4, 2020

Coach Dustin Bartz wants to give everything he can to boost his players

Dustin Bartz is this week's recipient of
'Coach of the Week' honors for
The Windham Eagle and has been
coaching in the Windham Little
League for three years.
By Matt Pascarella
Dustin Bartz got into coaching for the same reason many other parents do, he wanted to share the experience with his kid.
Bartz, who is this week’s recipient of “Coach of the Week” honors for The Windham Eagle, has been coaching in the Windham Little League for three years. This year, he felt fortunate to be able to coach and watch the kids play when so many little league teams didn’t get that opportunity.
‘Give 110 percent’ is a common phrase often said to his players and Bartz wants to give back more than that as a coach.
He continually educates himself, talks with other coaches, keeps an open mind and adjusts his coaching style when needed. He’s big on fundamentals and mechanics but doesn’t believe there is one way of doing things.
Bartz said he likes to take the one-on-one approach, putting more time in on areas where a player might struggle.
Every kid is different and Bartz says he has found that if he adjusts to their style, but keeps the mechanics, they progress faster.
This year was Bartz’s first time coaching a team of players ages 6 and 7. The pandemic also added a layer of guidelines and restrictions that produced some uncertainty, but once the season started, things began falling into place.
According to Bartz, he really wants to make sure the kids develop a love of the game. Bartz thinks it’s important to keep it fun and give them their moments, because that is what Little League is all about.“They earn nicknames and get a kick when announcer Bill Ciccarone introduces them with their nickname at Ciccarone Field,” said Bartz.
Bartz plays music during pregame warmups, which creates a positive vibe with players and parents.
He has also been known to have a secret stash of Twinkies.
It’s common for a kid to be disappointed when they strike out, miss a catch or make a bad throw but I focus on did you try?” he said. “It’s important to keep pushing and to keep trying. Nobody remembers the bad plays, but they remember the great ones. At the end of the season I want them to be smiling, skilled, confident, have created friendships, stayed unique and to know I’m their biggest fan.”
Bartz enjoys chess, 80s rock music, Big Fin Pok√©, and arguing why ‘Die Hard’ is definitely a Christmas movie. <

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