Having an athletic background and being able to spend time with his kids, an 11-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son, are the reasons Ron gravitated toward coaching youth sports. Coach Ron’s kids participated in baseball and softball at a young age. His daughter has moved on to competitive cheer and dance and his son, Steven “The Ironman”, was an Ace pitcher, second baseman and team captain for his baseball team.
Complications with Steven’s health caused a drastic turn for the Espinosa family when they learned Steven would have more to worry about than throwing strikes and leading his baseball team to victory. Steven was in a relentless battle with Leukemia.
“He swore to never quit, (even as he was not able to compete he helped me coach), and he made me promise to do the same,” Coach Ron says.
Steven battled Leukemia with help from his courageous sister through a bone marrow transplant and beat the disease. However, on May 3, 2011 Epstein Barr Virus infected Steven and his immune system was not able to fight it off. Sadly, Epstein Barr Virus ended Steven’s life.
“He was the fiercest competitor I have ever known,” Coach Ron says, “He played 9 and under ball from the time he was 6 years old and really is the impetus behind my coaching.”
“While I miss him terribly, I carry on his credo of ‘never quit’ by continuing to teach and coach his friends and their teammates,” he says. “It is my hope that I can instill a bit of [Steven’s] spirit in each of my athletes.”
Coach Ron still coaches two of Steven’s best friends, Nick and John.
“Stevie made me promise to never leave them,” Ron says.
It is evident Coach Ron has infused his son’s philosophies into his coaching style based on his team’s longevity and accomplishments.
Coach Ron is general manager of the Frozen Ropes Avalanche Tournament Baseball Program located in Elmsford, NY. He coaches the 11-12 and under team. Coach Ron says his teams have won local and regional tournaments throughout the East Coast for the past eight years.
Coach Ron is also the vice president of the Mid Hudson Conference and is President of the Pop Warner Cortlandt Panthers, a team in the Mid Hudson Conference. In 2010 the team earned the Junior Pee Wee Division football championship title and in 2011 qualified for the Junior Pee Wee Division Eastern Regionals.
Coach Ron would like to give credit to his friend and long-time coaching partner, Ronnie Ferrara for all of the coaching help and support throughout the years. The coaching duo looks forward to coaching their first baseball tournament of 2012 next month.
An exciting future is shaping up for Coach Ron and his wife of almost 13 years as they are expecting their third child, a boy, in late February.
“So, it looks like I will be at [coaching] for a long time!” Ron admits.
Coach Ron’s Three Coaching Tips:
1. Never underestimate the power of a child's determination. Do not sell them short, give them the tools to achieve!
2. Believe in your system before you ask your players to believe in you.
3. Remember why you coach!
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