There’s no denying it, successful teams share many common ingredients. The most significant ingredients that make up dream teams extend far beyond the athlete talent pool. Being part of a team requires patience, effort, family support, hard work and of course passion and heart.
Coach of the Week Baretta Taylor and his travel baseball team, The Southside Storm Elite Top Gun/AAU, do not lack any heart or hard work. Baretta has heart and a passion for coaching, but more importantly, he knows how to utilize these intangible qualities to bring out the best in his team.
“The Storm program is what I am most proud of. First, we get to be, in some cases the only true male influence in a child's life. I enjoy teaching the lessons of life through the sports I coach,” Baretta says.
“We take our 12 kids that are selected from a population of about 25,000 and compete against teams pulling and selecting from 300,000 and most of the time come out on top in these David & Goliath battles,” Baretta says. “In 2011 our baseball team played in over 60 games and finished with a .845 winning percentage and won our leagues Winter World Series Championship.”
Baretta has molded a solid and effective coaching philosophy. With eight years of experience already under his belt, he enjoys helping players achieve their goals and watching his team players and parents become a “team family”.
“My advice is simple, play hard with open ears and have a great time,” Baretta says.
Baretta began his career in youth sports coaching his 5-year-old son, Damien. He wanted to teach Damien America’s No. 1 pastime. Damien is now 13 years-old and continues to play baseball while Baretta continues to teach youth about the tradition of America’s pastime.
Expanding on his already impressive coaching career, Baretta recently added youth basketball coach to his resume. Baretta says he is lucky his kids like having their dad for a coach and a wife who is supportive.
Baretta is a South Hill, VA native, husband to wife, Rachel, for almost 13 years and father of two youth athletes, 11-year-old Kaitlyn who plays softball and basketball and Damien, a baseball and basketball player. When Baretta is not coaching youth sports he works as advertising director for the area’s newspaper.
“Advise that I would give to a coach starting out today is if you can live without coaching then don't coach,” Baretta declares. “The passion wakes up with you in the morning an it goes to bed with you at night.”
Baretta Taylor’s Top 5 Keys to Success
1. Become a student of the game.
2. Remember T.E.A.M. (Together Everyone Achieves More).
3. Learn ways to bring out the best in others and get to know your players.
4. Keep it fun but enforce discipline.
5. Winning is not everything--but making an effort to win is.
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