John Scolinos – was a College baseball coach who set many records including 1070 wins

This article relates to a speech he gave to 4000 coaches in 1996

At that time, he was 71 and 5 years retired.

He shuffled to the stage to a resounding welcome wearing black pants, a white shirt and the string around his neck from which hung a full-size white Home Baseball Plate.

He spoke for 25 and never mentioned it.

Finally, he said – you are probably wondering why I am wearing a plate around my neck?

I have not gone mad or escaped form the asylum – the reason I stand before you today, is that I wish to share what I have learnt during my life so far.

He asked how many little league coaches are in the room? Hands went up. Do you know how big Home Plate is? 17 inches they said

He went on:

  • How about the pony league coaches?  17 inches they replied
  • How about High School Coaches? 17 inches they said
  • How about College Coaches how big is the plate? 17 inches
  • Any Minor League Coaches – how big is the plate? – 17 inches
  • Any Pro Coaches? – 17 inches
  • And in the Major Leagues? – 17 inches they shouted

And what they do with the player who cannot throw the ball over these 17-inch Home Plate?

What they don’t do is increase the size for the ones who cannot – so little Johnny can’t hit the plate – well we will make the plate bigger for Johnny.

  • We can even biger say 25 inches for you!!!
  • Coaches what do we do when our star player turns up late for practice?
  • What if gets caught drinking – do we hold him accountable?
  • Do we change the rules to fit him? Do we widen the plate for others?

There was some unease within the Coaches – as they began to see that began to see what Scolinos

was really talking about.

Then the coach took off the plate turned in around and wrote on the back

Then he turned it around towards the crowd to reveal a house with windows, doors, rooms etc.

The problem with our family today is that we do not parent properly

We don’t teach accountability to our kids.

There are few consequences for failing to meet the set standards.

Instead, we try to widen the plate.

Then he drew a small flag on the top of the house.

And this is the problem in our schools – the standard of our education is going down and teachers have been stripped of their authority and autonomy.

Their Home Plate is being widen By the Education departments

Where is that getting us?

Then he replaced the flag with a CROSS.

And this is the problem in the Church where powerful people have taken adventage of the young for years

Our Church leaders are widening Home Plate

Then there is only heartache and immorality to live with.

  • If I get one message through today it is:
  • That if we fail to hold ourselves accountable.
  • If we fail to hold our spouses and children to the same standard –
  • If we are unable to provide consequences when they fail to meet the standards.
  • And if our schools, Government fail to hold themselves to the accountability and have consequences to the people they serve

Then there is only one thing to look forward to – darkness!

He died in 2009 at the age of 91.

Live his message – hold your standards, hold the standards of those around you, Ensure, there are consequences for not doing so. To build a community, a family, a workplace, a school, a Church – it all depends on NOT expanding the Home Plate- it requires us to build the discipline and habits to keep the standards and accepting the consequences.

The Home Plate is 17 inches for everyone.

We don’t increase the size to make it easier. We encourage the pitcher and give him tips, and then he does the hard work to pitch to the middle of the plate.

Where are the times you have widened the plate or simply ignored a situation and failed to confront it?

Let us hold ourselves Account and others as well – expect to hit the middle of HOME PLATE and keep it at its correct size – 17 inches.