The worst thing about the Little League World Series is watching young kids deal with the agony of defeat. Rhode Island coach Dave Belisle made losing a little less difficult with his amazing speech after his team suffered a heartbreaking 8-7 loss against Illinois on Monday night.
Belisle, who coaches the All-Stars from the town of Cumberland, had some inspirational words for his 12-year old players. In an era where youth sports coaches take winning far too seriously, Belisle was a breath of fresh air.
“There’s no disappointment in your effort, in the whole tournament, in the whole season. It’s been an incredible journey,” Belisle began. “Look at the score — 8-7, 12-10 in hits. We came to the last out. We didn’t quit. That’s us. That’s us.
“The only reason why I’ll probably end up shedding a tear is because this is the last time I’m gonna end up coaching you guys. But I’m gonna bring back with me, and the coaching staff is gonna bring back, and you guys are gonna bring back something that no other team can provide — that’s pride.”
Belisle tried to explain to the team that they were responsible for so much excitement in their town and the entire New England region. While that may be difficult for young kids to grasp right after a loss, they’ll appreciate it over time.
“We’re one of the best teams in the world. Think about that for a second — the world,” Belisle added. “We need to go see our parents because they’re so proud of you.
“I love you guys. I’m gonna love you forever. You’ve given me the most precious moment of my athletic and coaching career, and I’ve been coaching a long time. I’m getting to be an old man. I need memories like this. I need kids like this. You’re all my boys.”
If his speech was any indication, any parent whose kid has played for Belisle is lucky. The world is filled with jackasses who have no idea how to handle young children playing sports. Belisle represents the opposite end of the spectrum.