From pitcher to champion coach-A A +A
Saturday, September 22, 2012
A SUCCESSFUL pitcher during his college days, now calling the shots for the University of Mindanao (UM) men's baseball team. Meet Vincent Ryan Sarabia, a champion coach who was also hailed outstanding coach in this year's So Kim Cheng Sports Awards.
The 28-year-old Sarabia led a colorful athletic career in baseball having been a reliable pitcher of the powerhouse Southern Mindanao men's baseball team that dominated the Private Schools Athletic Association (Prisaa) National Collegiate Games in 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2007. He also steered his team to various local and regional titles.
"I played with passion. I now advise players to prioritize education, practice constantly and play with their hearts," Sarabia said in the vernacular.
His recent feat as a coach was pulling off a gold medal finish for SM Prisaa in the Prisaa NCG held in April in Cebu City.
But the road to coaching success was not smooth as he also faced struggles, even doubting his ability to lead the team.
He shared in the vernacular, "It was difficult at first since most of the players used to be my teammates before and they didn't easily listen to what I teach them."
In his coaching debut, Sarabia's team failed in the 2009 and 2010 editions of the Prisaa NCG. Last year, they lost to Bicol Region in the finals.
But he never gave up on his boys as he pushed them to double their efforts in training. He also redefined his coaching method and inspired the team to win the gold this year.
"That was the sweetest moment of my coaching career having avenged our loss to Bicol in the finals," he added.
He also said he was lucky to have good players in the field and he is thankful to the National Prisaa for hailing him as the Best Coach of the tournament.
Sarabia, however, admitted he still has a long way to go as a coach. Thus, he hesitates giving advices to other coaches.
He said what worked for him was respecting his players and establishing a great coach-athlete relationship with them.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 23, 2012.