“I always tell the girls: you may not like me as a coach, but if you accomplish one of your goals — whether it be in life or softball — then I have won the game.”
Those are the words of Ron Adams, a longtime assistant coach with Langley Rebels U18 rep B softball team.
“He definitely is more (than just a coach),” said Melanie Mullin, a 17-year-old third-baseman on the Rebels.
“He connects to people on more of an emotional level.
“Definitely a father figure to a lot of us, like me.”
Adams knew little about softball when he volunteered to coach with Langley Fastball nearly 20 years ago.
Like many dedicated parent-volunteers, he did so with a child on the team.
But after his daughter graduated from the association, Adams chose to continue.
His reason is simple.
“I like teaching the girls, not just softball skills, but life skills,” explained the 57-year-old.
“And hopefully I am keeping women on the right track.”
Adams sees himself as a particular type of coach.
“I look at myself as Mr. Wilson from Dennis the Menace, the grouchy old coach,” he described. “(Head coach) Rob (Komorowski) is the easygoing guy and I am the strict guy that keeps them focused, on the right path.”
“He is a very serious man who has a lot of passion for the game,” said Mullin.
“He is hard on us, but we know when he gets mad, he just wants the best for us.”
She added that when he may be upset or disappointed at the team, they tend to have the ability to crack him up, forcing him to turn away so the players can’t see him laughing or smiling.
“No matter what, through the ups and down, he will take (the time) to explain to you, making sure that you are doing your best and being the best you can be,” Mullin said.
“He is definitely not just a coach.
“If we lose but we tried, he is more than happy. But if we lose because we didn’t really try our hardest, he will get mad because he knows are better (than that).”
Adams is happy with how this season has turned out.
Back in the fall, the Rebels were in danger of not having enough players to field a team, but managed to grab a few more bodies.
“The core from last year, we knew they could make it to provincials and do very well,” he said.
The Rebels have one more tournament, as they are the lone Langley team taking part at the 2014 Canadian Open Fastpitch International championship.
The annual tournament begins July 11 and runs through until July 21 at Softball City (2201 148 St.), Sunnyside Park (15455 26 Ave.) and Cloverdale Athletic Park (6410 168 St.).