OTTAWA, ON – Mike Goyette has one goal, to get more kids involved in baseball in the Sherbrooke region. So he took it upon himself to get the ball rolling.
Registration numbers have dropped dramatically over the last few years in the Sherbrooke area. This has caused the local midget AAA team to fold five years ago, force kids to play baseball in other regions like Trois-Rivières and has caused the promotion of the game in the area to be virtually non-existent.
In order to get baseball back in the consciousness of the area, Mike Goyette quit his job so he could dedicate himself full-time to baseball and create his website “Baseball Action Mike Goyette”.
“It’s certainly a big risk on my part to take this on, especially with three kids, but I’m very passionate about baseball,” says Goyette in a phone interview. “The impression people have about baseball is something I want to change.”
Goyette has been a coach in the region for 25 years and has begun offering his services for private clinics as to create a one-on-one atmosphere with the kids. He also offers baseball schools through his own endeavour, Mike Goyette’s Baseball School. This summer he is offering four four-day sessions, two are for general techniques and two are hitter specific.
Furthermore, the Philadelphia Phillies Regional Assistant Scout has been speaking to elementary schools about baseball, offering extra curricular, and lunch hour and gym class sessions.
Goyette has used the Winterball program as a tool when he goes to schools, considering he used to organize sessions on the program when he was with Baseball Québec.
“What I do in the school is very similar to what Winterball does. In fact, more often than not, I get calls from schools that already have the Winterball kit and are looking for new ideas on how to use it. So I go in and basically give a second tutorial about the program.”
It has only been a few months since Goyette started his website and there are already have been some fantastic results.
During one of his school sessions with mostly underprivileged kids, he worked with some youngsters who had never held a bat before to even kids who did not know anything about baseball. Over the following weeks, two kids in those sessions registered to play for the first time.
“That’s a great example of what a full-time baseball guy can do in this area,” explains Goyette.
Another success was the re-establishment of the midget AAA team in Sherbrooke for the 2008 season and coming this fall, kids in the region will have their very own baseball academy at l’école secondaire Du Triolet.
Goyette will act as coordinator and head coach of the program for the first year and figures this should help to stop kids from migrating to different regions.
“Kids who wanted to specialize in baseball were forced to go to Trois-Rivières. Now, we can offer a quality program for kids who want to pursue their development in the sport with a team of certified coaches with experience and knowledge with youth.”
Goyette tackled this challenge head-on and has the ultimate goal of seeing more kids on the ball diamond, but mostly, he want to change people’s attitude towards the game.
“The most important thing is the kids, not winning. I feel people put too much emphasis on winning, which goes against the development of the player. My role is that of a coach, but it’s also to change people’s perceptions.”
For more information regarding any of the programs offered by Mike Goyette, visit his website at www.baseballamg.com, or contact him directly at 819-835-1321 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.