PENSACOLA, Fla. – Command Master Chief Mike Bates and Cmdr. Chad Smith not only inspire and mentor Sailors on a daily basis, both are also very active in shaping local kids through youth sports.
Bates, the command master chief for the Center for Information Warfare Training, and Smith, the commanding officer for Information Warfare Training Command Corry Station, are currently coaches for youth baseball teams for the Perdido Bay Youth Sports Association.
Bates coaches the 12-year-old and under Brewers, and Smith coaches the 14-year-old and under Royals. Bates also serves as the 10-year-old and under commissioner.
They both agree coaches can be enormously influential in the lives of children. Kids spend many hours with their coaches; kids listen to coaches coaches are role models; coaches can fill a parenting role; and coaches have the power to shape lives.
As coaches, Bates and Smith bring an extensive background in competitive sports and military order and discipline to their teams. Most importantly, they know this is an opportunity to positively influence young lives, and for that reason, both take their coaching positons very seriously.
“We have a golden opportunity to teach leadership, compassion, strength and courage through our coaching positions,” said Bates. “My goal is to positively inspire these kids, helping them become successful leaders of tomorrow.”
Some attribute baseball coaching is 15 percent sport knowledge and 85 percent people skills. Baseball coaches with the whole package have a good grasp of some basic coaching strategies and people skills. They may not be an expert in any particular area or the X’s and O’s or giving baseball signs but coaches with the whole package are good at several areas of teaching ability and leadership skills.
Based on feedback from Jimmy Inman, Perdido Bay Youth Sports Association’s baseball director and a retired Navy Sailor, both Bates and Smith are “whole package” coaches, armed with the right people and teaching skills.
“Parents want their youth sports coaches to be positive role models for their children,” said Inman. “Baseball parents are trusting the coaches to help shape their kids, and both Mike Bates and Chad Smith are the ‘whole package’ coaches.”
To kick off the 2018 season, the Perdido Bay Youth Sports Association held a parade of teams opening-season ceremony at Wahoo Stadium, March 23. During the ceremony, Smith was selected to throw out the opening pitch of the season. Smith was unaware until the event and was honored for the opportunity to not only throw out the first pitch of the season, but to be entrusted with coaching youth.
“I am extremely honored and grateful for this opportunity to kick off baseball season,” said Smith “I don’t take my coaching responsibilities lightly because some of my best memories are with some of the youth coaches I had growing up. My coaches were a great supplement and complement to what my parents taught me.”
Bates and Smith are eager to make great things happen for their teams this year, not only competing to win, but to mold leaders of tomorrow while having fun at the same time.
Information Warfare Training Command Corry Station, as part of the Center for Information Warfare Training, provides a continuum of training to Navy and joint service personnel that prepares them to conduct information warfare across the full spectrum of military operations.
CIWT is one of the largest of the NETC learning centers with four schoolhouse commands, two detachments, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, training 22,000 students every year. CIWT also offers more than 200 courses for cryptologic technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians, electronics technicians, and officers in the information warfare community.
For news from the Center for Information Warfare Training organization, visit www.navy.mil/local/cid/, www.netc.navy.mil/centers/ciwt/, www.facebook.com/NavyCIWT, or www.twitter.com/NavyCIWT.