Bennett’s Creek Little League benefits from coach’s philosophy

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 21, 2002

As president of the Bennett’s Creek Little League (BCLL), one of Brian Briesemeister’s duties is to select the coaches of each team. It’s a system that has several provisions.

&uot;First of all, I look at the players on the team,&uot; explains Briesemeister. &uot;If all of the kids from the past season return, that’s a point in the coach’s favor. If I can tell that the coaches have taught the players special skills on the field, that also makes an impact.&uot;

But beyond the playing field, perhaps the most important thing a coach can do is help players understand that little league baseball is all about fun and sportsmanship.


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&uot;I look at the players leaving the field after they’ve lost a game,&uot; says the president. &uot;Are they slouched over and upset? Or are they smiling because they had fun and know that they gave it their best shot? I want them to know that winning isn’t all that matters; giving it your best effort is.&uot;

Briesemeister has learned about teamwork during his nearly two decade career in the U.S. Navy.

&uot;I was a submarine nuclear engineer for 13 years, and have been in computer software implementation for the past six.&uot;

Unfortunately, he’ll be leaving active duty next year.

&uot;I always enjoyed the people and teamwork in the Navy. People from all walks of life get together for the common goal of keeping freedom.&uot;

After spending four years as a coach and umpire for the BCLL, Briesemeister decided that the league needed some changes.

&uot;I thought we had done a poor job of getting more kids involved with the league,&uot; he recalls. &uot;There were very few kids from the center and southern edge of Suffolk in our league, and the BCLL only gets better when it grows.&uot;

For help, Briesemeister spoke to the Suffolk city council. &uot;They were very eager to help, especially Dana Dickens and Linda Johnson.

He also made efforts to raise morale among the players and spectators.

&uot;Over the past few years, there was a lot of competitiveness out on the fields. It seemed like the real focus of the parents was on their children, and not on the team. People needed to understand that baseball is a team game, and when the team wins, the league wins. A total effort from everyone – the players, parents, and coaches – is needed to make the league a success.&uot;

In his first year of leading the BCLL, Briesemeister has already seen improvement.

&uot;The nature of the game isn’t so competitive anymore; it’s more about success. Now if a kid makes a great play, even the coaches and parents of the opposing team cheer for him.&uot;

It’s tough to stay impartial when you have two sons in the league, he says with a laugh.

&uot;When my kids are playing, I can’t cheer in a loud manner, because if people see the president doing that, they’ll repeat it tenfold. When I’m out there, I’m definitely a parent and I’m definitely supporting them, but people know that I’m there for the whole league.&uot;

Name? Brian Briesemeister

Age? 39

Hometown? Fayette, Iowa

Family? Wife, Lisa. Sons: Brian, 13 and Kyle 10

Education? Two years college

Career\Occupation? U.S. Navy

Volunteer activities? President of the Bennett’s Creek Little League

Favorite thing about life in Suffolk? The people in Suffolk. After living in Virginia Beach for 11 years and not meeting very many neighbors, it was a very rewarding thing to have so many good neighbors the day I moved in.

Why did you pursue your chosen career? I realized one day that I wouldn’t be able to play professional basketball.

Favorite thing about your job? The people and teamwork that protect our freedom and rights every day.

Least favorite thing about your job? That I have to retire from active duty in a year

What accomplishment are you proudest of? Brian Jr. and Kyle.

Who or what motivates and inspires you? I would like to think that my efforts make the environment a little better for at least one child in the future.

Favorite way to spend your free time? Watching the kids at Bennett’s Creek play ball, or tournament bass fishing.

What words of wisdom would you like to share with others? Take the time to tell folks you care about them. One day it may be too late to say thank you.

What ingredients are in the recipe for a good life? Family, friends, and a well-cooked steak on the grill.

We all have our &uot;15 minutes of fame&uot; in this life.

How would you spend your time in the spotlight? I would want one of my boys to attain a special goal that they have set forth and say that the reason they got to achieve the goal was Mom and Dad.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Why? I would have loved to have had the foresight or knowledge to prevent an incident like 9/11.