Our Opinion: Weiss was a reminder of what youth sports should be

Published 5:35 pm Tuesday, June 11, 2024

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The news last week that Gabby Weiss had passed away spread quickly through Austin, with people taking to social media to issue well wishes and to touch on how much influence he had on the community, specifically the baseball community.

It’s likely that if you attended a baseball game in Austin, then you either saw or talked with Weiss. His love of baseball was infectious, but his care for the youth he helped coach and guide was even more notable.

It was a common theme echoed by many, including Lyle-Pacelli head baseball coach Brock Meyer and former Major League Baseball player and Austin native Mike Wuertz. One of Weiss’s greatest impressions left on others was how much he much interest he took in his players.

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How they grew and developed as players, but also what they were doing once they were done playing.

It’s that kind of person that youth sports needs most. Weiss represented the type of dedication needed for youth athletics, not just the devotion to win, but devotion to the overall effort and the overall development of the person.

It’s no secret that sports can be the instruction of many things. How we handle adversity. How we handle losing and even how we handle winning.

The games at this level shouldn’t be about wins and losses. It should be an opportunity to teach, but even more importantly it should be an opportunity for kids to be kids. These games: baseball, football, basketball, and all of the others are meant to be fun.

That was what Weiss embodied. The amount of devotion he showed for the game was directly proportional to the kids taking part. Weiss and other dedicated coaches of his ilk were concerned about these kids having an experience they can remember for years to come.

Weiss can’t be replaced, but other like minds can help develop kids the same way he did. More of this kind of adult involvement ensures kids not only have something to do in the summer, but they have fun doing it. Consider volunteering your time to youth athletics. It will be challenging and difficult at times, but we also think it will be rewarding.