The heartwarming interaction was caught on live TV.
Little League coach Joel Jensen set an example that players, parents, kids, and adults alike should be proud to follow during one of his son’s baseball games.
On Aug. 22, 2016, Isaiah “Bugsy” Jensen took the mound for Bend North, a Little League World Series baseball team from Oregon, as they took on a team from Emilia, Italy.
Isaiah pitched four and one-third innings of near-perfect baseball in front of a crowd of 7,000 fans and a TV audience.
It was the game of Isaiah’s life, and he was playing like it.
In the fifth inning, Isaiah began to struggle.
His pitches began to miss the mark; his speed began to trail off. It looked like his day, as good as it had been, was coming to an end.
His dad called for a timeout, emerged from the dugout, and made his way to the mound. It was there that he did something completely unexpected: He told his son that he loved him.
“You’re doing awesome out there,” Joel told Isaiah. “One more hitter. … Hey, cheer up, have some fun, and come right after him.”
Fresh off the pep talk of a lifetime, Isaiah struck out the next batter before being replaced by one of his teammates.
Sports parents sometimes get a bad rap. The internet is filled with horror stories of dad-slash-coaches who haven’t exactly lived up to the expectations of either title. With dads like that in the world of youth sports, being the coach’s kid can be rough. After all, no one wants to let down their coach, let alone their dad.
It’s heartwarming to see such a positive example of sportsmanship on such a large scale.
Growing up, my dad volunteered to coach my baseball and soccer teams. The love and support he showed me during those years helped shape me into the person I am today. Whether I won or lost, I knew he was always there for me. The interaction between Joel and Isaiah is something I — and lots of people — can relate to on such a personal level. This is what the world needs: love, encouragement, and support.
Parenting: You’re doing it right.
Watch Joel’s powerful pep talk in the video below.