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On The Whistle Podcast | 25 Years of Winning

November 24, 2020

Gary Goldberg

“If everyone played baseball like Cumberland Americans, this would be the greatest game.”

With those words and the rest of his five-minute speech after losing at the Little League World Series, Dave Belisle entered the hearts of sports fans, parents, coaches, and kids everywhere. 

In this episode of the On the Whistle podcast, I talked with Dave Belisle, best known for that ESPN moment at a Little League World Series that went viral. Millions and millions of people watched this video.

 

We discussed:

  • Dave’s dad, a legendary youth hockey coach who won 26 consecutive state titles
  • Advice to parents about how to interact with coaches in youth sports
  • The story behind Dave’s viral speech to his team 

 

Listen now

 

 

Full transcript

Gary Goldberg:

Hey guys, Gary here. Before we get to the show today, I wanted to highlight our sponsor, SportsEngine. SportsEngine's dedicated to making the life of a youth sports volunteer easier. Through their applications, people are able to save time on administrative tasks, allowing them more time to focus on developing their athletes. More than a million teams, leagues and clubs use SportsEngine every day to run their websites, promote their programs and to collect sign-ups. They also offer an easy solution for getting uniforms delivered directly to their athletes homes. It's called SportsEngine Gear, and you can check it out at sportsengine.com/gear to get started. Great, now onto our show.

Announcer:

You're listening to On The Whistle, the podcast that explores the impact that coaches, teachers and mentors from youth sports organizations and schools have on young people's lives. Let's get into the show.

Gary Goldberg:

Thanks everybody, and welcome to this installation episode of On The Whistle. I'm super excited to introduce Dave Belisle. Dave comes from what I would phrase as a legendary sports mentoring multi-generation coaching family here in Rhode Island. Dave is best known for ESPN moment at a Little League world series that went viral and millions and millions of people watched the video. So we're definitely going to chat with Dave about that video and the things he said and why he chose the words he chose.

Gary Goldberg:

Additionally, his father, Bill Belisle, is a youth hockey coach, American legend. I think it's the only way to really describe him. He had 26 consecutive state titles. And if you can just wrap your head around that, that's a quarter of a century of continuous winning at one event, which is just mind boggling. And then his other brother is a college coach, Peter. And for the program that he's coaching at, he's the most winning coach in the history of that program. So this is a unique coaching family and a real resource here in our little, great state of Rhode Island, but Dave, welcome to the conversation, super excited to have you today.

Dave Belisle:

Well, thanks for having me, it's my pleasure.

Gary Goldberg:

Awesome. So I'm just curious, how did you get exposed to sports as a kid, and how did it start for you?

Dave Belisle:

Well, you mentioned my dad, the legendary Bill Belisle, but he was my coach ever since I was a young boy. So he introduced me to Little League Baseball, which you mentioned my involvement in that. That was my first experience of playing ball and also sports, and then youth hockey. My dad, back in the late '60s, when I started playing hockey, he was a coach for years [inaudible 00:03:07] an assistant coach. And then he, in leagues became heavily involved in Woonsocket, where he played his hockey among other fathers, they formulated the Woonsocket Youth Hockey association in the mid '60s.

Dave Belisle:

He being from Manville was the only outsider in the city of Woonsocket that was able to play. So he was a pioneer in help formulate youth hockey in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. And obviously he'd been my coach and my brother, John at the time, he was one year younger than me, he should be older than me, we both played in the Woonsocket Youth Hockey Association. And my dad was the coach in Manville Little League, so a little time in Manville, he was my coach in youth hockey, my dad was my coach. He's been coaching a long time and we're very, very fortunate, I am.

Gary Goldberg:

I talked to a bunch of different people that were coached by your father, and I've heard things like he totally changed practice, practices were insane. There was a lot of small space practices, seven on zeros are some expressions I heard and tons of constant puck handling and things like that. What's so unique about his approach, in your opinion, and how did they evolve into such a winning tree?

Dave Belisle:

My dad took over the program back in 1974, '75, he met junior high coach JV coach from 1969 to '75, and in '76 was my junior year, he took over the Mount St. Charles program that was at the time, believe it or not, if you look back in the history, there was a two year period [inaudible 00:04:45] was not playing good hockey. But he came in, he was well known amongst the alumni and what he did at youth hockey, and they wanted to bring the program which had won in '69, '70 and '71, they wanted to bring him to the caliber hockey that they were used to. So he did take over the program in '76, '77, I being part of it. I was the captain in '77.

Dave Belisle:

What he did was he instituted... And this is good for your program, what my dad took, he made it a simple game for kids. I think the years before people were trying to do too much with kids at such a young age, it was just too complicated. He simplified it, he kept it simple, rather than systems, he put in values, he put in coaching moments like when he motivated us. He gave enthusiasm himself. You could see the sacrifices that he was well-prepared. Every practice, like you've just mentioned, it was different. You never came to the next practice expecting the same thing. What you did expect, you better give 100% of yourself, you got to concentrate, you got to stay disciplined, and you got to work as a team.

Dave Belisle:

So those things he taught us, but every practice I'm telling you, it was about skill, it was about individual and team skills. So the basics of passing, and skating, and shooting, every single day he would work on our skills. So the reason why his teams won 26 in a row were always well-prepared because they outskilled, outworked everyone, and he did it in a simple, simple way.

Dave Belisle:

Another thing he did was, and you can't do that today obviously, was he closed the doors. There were closed doors practices. It was him and his kids, there was no outside interference with parents. And so, it was his boys and him, questions were dealt with after practice, before practice, but on the ice, you were there, it was fair. Best players we're not necessarily going to play if the effort wasn't there, or kids with less skill had an opportunity to play, they were going to give themselves to the team.

Dave Belisle:

So he always had that good balance of teaching. And I think that's the reason why I was so successful, my brother, Peter who's coaching at UMass Boston, the reason why we are so successful is we take that approach. We take each individual kid, we teach them skill but we cooperate the team aspect of it. I think basics are so important to the game of hockey, baseball, football. If you can curtail that basic skill that you need to play the game, first of all, you are going to feel confident because you've got the skill, secondly, your teammates are going to feel confident because you've got the skill.

Dave Belisle:

So I think teaching skill, keeping it simple, the expectation level should be for all. Yes, everyone should give 100%, but you got to know your students, your expectation of a kid who's got talent galore and a boy who needs a lot more than this boy who has the talent. You as a coach have got to realize that. So you've got to take the boy who's got this incredible skill and psychologically bring him down to the boy who doesn't have as much skill and make them equal mentally. And you do that by encouraging both, but getting the kid with the more skills, give him a little more extra than you would the other boy who can't handle this time, so you bring them together where everyone is on the same playing field.

Dave Belisle:

And my father has taught me that it is incredible how he will, if a boy is willing to give himself for the team, work hard, enthusiastic, motivate, [inaudible 00:08:48] that boy, and no matter what the level of play is, is going to be incorporated into his teaching. And every boy or girl should deserve that chance. And I'm telling you, you just can't on the first day determine if that boy can play or not. You've got to figure out his personality, his character, and you as a coach, you got to give examples. So you got to be enthusiastic.

Dave Belisle:

Nothing worse than playing for a coach who's very routine, doesn't look like he's enthusiastic, particularly pays attention to all the kids who are really good, and the other boys, "I'll get them in when I can," that's not going to make for a good team. I think it's going to bring up about a lot of dissension, and he was able to take the kids around the ice, you're here, you're excited, you want to work, he brings the energy, you follow my lead, let's go.

Dave Belisle:

And you can see me talking and building right now. That's what you're going to bring out of kids. If you show up as a dud, you're going to have a dud practice. If you show up as a military guy, it's my way, and this is it, yes, it's your way, but you're going to make these kids believe that they have a chance, you're going to make these kids believe that this team is going to do something really special. It's not about the wins, but we're going to have something really special in here, we're going to have some success.

Gary Goldberg:

Thank you. You touched on so many things already. I don't know where to start, but I want to begin with you and your father. Closed door practice, no parents allowed, but you're playing for your dad. Was that difficult?

Dave Belisle:

Yes, it was.

Gary Goldberg:

I can imagine so.

Dave Belisle:

Very, very difficult. As a matter of fact, when I coached four of my kids, I did learn some, but you don't learn it until it actually happens. I think my dad was able to. It was very difficult, we butted heads because his expectation level, he loved me and he wanted me to be just as good or better, but he had to be tough on me. And it's like, "No, you're not getting it because you're Dave Belisle boy," and he pushed me. I think he wanted me to do better, but he never, never paid more attention to me than the other boys, and he never gave me more of a carrot than the other boys, I had to earn everything.

Dave Belisle:

And I think going in, I regretted that. I thought that, "Why are you so tough on me?" He wasn't, he was tough on everybody. I took it as a personal thing because now he's my dad. But no, he says, "Son," I only learned this after, he says, "You are a different player when you see me here than a junior, because you know what? You listened, you put out the personal father, son relationship." He says, "I wasn't bending, and especially if you start giving me an attitude or you start not trying because we have this friction, everybody else is noticing. I'm not bending." And that was tough for me to accept is that I thought that he was pinpointing all his efforts on me, but in the end, he really wasn't, and he was teaching me a good lesson.

Gary Goldberg:

It sounds super valuable.

Dave Belisle:

It is very. And I think coach, I'm calling you coach too because I know what the program is about. Going in, this is one of the biggest things I can recommend because most of your Little League teams or your youth hockey teams are coached by fathers who have sons on the teams, and you see it and I see that as I get older, and I've noticed as I get older, you can tell who their son is because there is that back and forth, a little bit of a privileged, non-privileged, they're bounding one another, and the kid's playing more. It can't be that way.

Dave Belisle:

If you're going to volunteer or if you're going to coach, and that's the most difficult thing because I did it with my four boys and I had a tough time, and I grew with that. Finally, I got a ride with the fourth one of my four boys. It's an even playing field. You got to leave up the personal, how well you want your son to be, you can't bring that to your practice, because one, the other kids notice, two, the other coaches notice and more importantly, the parents notice and it just causes a lot of friction and a lot of, "Oh, I know why he's playing," and that's the worst thing you can do for your son, is to have someone say, "I know the only reason why you're playing is because your father is the coach." That's important that you make sure that when you go and do your thing, whether you're a coach or not, and you have a child on the team, try to bring in, he's not your son, he's one of your players, and that's the most difficult thing.

Gary Goldberg:

What advice would you give to parents about how to interact with coaches during youth sports and their children? What's their relationship to the coach, but more importantly, what's their responsibility as a parent to the team, and the players, and the other parents? What's the best advice? How many years have you been coaching and how many kids, parents programs have you witnessed?

Dave Belisle:

Well, I've been coaching with my dad in hockey since 1980. And that was my junior year at Providence College. I got cut from Providence College hockey team [inaudible 00:14:27] but justifiably that they were juggernaut, but I went to go coach with my dad back in 1980, and I actually was coaching kids who I actually played hockey with.

Dave Belisle:

So when I first started coaching, I was young, I was aggressive, I didn't notice the parent thing, all I cared about was winning. And then as I grew older in the years falling, moreso after my got hurt in 1983, he fractured his skull, so I was forced into a 20-year-old taking over this juggernaut program, I had just won six in a row, and that's [crosstalk 00:15:00] and won six in a row.

Dave Belisle:

But I grew and I learned that, listen, it's about the kids, and I was fortunate enough that we had closed doors, so I didn't have to deal with parents. But then as baseball came along, you really have to deal with parents because it's wide open field, they're there, they're listening, you can't exclude them out of everything.

Dave Belisle:

So what I learned from Little League baseball and also from youth hockey is that you practice, you keep it simple, but you got to give time to the parents, not during the practice, not during the games, you'll find the time when you can meet with them separately, hopefully face-to-face away... Hopefully, if it's a situation where a boy, he's not playing well and he's frustrated and there could be some friction with you and the parent, it's best to give it a day. Just make sure you communicate. Look, "Let's talk about this."

Dave Belisle:

And the thing you've got to realize is that when you're explaining it, no matter what, you got to explain that "He's one of my boys, I care for him." And you got to be point blank with them, "This is what he's at, this is what he needs to improve on, and if he does, good things are going to happen." You are to explain to them in the first practice to the last practice. You need to communicate with your parents that, "First and foremost, please don't get involved during a game or during a practice. If you need to speak to me, let's talk civilized," like I said, "maybe outside of the practice, day later, I'll give you some insight of your son, what I think it needs to be."

Dave Belisle:

But I think the most important message is before you get to that point, you've got to communicate to the boy or the girl. He needs to know where he stands, and if you isolate him or don't play him, you can't just let him sit there and think why, you have to give the reason, you show it by demonstrating in coaching him away from those deficiencies, and you need to get him or her back on the field. How do you do that?

Dave Belisle:

Well, he's afraid of the ball when he's hitting. Well maybe if you'll work with him, say, "Listen, why don't you stay a little bit afterwards and we'll work on how you're afraid of the ball." You don't do it right in front of the whole team. So maybe some personalized, total edge away from the teammates. But when you're on the field with these kids, you got to try to make them all involved, like I mentioned to you before. They're there because they want to play the game, and if they're not playing, hopefully you have communicated to all the parents.

Dave Belisle:

And I do this when I used to coach my all-star teams for baseball, and I told him, I said, "Listen, I hope you can accept this, because if you can't then it's not a good idea for your son to play. Some boys are going to play two innings and they're going to sit, other the boys are going to play the whole game." I said, "And I don't know who that's going to be, but that's the way it's going to be." I said, "But I can guarantee you this, your boy is going to have fun, he's going to feel like he's part of the team, and if he doesn't, then you come talk to me."

Dave Belisle:

But you have to set the guide rule. You can't go in there and pick an all-star team, whatever it is, or you're paying all this money upfront and next thing you know, you get the money and next thing you know, the kid doesn't play a game, then he doesn't play the next game. But if you told the parents, "Listen, you're paying this amount, I don't know if he's going to play," they're willing to dish out the money then. You got to set what the expectation level of each of these people are.

Gary Goldberg:

Dave, let's transition to the moment that went viral, and I think it's 2014. So you were coaching a team from Cumberland, Rhode Island-

Dave Belisle:

That's right.

Gary Goldberg:

... that made its way down to Williamsport, Pennsylvania. And for those of you who haven't seen the video, it's been watched a couple gazillion times, certainly over a million times. You can Google Dave Belisle ESPN or Dave Belisle Little League World Series and it'll pop right up. And it's a fascinating moment, it's an American moment in my mind, baseball being America's game, you taking the role of America's coach and the boys taking the role of the boys of summer and this greatly American play.

Gary Goldberg:

And the video starts off with the announcer, I think it's Joe Buck, saying something along the lines of, "And that brings it into a great run by this really special team," or something like that. And you can see you have your thumb and your forefinger holding your mouth, your lips together in deep thought and you can see you are looking very pensive. And I think what I see in that video is a guy trying to figure out what he's about to say to some really important kids. So tell us a little bit about the team and tell us what was going on in your mind as that video kicks off.

Dave Belisle:

First of all, at that moment right there on that ESPN moment, what they do with any manager that comes to Williamsport, Pennsylvania, they do mic them up and you're allowed to turn it off or turn it on whenever they need be. They have the capability of turning it on and turning it off themselves.

Dave Belisle:

So when that game ended and what I've done throughout that whole summer, what I don't as a Little League coach is after every practice take my boys to the outfield, left field, right field, wherever the closest I got and go over what we did right, what we did wrong, what are our next venture is going to be, and basically go over the things that we did well and what we need to improve on, and then at the end, put our hands in and then we're going to go home and we're going to have some fun, practice is over, it's done. It's always been that way, my dad taught me that. He said, "We're going to have practice, and when it's over, it's over."

Dave Belisle:

So this particular moment we had just lost to Jackie Robinson of The Great Lake in semi finals, and it was a tough loss, it was an unbelievable baseball game. So when the game ended, when you lose such a heartbreaking game and you know the end is there, you don't know about a mic or whether a mic's on, they liked the mic on me because I was enthusiastic, I was cool with my kids, I said some stuff that was coming from the heart, but when the game ended, you did all right, this is it.

Dave Belisle:

Going up to that point, and what you don't realize is as I'm walking out there, there was a lot too, the emotions that were going through me that particular summer, because that particular summer back in May of that summer, I coached a 2011 team that went to Williamsport, Pennsylvania also, and we had an unbelievable summer day as a family. My wife, my older boys would pitch to my kids, and we just spent not only every day on the practice field, but we'd also spend talking and reminiscing on the dinner table, and it just seemed to bring my family and all these families together. And we had this community behind us in common. We went up to 2011. It was an incredible experience, it just brought this whole state of Rhode Island was following us, and it was fabulous, it was like a dream come true. That's why they call it the World Series, it feels like a major leaguer.

Dave Belisle:

So unfortunately, 2013, my wife was diagnosed with colon cancer, and so there was decision time for the league to make a decision. They wanted me coach this 2014 team, because the previous year we had won the championship with 11-year-olds and we were really good. And I had told them that night when they asked me, "I can't do it because my wife, she's too sick, and I can't do this to her," and they totally understood. So I said, "Please ask Matt Wright," who was my assistant, "Have him take the team."

Dave Belisle:

So I came home that evening, Johnny was selected but he went upstairs and he told his mother that, "Mom, I'm in the team, but daddy's not going to coach." So I was downstairs and I remember, and it's emotional because she's screaming from upstairs, "David." And so I went up there and "Johnny, I want you to go downstairs." And she was resting in her bed and she was fighting a fight, unbelievable woman. She gave me more strength to live for, for the rest of my life than any woman I know.

Dave Belisle:

She looked at me and said, "Don't do this to me, and don't do this to this family." I said, "Well, what are you talking about?" "John just told me you're not going to coach that team, and you're going to bring that upon this family?" She says, "No, you're going to coach that team and you're going to bring that excitement that was here years ago and I want my house to be happy like it was in 2011. I'm good, my mom's going to help me and my sisters are going to help me, and you won't be there to help me, but you're going to coach that team. You can't do this to Johnny."

Dave Belisle:

She says, "He's looking forward to this." And I said, "No question about it." So I did, I coached that team, and everybody on that team, those kids and everybody parent knew my wife's situation, but it just seemed to bring about an energy and appreciation for every single practice. We would work, and I didn't change. I was hard on them, but I loved them, and it just seemed that support was even more than I have ever gotten.

Dave Belisle:

My wife stayed at home and she waited for the kids and she was happy because the kids were happy. So leading up to that point, that day, the World Series commissioner and a good friend of my wife's, Irene, had flown my wife, because she was back home, to Williamsport, unbeknownst to me. So that morning she surprised me and John by being there. And it was one of the happiest moments of our lives because I didn't... How she did that, how she got there, she was there because she wanted to let Johnny know that, "I want to be there for you," and "mommy's okay, you have nothing to worry about."

Dave Belisle:

So when I went out to that field, I had these emotions, appreciation of life and everything that my father taught me, everything these parents and these kids gave to me, and I didn't want to let them go. The score didn't matter at that point, I just didn't want to let them go. They were my kids, you know what I mean? So you hear some things like, "We fought, and the reason why I am going to cry is I'm not going to be able to coach you anymore." So all these emotions are coming out but what they did was they brought so much pride, pride to their coach, pride to their town, proud to my wife. I said, "You brought something that no one other team can bring." It's true, no other team could bring that.

Dave Belisle:

I said, "We fought as hard as we can and we're going to have more fun, just like I did. When this game's over, we're going to go out in the global. What are people going to say about you? "You're awesome, you are, you are awesome." So that whole speech captivated. And believe me, to get to that speech, one, you got to be blessed with parents, and I had blessed with parents that believe in you. One, you've got to learn by your mistakes, and I made a lot of them coaching. I'm not going to go through them, but sometimes I was way too tough on these kids.

Dave Belisle:

But as you grow, you learn and then you realize that it's a privilege to coach. And I think these younger coaches and we'll get that to me, but they get a little older, it's such a privilege to be able to nurture and teach young adults to gain that you know and that you can share the right way. And remember, the game, it's a game, it's not their life, they're playing it, it's a game. You want to make them the best player they can be, but more importantly, you've got to remember, we're going to give it a shot to win, but if we give it everything we have and we play together as a team, you got to go shake their hands and say, "You know what? You beat us today, but we'll get you next time." Whatever that may be, we'll go practice, and we'll try it again.

Dave Belisle:

As a coach, you've got to be the better person. My perspective of 2011 was different that 2014, I was like a kid, I was going to the Little League World Series and oh my God, I can't believe we're here. The second time I went I had more appreciation. I realized I was blessed. I was blessed with these kids, I'm blessed with an unbelievable wife. Sometimes you forget how good things are when either someone dies or someone's sick or something that you had, you don't have anymore.

Dave Belisle:

So that's what I was going through. I said, I'm going to enjoy this moment. So every practice I enjoyed and every game I enjoyed. And that last moment on that field, I said I'm going to enjoy because and I'm enjoying life right now because that's what wife dictated to me and showed me with her strength to go on and live to the last second. She lived for her kids. And as a coach, they're your kids, you volunteered to this or they chose you, do the best you can. Do your homework, prepare yourself, but get ready, you're going to have kids who are going to get upset, they're going to be dumb, they're going to be too high, you're going to have parents intervening. You've got to be the traffic controller, but if you can do it, you can do it if you come with the right attitude, and I think it starts with the coach.

Gary Goldberg:

Dave, I didn't know that backstory before we went into this conversation today. I didn't realize that there is this massive personal pressure or problem surrounding you and your family going into the World Series and that ESPN moment, I had no idea. Now I'm going to read a quote from your speech says, "I love you guys. I'm going to love you forever. You've given me the most precious moment of my athletic and coaching career, and I've been coaching a long time and I'm getting to be an old man. I need memories like this, I need kids like you. You're all my boys, you're the boys of summer." Hearing that in the context of what you just described to us and our listeners really grounds those statements.

Dave Belisle:

It really does. And as you can see, going into this and as it's slipping away from me, my wife is slipping away from me, I say, "I'm never going to forget this, I'm going to love you forever. You've given me the greatest moment because you made me realize how blessed I am."

Gary Goldberg:

Dave, I'm sorry to interrupt you, all the conversations have been focusing on what's right for the kid, and what's good for the community, and how coaches and mentors spend so much time sacrificing themselves for kids and community and parents alike. But just reading this, "I need memories like this, I need kids like you," you got something out of this, you needed it. It's not a one-way street. For all the energy you're putting out, I feel like you're getting it back in spades and it's satisfying you, and your soul, and your personality and life. It sounds so gratifying the way you're describing it. You're so energized about it today it's 2020.

Gary Goldberg:

I'm looking at you for those who can't see him, this guy I'm sitting on a Zoom meeting, obviously due to the social distancing, but he's got a huge smile across the space and behind him there's pictures of kids in different uniforms and different sports, and the whole wall is covered with almost a gallery of obviously personal family events and your kids, and your sports, and everything, and it's an amazing story Dave, it just really is.

Dave Belisle:

[inaudible 00:32:30] my wife, she realized that when she said you're going to coach that team because she knew Johnny needed it, but more importantly, she knew that I needed it and that's how much she loved me. And in the end you just said something. When I was saying those words, man, that I need this, they made me realize how blessed I am.

Gary Goldberg:

So one question that I love to ask people that I talk to, and it's relatively a simple question, but you coached and played in hundreds, if not thousands of games, and I'm just curious, after all the games that you've coached and played, what did you gain more from, wins or the losses, Dave?

Dave Belisle:

I think the losses. And I always tell this story and the people who were there that that particular night probably don't have what me and my father have. But when you win 26 state championships in a row, you see the hard work, but what you also see is, and I always saw that with my dad after every championship that we won, time and time again, he was always there for the opponents coming over and hugging him, the opposing teams, because he was a class act, my dad, and he cared about his players and he was glad he won. Nobody was more exuberant, but he also respected, always respected the other team.

Dave Belisle:

So in the game that finally the street came to win and we got beat by Toll Gate, when the game ended, I always remember this moment, my eyes were on the other team for that big moment, and I saw how excited they were and how happy they were. They deserved that moment. I said, "Look at these kids. Oh my God, I am so happy for them." And then right away, tuned to my kids and we talked to our kids and said, "Listen." And I remember telling it, because I used to speak a lot from my dad towards the end of his career.

Dave Belisle:

And I said, "Listen, this may be the proudest moment of my coaching career and [inaudible 00:34:44] I know it is because you guys handled that loss with so much class. There's no team that worked just as hard as you. You guys gave everything you had and the pressure that you guys are under and the way you handled it, and you stood there and you watched the other team celebrate, that's what builds character." I said, "You know what? It's easy to win." I say, the the game is over, "It's easy to celebrate, but boy, it's really, really tough to lose." And I told them, "You know who the last captain was, who lost the state championship? It was me, and I feel what you're going through."

Dave Belisle:

But maybe I don't because you win 26 in a row and then you lose. But I will tell you this, I told them, "I stand here proud than ever for being the Mount St. Charles hockey coach," because we got a team that did exactly what coach Belisle wanted them to do. They played Mount style, they played it for three periods and they gave it everything they had, and they played for the team, not for themselves. And as a coach, that's all I can ask for.

Dave Belisle:

And a lot of that speech was given to those boys in that Little League field. I always remember that, it wasn't about score, it was about the way that my kids behaved all year long just like any of the Mount teams. And to answer your question, that may have been the most satisfying moment of my coaching's career, was seeing how well my team acted after losing so-called devastating game.

Dave Belisle:

It was a great teaching moment. I think you get a lot more out of the losses than you do out of the wins. You really do, especially if you get to the top of the pinnacle and then you do lose, because you've brought this energy, and this enthusiasm, and this teamwork to the pinnacle, and if there's a team that beat you out there, then you can shake his hand because we gave it all we got, congratulations, it's not easy.

Dave Belisle:

It's a great game about hockey. They get in, they're out there battling one another and then they shake hands and you can see this as much as they... There was a couple guys that really went out, there was some talking, whatever it may be, when the game ends, you could see the sincerity of the guy who just won talking to the person who lost back and forth. There's that moment where, "You know what? We played this game hard, congratulations." You want to unsure as they're going through, but nobody should have lost this, the respect, I think that's what I felt when we lost that day.

Gary Goldberg:

David, this has been a great conversation. I think for every family and child that you coached or mentored, they should be, and I'm sure they are eternally grateful for the work that you and your dad, and your brothers have done for both your local community, and some of the guys that you guys have coached have gone into the NHL first round draft picks. This is no light affair. And the moment that was captured, a view on ESPN is in some ways, breathtaking. Dave, thanks so much for providing our listeners today a real instruction on class, and dignity, and respect, and hard work, and the love of coaching, and the love of family. And for that, we're eternally grateful. Thanks so much Dave.

Dave Belisle:

It's been a privilege, thank you.

Announcer:

You've been listening to On The Whistle. For more, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player or visit us at onthewhistle.com.

 


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