For an Army veteran in Louisiana, coaching youth baseball has not only given him an opportunity to impact the next generation, but has also helped with his battle with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Hamilton Ledet Jr. has been the head coach of the Broussard Diamondbacks, a 14-U baseball team, for two seasons and has already made a considerable impact on his players.
His coaching philosophy was influenced by his time served with the United States Army.
“I learned a lot as far as discipline, structure, balance, being humble,” Ledet told Liftable, a section of The Western Journal.
Those are the life lessons he now hopes to pass on to the children who play on his team.
“I did tours in Iraq and I’ve seen some things and been through some things that the average person would probably feel queasy about,” he said.
He returned home in 2006, according to KADN-TV, and began feeling the weight of his PTSD.
But he quickly found that helping children grow as athletes and as people has served as therapy for him.
“These kids are my therapy,” Ledet told Liftable. “I tend to catch a lot of flashbacks in my past and I’m down and beating myself up about where I’ve been and where I’m at today. Looking at these smiles on theses kids faces — and also my own two kids, looking my kids’ smiles — and looking at the growth of these kids; it’s very, very therapeutic.”
Both parents and players appreciate his military-inspired approach to coaching.
“I think it’s important to have coaches like him because he just cares about the kids,” Ginny and Adam Hoover, Diamondback parents, told KLFY-TV. “He cares about the game and having fun and having a good time.”
Player Ezra Arceneaux even said that he feels like he has a “second dad” in Ledet.
Over the summer, Ledet hopes to start his own 14-U baseball league where he can help ensure that each team and player is given equal opportunities.
“I will be hands on,” he told Liftable. “I will be in depth with each team in my league. I will know all the players. I will know all the coaches. I will know what’s going on from day in and day out with all of my teams because if you don’t know what’s going on, you can’t address things.”
In a Facebook post advertising his summer league he wrote, “It has never been about the money with me I’m not looking to make any money I’m looking to impact kids lives and give them a chance to continue playing baseball.”
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