8 years later, he still loves coaching

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 28, 2010

Since his daughter began playing Babe Ruth softball eight years ago, Titans coach Steven Salter hasn’t been too far away from the fields at Johnson Park.

Salter will complete his eighth season as a softball coach Tuesday, when the 9-to-10-year-old teams play in a playoffs at the park.

He said the reason why he got started coaching was because of his daughter, Abbie, who is now 14 years old and is playing at the high school level.

“After watching one year of tee ball as a parent, my daughter showed a big interest in the sport,” Salter said. “I decided I needed to get involved and the rest is history.”

In his eight years as a coach, Salter has coached the 7-to-8-year-olds, 9-to-10-year-olds, 11-to-12-year-olds and 13-to-14-year-olds.

Right now, Salter is currently coaching his 9-year-old daughter, Mary Katherine.

With each passing year, coaches like parents, have the rare opportunity to watch their players and daughters grow before their eyes.

Salter said it is something special to see how these girls build “self confidence” and “self esteem.”

“The best things about coaching these young ladies is seeing the self confidence and self esteem they build through the hard work they do during these hot Alabama summers,” he said. “Girls are very receptive and eager to learn something new, but mostly want us as parents and coaches to be really proud of them and what they do.”

When asked why he coaches softball, Salter said it gives him a “great feeling.”

“Coaching these girls over the years gives you a great feeling about yourself and what you do,” he said. “The girls really appreciate everything you do for them. The smiles and hugs the girls give you when you see them around town is probably the biggest reason I continue to coach.”

Salter said he doesn’t plan on quitting coaching anytime soon, as long as Mary Katherine decides to play.

“Every group of girls have been special in their own way,” he said. “There have been many very special moments in the past eight years seeing girls get their first hits, catch their first pop fly, get their first win as a pitcher, or raising up their first championship trophy. I really do have many fond memories of the past eight years that will stay with me for a long time.”

Salter has a wife, Hope; Abbie is an eighth grader at Andalusia Middle School; and Mary Katherine is a third grader at Andalusia Elementary.

In addition, Salter said he could not be doing what he does today without the help of Randy Kuhn, who he said “has been with me through all these years.”

“Randy has been there every year, and does it for all the right reasons,” he said.

Titans coach Steven Salter holds a meeting at the pitchers mound Tuesday night. | Andrew Garner - Star-News