Bill Severns is a former professional baseball player having played in the Milwaukee Brewers farm system for 6 years. Prior to his professional career, he was a Sporting News and AACBC (American Association of College Baseball Coaches) All-American and Second Team Academic All-American from the University of Oklahoma. During his time at OU, he had the unique privilege of participating in the College World Series four years in a row. He was also a staff member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes throughout college.
After his own 22-year career playing the game, he began a 28-year marathon of coaching his son’s little league teams. He has recently written a book, “Keepers of the Sandlot.” The purpose of the book is to encourage parents and coaches and help them enjoy their kids in the developmental years of little league. It is a book about life lessons based on his experience at every level of the game. While playing the game was his passion, coaching his kids proved to be even more rewarding and challenging. The book is dedicated to the parents, players, coaches and teachers who work hard every day to shape children’s lives and play the game of life the way it is supposed to be played. Bill’s second book is called “Sandlot Strategy”; it is a parents’ manual for coaching kids.
Bill lives in Prairie Village, Kansas, with his wife of 40 years, Suzanne. They are the proud parents of Matthew, Sarah, Drew and Will. With great joy, Bill and Suzanne have the wonderful role of being grandparents to 8 grandchildren. Bill works for HDR Engineering, a civil engineering firm out of Kansas City, Missouri.
Bill Severns speaks to a wide range of audiences including youth sports seminars, coaching banquets, rotary clubs, Christian groups, and other organizations/businesses. Bill brings encouraging words and thought-provoking ideas to his audiences on coaching, parenting, and enjoying the journey with your kids.
Bill's Speaking Topics:
Bill is able to customize his message to fit your event
Bill Severns is the author of three books and one DVD documentary.
Endorsements . . .
“If you love baseball and want to get the most out of this special time with your kids, read this book. I never knew of the enjoyment my brothers and I gave our parents until I had my sons. I get just as much satisfaction watching them as I did playing the game."
— George Brett
Kansas City Royals
Member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame 1999
“There are two things you need to get right in the early years. Let each child develop their natural abilities and teach them to play fearlessly. As hard as it is to remember things, we can always remember our great coaches. I’ll never forget Coach Maldanaldo."
— Ned Yost
Manager of Kansas City Royals
“Tell your parents to relax and enjoy their kid. I can assure you we will find your diamond when he is ready. Putting undue pressure on children to play any sport is a huge mistake."
— Gary LaRocque
Senior Special Assistant to the General Manager of the St. Louis Cardinals
“We all need these timely and encouraging words. It will help the faithful parents and coaches who are in the trenches fighting the good fight."
— John O'Dell
Regional Director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes
“Let him play and have fun, or he’ll get burned out on the game before he even gets here."
— Gene Stephenson
24 NCAA Tournament Appearances
Coach of the 1989 College World Series Champions
“I’ve been around Billy’s kids for a little over a decade, and he continually validates everything he says in his book, not by the words he says, but rather the way he continually coaches and loves his boys, both players and family."
— Joe White
Director of Kankuk Kamps
“I’m a ‘keep it simple’ guy. This needs to be fun. It’s still a little kids game. Let’s keep it that way."
— Brent Kemnitz
Pitching and Assistant Coach Wichita State University
31 Years, 13 Guys to the Big Leagues
68 Pitchers Drafted
“I was so moved by the stories of our successful ball players who have became parents and coaches. I believe that many fathers will relate to the males/baseball presence in the video."
— Stephanie Kim
President of KC Dirt Devils, Inc.
“What an amazing accomplishment to get all of those great people from very different backgrounds and circumstances to dig into their own experiences and deliver the same heartfelt and powerful message."
— Larry Graham
“Thanks again for getting this perspective down on paper to help us all remember what it’s really about."
— John Moore
Sample Blog Post by Bill . . .
Every Message You Send is Received
By Bill Severns, August 7, 2017
The Keepers of the Sandlot closes with a chapter called, "The Ride Home". My dear friend and long time coach, administrator, and athletic director Dick Kramer told me a story of a friend that reminded him one day that, "every message you send is received". They all get there.
The Ride Home encourages you to take heart and realize this simple phrase carries a huge message itself:
What message are you sending?".
One day my son Drew says, "You were pretty good on the ride home, most of the time"
"Most of the time???!!!" I exclaimed, "MOST of the time? What are you talking about?"
"Well, as good as it was, there were lots of times where the 'awkward silence' was almost too much to take". Every message...
Coach Enos Semore, my college coach at Oklahoma, (who is in the College Baseball Hall of Fame) says it better than I have ever heard it said, "Tell your coaches and parents that they are a greater influence than they will ever realize. You just cannot imagine what your actions and words will mean for a very long time. If you can get them to understand the impact these words and actions will have on a kid (either good or bad) you will have done a great thing".
Former Kansas City Royal All-Star and current hitting coach for the Atlanta Braves, Kevin Seitzer said to me one day, "Tell your coaches to never be the one who makes a kid give up the game." How's that for a great message?
There are two sent messages I wish I could take back in my whole coaching career with my kids. Of course, there were many times I was a nut, but these 2 still hurt me. I can't take them back. One was with Will when he was pitching one day and one was with his best friend Jack who was also pitching. In both cases, with sincere apologies and wonderfully forgiving boys, we got through it.
Isn't it amazing that you can do many things right and ONE mistake can ruin everything? Talk about a life lesson from little league.
I only say this to help you think and respond to rough situations instead of reacting regretfully. If you are getting ready to explode...leave. Go home. Ask someone to take over. Send the message you need some help. We all need help. Someone will help.
You have to be calm.
Yelling is usually a bad message.
Silence may be worse.
Body language counts.
Cheering is a great message.
Encouragement is motivating and medicinal
Criticism is extremely difficult to handle and overcome for a kid.
Parenting and coaching is tough
Parenting and coaching is the greatest thing you will ever do.
On the Ride Home, tell your kid how much you love them, that you are glad they are your kid and you loved watching them play.
That message will certainly be received.
Every message you send is received.
You can do it, You are a Keeper of the Sandlot.
You get the message?