Sunday, November 29, 2015         


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Winning lessons from Waipio All-Stars

By Ruth Wong


Who among us didn't revel in watching the Waipio Little League team's run to the championship?

While delightedly watching the youngsters play, I could see some helpful lessons for any of us:

After Waipio won the Western Regional Championship in California, manager Brian Yoshii commented, "They've had all these goals on a whiteboard, crossing them off. Now, they can cross off going to Williamsport."

» Lesson 1: Write out your goals where you and everyone involved can see them.

In the key repeat game against Georgia, Ty DeSa was called out stealing second. Ty knew he was safe and persuaded Yoshii to challenge the call. The instant replay proved DeSa right. Waipio went on to win 12-5 to play for the U.S. World Series Championship.

» Lesson 2: To prevent a major mistake, if you know you're right, say so.

Due to Little League rules, by the sixth game, Waipio's three starting pitchers could not be used. In winning the U.S. Championship game against Texas, Ezra Heleki stepped in and pitched a scoreless two-hit game. In the final game, Cody Malteza, who hadn't pitched since the district playoffs, pitched the maximum 85 pitches, allowing only four hits.

» Lesson 3: Keep your skills sharp so you can step in when needed.

After the 12-5 blowout win against Georgia, as Waipio was about to file by the losing team, manager Yoshii could be heard emphatically telling the boys, "Be humble! Humble!"

» Lesson 4: Be humble.

"Successful people are dreamers who have found a dream too exciting, too important to remain in the realm of fantasy, who day by day, hour by hour, toil in the quest of those dreams until, one day, they can touch them with their hands and see them with their eyes." — H. Stanley Jones, "Quality of Life."

» Lesson 5: Never give up.

Waipio never gave up. Congratulations, U.S. World Series Champions. Thank you for making us proud.

Ruth Wong owns Organization Plus. Contact her by e-mail at

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