Tustin High baseball coach draws from own challenges to teach kids about life’s wins and losses

If you’re a serious student of baseball, then it’s no surprise that a talk with Coach Charles Chatman offers secrets to life.

After all, it was the great Yogi Berra who said, “Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too.”

Chatman, Tustin High School’s baseball coach, goes at least as deep as the former Yankee great. He ponders strengths as well as weaknesses.

“You owe it to yourself and your teammates,” he says, “to be the best version of yourself in the moment.”

Of course, Chatman, 40, isn’t just talking baseball. Along with life lessons, he offers sound advice on family difficulties. “Problems come when boundaries aren’t clear.”

He asks us to examine our failings, then throw away our excuses and get on with life.

“The best we can do is our best,” Chatman offers, “and sometimes that means you will make mistakes.”

Look into Chatman’s eyes, mannerisms, movements and you realize this is a high school coach not just trying to win, but trying to help students — as well as parents — succeed.

A graduate of Concordia University, Chatman is currently working toward a master’s degree in counseling. But his knowledge of the human condition comes from his own stumbles, smart mentors and years of experience honing young athletes into not necessarily great athletes, although there is that, but mature adults who grasp the values of hard work, charity, responsibility.

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