A Winner's Spirit

Published 12:21 pm Wednesday, July 20, 2005

By By Tim Cottrell
(Editor's note: Due to popular demand, the series of candid interviews with managers of Atmore Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth Baseball will now continue beyond 10 coaches. The interviews will now appear in each issue of the Atmore Advance. This is the ninth in what will now be a series of 17 interviews.)
While all coaches in youth sports want the young men or women who play for them to have a good time, most would be lying if they said they didn't care about winning or losing. But to some, the most emphasis is placed on learning the game, rather than winning and losing.
For Randy Albritton, who managed the Atmore VFW Rangers in the Cal Ripken Major League as well as assisted with the Diamond Oil Pumpers of Atmore T-Ball and the 10-year-old All-Stars, learning the fundamentals and going out to win are one in the same.
"A lot of people get upset because I preach the old-school way of 'Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing'," Albritton said. "I try to teach the kids to have a winning attitude. They need to give 100 percent in everything they do. At the age level I coach, 10-12, I think it's important for them to learn that. Not only in sports, but in any of their goals. I don't go out there to be a mediocre comptroller, I want to be the best I can be. And that's what a lot of kids need to learn. We've got some of the best kids here in Atmore. But participation is a very good thing now. The kids have to learn the fundamentals, too, and we start with that. But with that we teach a winning attitude."
As he mentioned, Albritton works as a comptroller with Diamond Gasoline here in Atmore.
"A comptroller typically analyzes business expenses, overhead, things like that," Albritton said. "I work on any kind of special project like construction. I get involved in anything and everything. I like to get involved in as much as I can."
Albritton has three children, Austin, 10, Mariah, 9, and Autumn, 7. He spent much of last year deployed in Iraq with the National Guard.
"I'm a part-time soldier," he said. "I was deployed to Iraq with the Foley Unit (of the 711th Signal Battalion), but now I serve with the Grove Hill B Company."
Albritton said he has found similarities in serving in war and coaching young people.
"All of it's about being prepared," he said. "If you're prepared you'll be okay."
Now that he is home from Iraq, outside of coaching and working Albritton finds little time to himself.
"I don't do as much as I used to since I have three children now," he said. "I still play basketball at the Y every now and then. I guess you could say coaching is my hobby now. When I'm not working or doing things with my kids, I'm sleeping."

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