Coach Orlando Martinez
Coach Orlando Martinez has been coaching for Detroit PAL for 8 years. He is currently the coach for the 14U Southwest Aztecs, but is also the lead baseball operations coordinator for the organization, helping develop the coaches from other age groups.
“I became a coach because I played baseball my whole life and had so many great coaches. The life lessons I learned from them helped me make some good decisions in my life,” said Coach Martinez, “Coaching is my way of giving back to Southwest Detroit.”
Coach Martinez is a graduate of Holy Redeemer High School and Wayne State University, as well as a Detroit PAL Alumni, having played baseball as a kid. Now, he gets to watch young players grow into successful grown men. His favorite part about coaching is when men he has mentored come back to see him and ask how they can get involved and give back too.
The Aztec team operates just like a family. “Teamwork in a family comes pretty natural,” he explained, “When using that approach, they do not even realize you are teaching teamwork, they just start working together and looking out for one another. Next thing you know, they walk with each other to practice, give each other rides, and console each other after bad plays.”
In addition to Coach Martinez teaching his athletes how to work together as a team and operate like a family, his players have been able to teach him to be a better coach and a better person. Looking at the adversities today’s youth faces and how they still come out of it and strive is amazing to him. His athletes have to be conscious of what they are doing on the field, in the classroom, at home, and even on social media. Their hard work makes him want to work harder.
In addition to coaching baseball, Coach Martinez is also the operations manager for an automotive supplier, having worked for Ford Motor Company for 18 years! He is still very committed to his team and makes sure that the players always have coaches around.
“When you love what you do, it makes finding the time a little easier,” he said. Very true! Congratulations to the Aztecs on a great season, and keep up the amazing work Coach Martinez!