Paul Lamm is a glutton for punishment.

In addition to his duties as baseball coach at Spring Hill, where he just completed his 16th season, Lamm also works with the Mules, a Maury County-based 8U coach-pitch squad.

One of the team’s members is Lake Lamm, his youngest son. And sometimes, that’s where the punishment – literally – comes in.

The older Lamm, who serves as the Mules’ coach-pitcher, posted a picture of a bruised right shin to his Twitter account last month with the message “Lake Lamm strikes again.”

He’ll say it’s a small price to pay, though, for the opportunity to impart some of the same knowledge he’s passing along to his “Rowdy Boy” Raiders while spending family time on the diamond.

“Yes, it’s tiring. Yes, it’s taxing. Yes, I do not have a day off because my days off are spent with them,” the 41-year-old Lamm acknowledged. “But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

“His window to play, their window to play is only so big. I go back to what you see people put on social media all the time: You’ve only got 18 summers with your kids. That hits home for me sometimes.”

Lamm is only modeling what he himself saw as a youngster. Gary Lamm, a member of the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame following a successful high school coaching career at Lawrence County and Loretto, coached all three of his sons – Paul, Luke and Mark – at both the youth league level and high school level.

“I was coaching Little League in Loretto,” Gary recalled. “We just did strictly summer ball, Little League, Dixie League, (American) Legion. It never interfered with the high school ball I was doing.

“It’s a totally different thing he’s doing. I don’t know if I could do the 8-year-old group. It would absolutely make me bonkers. I don’t know how he does it, but more power to him if he can do it and stay sane.”

Part of the ability to maintain comes from the approach. Lamm instructs his younger players in the same manner, teaching the same skills and utilizing the same presentations as he does his Raiders – including his stepson, Carson Carter, a rising junior.

And they respond to it.

“He coaches Lake’s team just like he does his high school team,” said Monica Lamm, Lake’s mother and Paul’s wife. “It doesn’t matter, the difference in age. He coaches them the same.”

That approach is somewhat by design, and a result of trial-and-error, of sorts.

“When I first started, when Landon, my middle son, used to play, I tried to do it different and tiptoe through everything,” Paul said. “I think if they saw that approach, they assumed it wasn’t serious – which, they’re kids, they’ve got to have fun with it. But I think they learn more when you take a little bit more of a serious dynamic approach. And like I’ve told (Monica) coming home, it’s hard to turn it off between the high school practice and the 8U practice.

“But the 8Us seem to respond to it pretty well. They stay in line, they do what they’re supposed to, ‘yes, sir’, ‘no, sir’ all that.”

Though the teaching is the by-product – “They’re going to get excellent coaching, fundamentals; for them to have that opportunity that a lot of people don’t get at that age, he’s going to do a good job with them,” Gary said – the time is the primary objective.

“My coaching is my job,” Paul said. “It’s not my life; it’s not who I am. This my family. Any time I can spend with them, that’s how I look at it, something extra where I can spend time with them. It’s a family affair.

“The baseball side of it, hopefully it’s real good instruction to get better. From the family side of things, it’s just one more way for us to spend time together.”

Maurice Patton is sports editor for Main Street Maury. A Franklin native, an MTSU graduate and a journalism veteran of 30-plus years, Patton is a 2021 Tennessee Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame inductee. Follow on Twitter @mopatton_sports.

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