TIPS FROM THE COACH
A former Major League player said recently,’ The biggest change I see in the game today is that players seem to play more for the name on the back of their jersey than the name on the front’. He, of course, was referring to professional baseball but he could have just as easily have been talking about youth league baseball players.
When a kid signs up to play Youth Baseball, he is getting the opportunity to be a member of a team. That is all he gets for his entry fee. As a member of a team, his goal should be to do what ever is within his ability to help the TEAM to maximize its success. If he is fortunate the coach of the team will have watched the BASEBALL SKILLS & DRILL VIDEO series and will help him to improve his ability to play the game but it is not the coach’s job to GIVE any player playing time at a particular position to the detriment of the TEAM. It is the player’s job to develop skills so that he can fill what ever role the coach determines he can best perform to assist the TEAM to function most efficiently.
Many kids are playing for multiple teams these days. A young Little League coach told me that on Monday they were playing a game, the winner of which would win the league. Before the game, the father of his star catcher approached him and asked that his son not catch the game because he had caught 2 of 3 games the previous day in a tournament with his “travel” team and his legs are shot! The coach told the dad “ Tough Sh*t”! "The TEAM had worked all season to have this opportunity to play in the big game. You should have thought about his commitment to his TEAMMATES before you let him play yesterday. He wears the gear tonight!” Many of these kids today think that being on a team is nothing more than an opportunity to get a few extra hacks. Daddies encourage this self centered focus mistakenly thinking that is what is best for his kid's future . This is the proverbial I that is not supposed to be in TEAM.
There is even a school of thought that when you pay the registration fee that because every kid pays the same amount, each kid is therefore entitled to equal playing time and exposure to desired positions during games. THAT IS WRONG! All the kid gets is a spot on the TEAM and an opportunity to EARN a role that he can fulfill to best assist the TEAM to enjoy the maximum amount of success.
Coaches, you are the one enabling this practice of playing on multiple teams. If a kid wants to play for another team, fine, give me your uniform and go play for them with no hard feelings. But if you are going to play for my team you will commit to total loyalty and focus on this TEAM alone.
I define TEAMWORK as sublimating ones individual desires for the good of the team.
You play to bring glory to the name on the front of the jersey not the back.
Yours In Baseball