Sunday Setting Sights on Success
Winning Coach Philosophy Goes beyond Winning
One of the best life lessons from team sports is just that, learning to be a team member; the winning coach teaches that lesson.
A baseball coach’s dream is having a group of players, who are all hard working, talented players. However, most teams consist of a couple of very talented players, a few average players and some or many weak players. Additionally, most teams consist of players with varying degrees of motivation and love of the game. Balancing those different talent and motivational levels is the goal of the winning coach.
A famous quote alludes to the idea that a team is only as good as its weakest link and nowhere is that more true than in baseball. The ball will find the weak link player and the game is often on the line with a weak batter at the plate. That makes winning difficult, but the winning coach finds ways to not only improve weaker players’ skills, but to make them feel like they are an integral part of the team.
On the other hand, coaches often have trouble dealing with star players. Many talented players become bored or impatient playing with others, who are not as good as they are. The winning coach learns to handle talented players in ways that do not deflate their ego, but at the same time mold them into team players.
Winning Coach Tips for all players
- Spend equal time with each player, good and bad
- Encourage parents to work with players at home as long as a congenial attitude is kept by all
- Challenge players to their ability level without allowing frustration to set in
- Explain how important it is to stay positive, through thick and thin
- Keep each player responsible by having them follow the same rules as every other player
Winning Coach Tips for Weak Players
- Never assume weak players are beyond hope, but realize there is not enough time at practice to give them the work they need to catch up to others’ abilities
- Never fail to praise even the slightest sign of improvement
- Encourage other team members to “pump” the weaker players up with encouragement
- Find and inform parents of where they can get professional baseball instruction help for interested players
- Allow and encourage their personalities to come out; even though they are not contributing on the field they can contribute in other ways
Winning Coach Tips for Star Players
- Challenge them, challenge them – so boredom does not set in and so they improve too
- Be sure to explain why they must challenge them
- Continue to build their self-esteem with praise even when they appear cocky, just do not let them feel they are more important than the team – there is a fine line there.
- Explain how important it is they hustle and include others in activities because other players look up to them
- Never let them show disgust with other players play; learning that not all players can do what they can is important for the cohesiveness of the team
The coach, who learns to deal with all types of players and who can mold them into a team, becomes a winning coach, championship or not.