A team that works together succeeds together. When you have a variety of all-star athletes on one roster, it’s important to teach the value of selflessness. This coaching principle can be a great lesson on the field as well as in life.
Preaching selflessness can be a valuable coaching technique but can sometimes be difficult to implement. Find out how some managers instill a team-first mentality with these Pro Tips from the PONY League World Series.
It’s important for managers to set expectations early when looking to create an unselfish mentality for their roster. This can be especially true when getting into the postseason or all-stars. Players coming from other starting roles need to realize that might not ring true for their squad. Players who are used to starting need to realize their roles may change.
“It’s a mix of trying to get the best players out onto the field but also mixing in a bit of fair play,” United Kingdom manager Warren Furst says. “Expectations have to be reasonable.”
Establishing these lessons early on in your season or tournament can make for a much better experience for everyone. Knowing the circumstances up front can allow players to focus on the game at hand rather than their playing time. A squad with talent and a shared focus on a common goal can be a winning equation on the diamond.
KNOWING THE SITUATION
Another notion to this pivotal coaching principle is to have players recognize they are not the only gifted athletes on the field. When it comes to postseason tournaments, players are there for a reason. Everyone has talent, so for teams to succeed, they need to rely on multiple performances. It’s important for you to demonstrate the value of team success over personal accolades.
Youngstown, Ohio, manager Scott Ruark says, “If I need them not to play a game or sit a game, it’s all about the team.”
Ken Gill, Simi Valley, California, manager adds, “It’s important for them to understand that this is something bigger than themselves. Conduct yourself properly, play the game the way it’s supposed to be played and have respect for the game.”
WHAT’S MOST IMPORTANT
Managing a selfless baseball team can also set players up for more meaningful memories down the road. Team success earned through unselfish play can be much more memorable than individual achievement.
“These kids are 14 years old, you know. It is not about individual play,” Dave Barr, PONY Baseball manager from Hagerstown, Maryland, says. “At the end of the day when they’re older kids and they come together, they care about, ‘Did you win or lose?’ It’s a team game. We play for our teammates.”
Placing emphasis on selfless play can be a useful coaching principle to have on the diamond. Take advice from these PONY Baseball managers and create a team mentality devoted to success.
Okay, you’ve mastered how you manage your roster, but what about their parents? Use these additional coaching Pro Tips on working with parents to keep the bleachers and dugout peaceful.