Can One Player Destroy a Team?
The trading of Manny Ramirez today makes me ask the question, is a single player’s attitude enough to bring an entire team down? An analyst on
ESPN today wondered why in an "individual sport" the Red Sox would trade their best player. How, he asked, could one player bring down an entire team? Absolutely
This may or may not be true at the
major league level, but in youth sports I say ABSOLUTELY a bad attitude can destroy an entire team. A bad attitude on a weak player will probably not effect a team, but a star player w/ a bad attitude will destoy the entire team’s moral. Just Say No
I know coaches, and I am one of them, who will pass on a player w/ an attitude even if he or she has more talent than the next selection in the draft. I will take 12 average players with good attitudes to 12 superstars that can’t get along or don’t listen. I will usually win also. It is amazing how you can bring a team together with eager kids and a lot of hard work. It is equally as interesting how much faster a team can be torn apart by a kid with an attitude.
What About the Parents?
Another thing that will tear a team apart is a disrespectful parent. How will a kid ever respect the authority of a coach if their parents don’t show the coach respect? I once had an all-star team of fairly talented players. We were playing a team we should have beaten. I had the tying run on 3rd and one of my best bunters at the plate. I gave the squeeze sign. The ball came in at a perfect bunt level, the runner took off for home, and the kid swang and missed! Easy out. We never recovered.
What angered me the most was the look the kid gave me after fanning at the pitch. It was as to say, "I am not going to listen to you because my dad said I don’t have too". I know his dad had told him this because his dad did not respect me. I really don’t care what his dad thought of me, but as parents, we have to instruct our kids to respect the authority figure.
Of course this guy was a regular season coach as well and could have put in for the all-star team. He chose instead to sit in the stands and critisize me constantly. Again, I don’t care, but the effect it had on the entire team was disasterous.
Get Rid of the Cancer
Apparently the Red Sox thought that Manny was such a cancer on their team that they were better off without him! How bad of an attitude do you have to have to get traded from the team that you have delivered over 100 RBI’s and hit over 300 for 8 years for? I can relate, I will NEVER draft another kid with a bad attitude or a bad parent. Life is too short not to have to put up with an ungrateful parent or kid.
What is the worst experience you have had with a kid?
Let’s face it. About this time of the season some conflicts begin to rear their ugly heads. Something happened somewhere and someone feels wronged so they begin to argue or lash out. Often this happens when you are losing, but it is not exclusive to that.
Focus on Doing Right
The bottom line is that we have to forget about what the other team is doing wrong, and focus on how we can act right! If the other team is completely disrespecting us, we must kill them with kindness. If they are yelling and screaming, we must sit back and allow them to hang themselves.
Where are the Parents?
And MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL! We, as parents, must control our children, and let the other team worry about theirs. Why would an adult argue with a child of another team? What can possibly be gained from this exchange? Do not stoop to other’s levels, conduct yourself as an adult.
As managers, we have to take the lead on this. We have to DEMAND that our kids act with respect and demonstrate sportsmanship even when we are not getting the same in return. We have to simply demand that our players act with a level of dignity, whether winning or losing, regardless of how the other team is acting. There is no other option.
My teams will NEVER disrespect another team. I may have a player get out of line occasionally, but this is IMMEDIATELY nipped in the bud and if it recurs, punishments are doled out such as sitting out the rest of the game or for the next game. My players know this, they know I mean it, they don’t push this limit because they know they will lose.
Cause and Effect
Cause and effect are very important lessons to be learned in
Little League . Please make sure to:
Clearly define your rules
Always enforce them
Never deviate from them even if it means losing the game
Communicate clearly and effectively.
Getting in front of this will insure that your team plays with respect. When conflicts arise, your team will rest assured that you will handle it and that you have their best interests in mind. They will not feel the need to get involved and you will avoid potential blow up situations.
How do you handle heated situations? What do you do to diffuse the situation?
We all know that
walks are never a good thing , but in Little League they are particularly bad. This was never more true than in the 19-9 trouncing our team major softball team received tonight. We walked 16 batters and 14 of them scored. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how we lost.
The team we played was very good, and I am not saying we would have won even had we not walked their girls so often. But a team doesn’t give itself a chance if it doesn’t
throw strikes. At least throwing strikes you give your defense a chance, walking pretty much eliminates that opportunity.
The bright side of this
equation is that we can only improve. We have worked our pitchers very hard and will continue to do so all year. They will only get better. Our defense and our offense is sound, hopefully our pitchers will be just good enough to get us by.
Guest Post for Little League Coach
by Little League Mom
(AKA E. Peevie)
We got The Call last week. My son C. Peevie has been waiting for The Call since we handed over our check for 90-some dollars; pulled out the notarized birth certificate to prove that he’s not a short, 16-year-old ringer; and acknowledged the risk of fertility-reducing injuries.
During the four-week wait, C. Peevie dusted off his mitt and started singing the first of one-thousand choruses of “Mom, will you play catch with me!” I gotta start practicing, he told me. I gotta loosen up my arm—it’s been so long since I threw the baseball around! I need to be ready to cover first base, he said optimistically.
When he got The Call, C. Peevie was excited to learn that he had been drafted by the same coach he had last year. This meant that he’d be on a team with several kids from the ‘hood—but it also meant that he wouldn’t have to prove himself to a coach who didn’t know him. For a moderately-talented, anxiety-prone player, this was a huge relief.
Here in the frozen tundra of the Midwest, the fields are finally thawing enough to start pre-season practice. There are still patches of dirty snow stubbornly refusing melt, but for the most part the lawns and fields are muddy swamps—perfect for the season’s inaugural practice on Wednesday.
“I can’t wait until Wednesday!” C. Peevie greeted me this morning; and I knew his mind was going to be on baseball for the next four months. (There are worse things an almost 13-year-old could have his mind on, so this little league mom is not complaining.) I guess it’s time to dig out the helmet, bat, baseball pants, and cup.
Speaking of cups, next post: Little League Mom Has Fun Buying a Cup for the First Time.
About The Little League Mom
For more from this author, check out The Green Room (http://greenroomthoughts.blogspot.com/) for posts on sock bumps, poo, misogyny, pet peeves, finding happiness in the dentist’s chair, and much more!
Other articles that may interest you:
Good Advice for New Coaches
Get Their Arm Back First
Calm, Comfortable, Confident, Hitting
Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo
When my friend and I began the minor’s season we knew that one thing ruled above all others. PITCHING! It makes or breaks a team. With the new Little League pitch count rules, each team needs at least 3 pitchers a game in minors. In the long run, this is not a bad thing. We are developing many more pitchers that we ever have in the past. But, in the heat of a game it can sometimes be tough to find someone that can throw strike. Much less anyone that can hit locations and have a little speed.
Knowing this up front, we chose to select pitchers above all else. Nobody can get two or three studs on a team, but with one stud and four or five consistent strike throwers, you can go a long way! This is where the
draft strategy came into play. We don’t hit the best, we don’t field the best, but we definitely have one of the best pitching staffs in the league. And what do we all know? Good pitching stops good hitting EVERY TIME!
At the end of the season, we will be playing a double elimination tournament to prepare our minor leaguers for the 9-10 year old All-Star tournament. This tournament will take place over the course of a week. Every team will need to go 6 or 7 deep in pitching. Hopefully we score enough runs to support our pitching. Then we will look like
Do you have any pitching management tips to share? Post a comment below and let us know about it.
Also on the Board
Opening Day a Huge Success
I Love Vista Print
Opening Day Tomorrow
s="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" class="ie8 wp-toolbar" lang="en-US">
Edit Themes ‹ The Little League Coach — WordPress