Thursday, May 15, 2008

Stay Away from the Dark Side of Attitude

We talk a lot about how having a great attitude about the game of baseball will go a long way to helping a player achieve their goals, impressing coaches and help making them a better person in life.

But, there is a different side of attitude that can have the opposite affect on a player, team and his relationship with his coach. Any player that thinks he is better than the coaches treatment of him has a bad attitude. A good coach will get in the face of any player that doesn’t live up to the expectations expected of that player during any given situation. Many coaches don’t care if a player is 3 for 4 in a game. If that player chases a bad pitch, misses a sign or makes a bonehead base running mistake, he WILL get reprimanded. And that player, if he is a great team mate and team player will take that criticism as a man and accept his coaches words as constructive criticism.

We received an e-mail from a young player down in the Southeast about the way his friend reacted to a coach after he struck out on a bad pitch in a close game. This player had already gotten a few hits in the game and when he struck out, the coach yelled at him for chasing a bad pitch above the strike zone. The player talked back and told the coach to cool down and told him that he "already had his two hits and that it was OK to strike out"…..HMMMMM. Let’s just say, that young player should be thankful that any of us here at Rounding Third weren’t coaching. That’s not tolerated in our neck of the woods. The coach ended up benching the young lad for the rest of the game. He got off easy.

Except in this case, the players stood up for the coach and told the player that he got what he deserved. Any player that scoffs or talks back to his coach has a bad attitude. A player that puts his self interests ahead of his team is not a team mate. A good, competitive coach only cares about your stats when he makes up the line-up. During a game, it’s just like another try-out. Each at bat is a whole different set of rules and circumstances…especially during close games. We don’t care if a player is 5 for 5 with 3 home runs that game, if a coach yells at a player for swinging at a bad third strike in a very close game, that player needs to nod at the coach and say, ”You are right coach, I’m sorry…I won’t do it again”.

It’s still a team sport and the coach will always know more about the game than his players. A player may not like the treatment, but the real world will treat them about a hundred times worse. So, suck it up guys and learn from your mistakes. It’s the only way to learn.


Andy said...

Good response. Tell your e-mailer to post this friends issue on High School Baseball Web and he will get similar responses.

Anonymous said...

My husband is a high school coach and he comes home every day and is really discouraged by the lack of respect some players have for any authority. It's not just him, but teachers, administrators, etc. These players feel that they are protected from any type of ecxcessive authority by their parents. If my husband faces off with a player that's lazy in practice, 9 times out of 10, he will hear from a parent that night. My husband is not the type of guy to mince words and tells them the truth and these parents don't want to hear that their kid is not perfect, so they get mad and end up calling the principal, athletic director and whomever else will hear them to get my husband fired.

The thing is, he is a great guy and coach. We have many of the players over at our house for BBQ's and stuff. Many of the players have said that he is the best coach they have ever had. But there are the few that think they are smarter and better than any body else, and they are the trouble makers. They are also the guys my husband doesn't play. It's not because of their attitude as much as he doesn't think they can contribute more than the guys he already starts.

Anyway, I am rambling. I read your web site often and had to comment on this one. Kid' need to realize that bucking authority is never a good thing and leads to more problems later on in life. I know, I am a middle school teacher fo 20 years and I see it every day.