Guest Post By: Chris Gissell, Founder and Operator of Baseball Dudes.
If a 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 year old shows respect, works his butt off, loves the game, has tremendous character, is a great teammate, has a great attitude BUT hasn’t yet hit the growth spurt his teammates have, is a bit slower and his hand/eye coordination is a bit off with a growth spurt and/or puberty immanent, why would you not give him every possible opportunity??
In this “Me” world and constant “What have you done for me lately” attitude, let me remind you of a few truths…
- That kid very well could grow 4-6 inches in the next year, put on 20 pounds, grow into his feet and develop his fast twitch muscles, but the way you treated him, the way you ignored him and pushed him to the side, he no longer loves the game because you, his coach/leader, told him (with your actions) that he was no good and that it doesn’t matter what type of person you are or how hard you work, all that matters is your talent. Now he doesn’t play the game any longer and has a bitter taste towards the game and other coaches.
- By sitting this kid but giving all of the playing time to the kids who have attitude & effort issues, you are instilling that “Me” attitude and entitlement in those poorly led kids you are giving the opportunities to.
- You are showing your true colors. As all coaches do, you love to use the word “Development”. When you treat players differently based on their talent level, who their parents are or whose parents donated the most time and money, you are not a developer.
- Stop it with the attitude that you are “Teaching them what real life is all about!” Just because you had a hard-nosed coach that yelled at everyone and used running as punishment, doesn’t mean you have to be that guy too. It’s time to stop that cycle. These are kids, some not even teenagers, yet you expect them to walk, talk, act, behave and perform like a man. They will get there, let it happen and stop trying to be that tough guy who thinks they can force it.
- Just because you show compassion, give the underdog the same playing time and treat them all with respect, it doesn’t mean you are soft or developing soft people. This actually means that you have respect for the people in front of you, all of them. You are conscious of their emotions and considerate of their age and aptitude. You are the type of coach who will most likely have the biggest positive impact on them, in their lives. When they are done playing Baseball and reflect on their time playing, your name will be remembered in a positive light.
- Little League, Pony, Elite, Travel, Tournament, Babe Ruth, etc…It’s youth Baseball, not the big leagues. Let them enjoy the game. Be more serious about development and less focused on winning being the end all. Stop being so cut throat. Be the coach you would want to have. Be as coachable as you want them to be, if not more, and lead by example by being the best person you can possibly be.
We are there to serve THEM. Provide them with the knowledge, opportunity and the experience they deserve. This is our OPPORTUNITY to be a part of a young life and affect them in a positive way for their future. And sometimes that positive impact may be calling them out for their bad attitude and poor effort.
Be the LEADER they need!!
About Baseball Dudes: Baseball Dudes is a family owned and operated business located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest in Vancouver, WA. Their mission is to guide and mentor players, their families, coaches, and their followers to a successful life on & off the field. Develop confidence. Teach the game. Instill Character traits that help lead to success and help develop as many leaders as we can along the way.
Founder and operator, Chris Gissell has been instructing for many years. At first, it was just something he did during the off seasons but had no idea what it was leading to.
Fast forward to 2012, the Angels gave him an opportunity to lead their young draft picks, teach them the game and how to be a professional, his eyes were opened. Since then his appreciation and understanding of coaching has grown deep. The amount of time coaches put in, the level of patience required, the attention to detail necessary, the consistent body language needed to lead by example, the understanding of what’s really important and what’s not, the importance of being able to relate to all different personalities, athleticism and abilities, the fact that being a good coach means consistently growing themselves and coming to the realization that the one thing that matters most in all of this is finding ways to use the game to help them prepare for all those years when they are not playing the game.
Chris wants to say Thank You to all my past coaches and to all the current coaches who take pride in giving the kids in front of them what they need on top of baseball skills. It’s often a thankless role but he says to remember that no matter where they go in the game, they are going somewhere in life. That’s our mission.
Numbers Don't Lie would like to send a huge thank you to Chris for helping others with his valuable experience and insights; we have been huge fans for a very long time! Additionally, we want to thank him for being one of our guest bloggers. We encourage everyone to go and visit Baseball Dudes on all the platforms they are on, see links below:
Numbers Don't Lie is always seeking guest bloggers, if you feel you have something positive to contribute to our audience, please consider one of our guest bloggers, click here for details.
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