May 2013 E-Newsletter

“You 3 guys (3 pitchers huddled with their other 25 or so teammates after a 9-7 loss to a team they have beaten before) come up here and stand in front of your teammates. Now, I want you to look at these 3 pitchers. Take a good look at them because it is because of them that you lost today. You, pitcher #1, we keep giving you chances but instead of pitching you just throw the ball. And you blew it……..when are you ever going to learn. Pitcher #2, you didn’t do your job when you relieved the starter. How dare you give up a HR to the first batter you pitch and do this to your teammates. Pitcher #3, you were given an opportunity to start this game and you ruined your chance to make a mark. Did you guys want to pitch bad? Did you guys want your teammates mad at you? Well……..DID YOU?”

If you saw this……heard about this…….or read about this would you think this coach is a player’s coach? Would you think he is trying to motivate his players and team? Would you think that he has just found the magic statements to turn his team’s season around?

Or would you think that this coach is just a ‘donkey’ and has no business leading young men?

My answer would be the last line.

I am writing this because it is surprisingly happening. And it is happening many times every day.

But why? For the reasons listed above? Because in some weird way it makes us feel better?

As I learn more and more about coaching and leading young men it comes to mind that as I observe coaches, parents and mentors of players I tend to see much more negativity than I might have seen or heard in the past. I recognize it more now because I realize how negative I had been in the past with players and my own children. And I see the same things in these people.

Maybe it is part of my penance in life to be of help in areas that I had weaknesses but as my own players and children get older I start to reflect more and more on these negative thoughts and how they are perceived by players.

It is of my opinion that players utilize their coaches as role models similar to their own parents who want to please and be proud of in their life. But when the coach degrades or minimizes what they have done……………or quote the above scenario…………..they are crushed because they only want that same love and respect that they hope from their own parents.

But the coach crushes their hopes. Their ‘parent’ tells them that they are bad and not loved by their teammates. How crushing is that to their hopes and dreams? AND, how does that teach them to care and respect their own children and possible future players when they are older?

It is my hope to start to work into the mental and performance coaching of the game as I get more comfortable in my own mental and performance ‘skin’. Our children and players need to be lifted upwards when they are down. They need to be told that they are good even if they don’t do well. They need to have hope when it seems as though hope is not right around the corner.

As a fellow parent I hope you can join me in being a more positive influence to our own kids and their teammates on the field.

The above scenario was such a gut punch to me yesterday as I was almost ashamed to think that a coach and leader among men would do such a thing. But it was a stab in the heart because that happened to a pitcher who happens to be my own son.

It is my resolve to become better as a leader and I hope you can join me in what is an important and worthy cause to better our kids.

A special email introduction and link on a new area of pitching that helps dealing with answers to the type of mental conditioning needed to help combat these attitudes will be sent tomorrow. Please feel free to forward this e-newsletter and tomorrow’s email to whomever you feel might benefit.