Q. Coaching: Selfishness
A. The single biggest thing that can disrupt the positive environment of a baseball team is selfishness. Baseball coaches, work hard to create an atmosphere where baseball players that serve the needs of the team are honored and players that fail to do this are corrected.
Here is a suggestion: Instead of coming up with a list of rules or a code of conduct for your team, try making one rule. "Don't be selfish."
Now kids aren't going to "get it" so you are going to have to take some time to teach them what this means.
Failing to hustle out a ground ball is selfish. You are feeling sorry for yourself and you are doing what is easiest rather than putting your team in a better situation by trying to beat out a throw and putting pressure on the defense.
Throwing a temper tantrum in the dugout is selfish. You are destroying the positive environment in the dugout by pouting and causing a scene. You don't care about spreading negativity that can effect the team, because you are too busy worrying about yourself. What the team needs is for you to get pissed off but root on your teammate to do the job that you failed to do.
Failing a class is selfish. You made decisions not to study, not to do homework, or not to get extra help during lunch. You would rather watch TV, eat lunch with your friends, or sleep rather than put in the extra work that it takes to pass the class. Your team needed you to put in the extra work, but you chose to be selfish and do what you wanted to do.
Getting in trouble at school or off campus is selfish. If you were thinking of your teammates and how it would affect them if you got in trouble, you wouldn't have made that poor decision. You were being selfish because you didn't consider how your actions would effect the team, you just did what you wanted to do.
Not working hard at practice is selfish. You are choosing to slack off at practice instead of doing what your team needs you to do for them to be successful. You are taking it easy because you are feeling sorry for yourself or because it is uncomfortable to push yourself too hard. If you were thinking of your team, you would work hard to get better and to help create a positive atmosphere where players were pushed to improve.
I think you get the point. Now, what about the player who doesn't care about the team. Tell them that it is not an option. Don't keep them around. Send them home. Don't let them play on game day. expel them from the program. You decide, but I suggest making this rule non-negotiable.
Brian Berger- ABC Holiday Camp Director, Owner Youth Baseball Edge