Motivational Monday Tip of the Day – Convincing Players to Buy In
I open most of many of my baseball clinics with a motivational speech similar to this:
“Maybe some of you are already doing everything right, that is great, and we can then continue to reinforce those good habits. Others of you may have some things to address and that is OK too, after all that is why you are here. What is important to understand is that doing something correctly and doing something almost correctly is the difference between success and failure. When you hit a ball just a half inch off the correct spot, it is usually an out – just a half inch. If you pitch the ball down the middle of the plate too often, you had better learn to duck quickly. Put those same pitches few inches left or right of center and you are a great pitcher.
Now, you can choose to keep doing things the way you are doing them and keep having some success and that will allow you to play freshman baseball, at best. However, for those of you that have hopes of playing four years of high school, with maybe a chance beyond that, doing things the way we are to teach you, is your only chance. Like I said, it is your choice, but believe me, and you can ask your parents about this too, but paying four years of high school ball will be the best time of your life.
Now for you who are willing to make the changes, there is no guarantee you will make those four years, but it gives you a chance and you can look back with no regrets of having been unwilling to do things the right way.”
Good coaches present players with the “Why change is necessary” and the “Because the rewards are much greater’ motivational speech with the hope that players buy into what they are teaching. Putting players in a position where they have a choice in the matter is a good thing.
Of course, it is an especially tough sell to players, who are quite successful up to this point in their careers. All coaches can do is state their case at the beginning as in this motivational speech and hope players are willing to work to improve. Convincing players why change is necessary is right from the start is best, necessary and a good coaching accomplishment.