Coaching Teamwork – Dealing with “Mopers”
The best coaches realize that coaching teamwork is crucial to team success, even in baseball, a game that has many individual aspects to it. It is difficult to win when players are not focused on winning and it is difficult to focus on winning when players are too concerned with their individual statistics. When I played major league baseball, one thing I and all major league rookies learned quickly is that brooding over individual failures, especially when the team is playing well, is unacceptable behavior.
Maybe the most common negative trait of baseball players is moping. Moping is common because of the pressure players put on themselves to produce, not to mention the pressure adults put on them. When things do not go as well as planned, players let others know they are not happy by moping. The moping attitude has a way of bringing down the whole team, which coaches should not allow.
Baseball has many individual statistical evaluations that determine how players are faring, which makes coaching teamwork all the more necessary. Good coaches understand that individual statistics are important to players, but they should watch that struggling players do not brood to the point where it takes away from team attitude. It is time like these, that good coaches begin to take care of this problem by coaching teamwork.
Good coaches believe in coaching teamwork by:
- Letting everyone know that “teams win as a team, and lose as a team,” and not because of one or so individuals. In this manner, coaches never blame a loss on any one play or individual
- Encouraging team members to pick up struggling players with words of encouragement
- Letting struggling players know that brooding is unacceptable
- Helping players, who put too much pressure on themselves or seem too self-centered
- Finally, benching players who cannot put individual statistics over team winnin