Building a great team isn’t as easy as 1-2-3. Especially in a game like baseball – where it seems like all the preparation, I-dotting and T-crossing you do can sometimes be all for naught; figuring out the right buttons to push is always a challenge.
That being said – there have been many great teams at all levels of the game – and truth be told – many of them share similar characteristics. Today, we’re going to discuss what we feel are the five most common ingredients to building a great baseball team.
Team spirit and commitment to the game – Success in baseball is the sum of individual contributions towards achieving the same outcome. Everyone understands what the goal is. Everyone understands their role in achieving it. Everyone is accountable for the execution of what they’re responsible for doing.
A great support system – Being successful doesn’t just manifest itself on the field – often times it is evident off of it as well. Supportive families, sponsors and coaches all play a vital role in success – especially as the age and skill level of the players increases. That means parents who treat other kids on their team like family. That means sponsors who don’t just write a check – but show their support by their presence, willingness to engage and involvement. Most importantly, coaches who are punctual, consistent and fair.
Leadership – Coaching is all love. How that love manifests itself takes a variety of forms, but more than anything else – the coaches’ job is to help his team grow as both players and individuals. That means being compassionate and empathetic, but also tough and holding players accountable for their role in the team’s success.
Love the game, but realize there’s more to life – Sure, you’re teaching kids how to play a great game, but you’re also teaching them skills that they’ll be able to use for the rest of their lives. From how they face adversity to how they interact with the people they care about – these skills are even more important off the diamond than on it. Teach baseball, but always do so within the context of its place in life as a whole.
Defined roles – Everyone is good at something and when we cater to people’s natural strengths, we get extraordinary results. While sure – it’s always good to shore up weaknesses on the field – when game time comes around, it’s important for players to contribute in the best way they can. That’s how players develop confidence, that’s how they build pride and that’s how they develop purpose & ownership. Empowered players with a clear sense of where they fit in and why they’re important can achieve incredible things and are distinctly easier to coach. They’ll develop trust in their abilities – and in turn – trust in yours. So when that time comes to work on the things that they’re not quite as good at – they’ll have the faith, confidence and understanding they’ll need to go the extra mile to succeed.
Thoughts? Please feel free to share your ideas!