What are your beliefs? What is your credo? Do your hear your team talking about certain phrases you emphasize? Phrases you use frequently you find them saying and believing in?
Tonight I came across a picture on Facebook posted by a player of mine last year. The picture was of our head coach receiving a Gatorade bath after we won the conference tournament, after winning the conference regular season with a 21-3 conference record.
It was a great picture that really captured the moment, and brought back some fond memories for me. However, the caption is what really caught my attention.
The caption simply said, “we don’t move.”
WE DON’T MOVE….
All year we emphasized the fact that our hitters were not going to move on an inside pitch. If the pitch hit us, great, now we have another baserunner.
In practice punishment (either 5 burpees or the BP round was cut short for the player) was handed out when he flinched on an inside pitch thrown.
We used punishments and rewards to develop the attitude of “we don’t move”. Players would yell this phrase out when we got an HBP and they enjoyed HBP’s more than base hits.
“We don’t move” morphed into a pride and toughness mantra, where each player did not want to let his teammates down by jumping away from an inside pitch.
Taking a HBP signified that you were willing to put your body on the line for the overall good of the team, and you were respected for that.
So back to the picture….the player who posted the picture was not even a HITTER…he was a PITCHER.
However, it was well communicated all year the importance of not moving, and there was a sense pride in this mantra.
I would often hear players talking amongst themselves in the dugout, chastising hitters from other teams for jumping out of the way of a pitch.
This attitude lent its way into developing confidence and swagger, because our players generally believed we were tougher than other teams, that we would do whatever it took to win, and we were not going to let a ”soft” team that flinched on inside pitches beat us.
I do admit I took this slogan from John Cohen, current Mississippi State head coach and formerly the head coach at the University of Kentucky, where I coached under him.
However, it is not a patented slogan. Coaches should use whatever saying or slogan works for them, and get their players to believe in that slogan by finding ways to emphasize their point in practice and games.
Now “we don’t move” was not the only saying or belief that we stressed to our players, but it did positively effect our team in many areas.
What do you believe strongly in? How can you do a better job of stressing your beliefs and developing personality traits in your players through focused teaching in practice and in games?
You must write down your beliefs and how you are going to improve your team through teaching these beliefs.
Seriously, go do it right now, it will only take you 10 minutes.
Yours in baseball,
By Author. All Rights Reserved. Date
April 07, 2012
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