Beware of Bias!

“Never ask the barber if you need a haircut” seems like a pretty good place to start our discussion of whether we have to deal with bias in the game of fastpitch softball.

Everyone is biased! On that point I think we can all agree. Whether that bias is a positive thing or a negative, again, depends on your perspective.

Favoritism is often thought to be the end result of bias. That a coach who starts off with a bias towards a certain player or player with certain skills will undoubtedly end up favoring that player in the decisions they make. Now we all know that “favoritism” is another example of “F” words that many people find offensive. Probably no word is more offensive to coaches.

Coaches, we need to understand that we all have biases. You might like fast players more, you might like power hitters more, you might like defense over offense or you might like tall players over shorter ones. Once you come to grips with the fact that we all have these dispositions, then you can take the next step in becoming a better coach.

Learn to look past these biases and see the strengths that all players possess. No two players play the exact same game and the more open we are to seeing the strengths of each player, the faster we will build a very good team. See the positives a player brings to the team rather than the negatives and we might accomplish some great things!