What’s Wrong with Travel Ball?

It looks like a lot of people are “enjoying” the BLAME discussion. Well, for all of you that are sick and tired of the old coach talking about what the players and parents are doing wrong, here you go!

Coaches Who Blame Their Players

We touched on this topic a little bit earlier in the discussion when we talked about the problem of coaches who don’t practice enough being angry with their players when they can’t execute team concepts. This was tied to the idea that teams do not practice enough but, don’t worry, there are a bunch of other places where I think coaches are too quick to blame their players. So, yes, the old coach is willing to take the blame too.

We’ve all seen and heard the post game meetings where coaches are quick to point out all the things that the players just did that cost us the chance to win the game. Players are often called out for making errors or striking out with the game on the line. Their attitudes or commitment are called into question. Their work ethic is doubted. And, maybe worst of all, told they just don’t care! Not cool!

Some coaches getting after their players like they messed up on purpose. And that is the first thing we need to address. Having been the coach who always took losing way to personally I feel like this is another case of the “pot calling the kettle black”. The one thing I would change if I had a time machine would be to correct this fundamental flaw, so hopefully, some of the current coaches can learn from my mistakes.

Now there are a bunch of other things that coaches often blame their players for, some of which we have already discussed, that need to be addressed.

If you want your players to work on their own to be prepared then you need to teach them how to work on the right things. You need to share with them their weaknesses and things that need to be worked on. And then you need to check in and follow up to insure that they are working on the right stuff. I get it, it’s hard to tell a player that they aren’t great but we are hurting them and the team if we ignore their weaknesses.

If you want your players to value practice you need top run good practices that are designed to address team and individual weaknesses. If you waste their time, ever, you can count on them starting to have a lot of reasons to avoid letting you waste it again! Now, no one is perfect but you need to work hard on planning and running good practices. When practice time is already at a premium we have to have a plan.

If you want your players to buy in to the importance of the team you need to be sure the team is important to you. Now I get it, life happens to everyone, but there seem to be too many coaches that are quick to cancel or miss practice because their stuff is more important but then be angry when the team plays poorly. We already know we need more practice so not being there is a really bad idea.

Winning is fun! Playing well is fun! Feeling like your coach is working really hard to help you grow as a player is fun! Knowing your coach cares about you is fun! We hear kids say it all the time, they want to have fun. If you are spending time blaming your players, guess what? That isn’t fun!

Comments? Questions? Suggestions?