A "players' manager" demands respect
for the game but is willing to give
it to the players as well.
- The pitcher walks the lead-off man in a tie game?
- An infielder makes a bad error?
- The batter takes a fastball right down the middle with the bases loaded?
- The runner misses a sign?
- The pitcher forgets to cover first base?
Players know when they screw up. They don’t need to see a coach throw his hands up or stomp around the dugout to realize a mistake was made. A coach who does this is showing his players up. If you are a coach, how would you react if you sent a player home from third and he got thrown out by 20 feet and the runner stared at you and threw his arms up in disgust. My guess is that you would have a conversation with that player. So why do coaches do it? If you want players to keep their poise and handle adversity well, start with modeling it yourself. It’s certainly not easy and I’ve been guilty of it myself, but it’s something that coaches should try to improve upon along with the players. A player who has made a mistake and sees a coach react in a calm, positive way will want to continue to play for that coach. Coaches do not want to be shown up … but neither do the players.