Sunday, February 20, 2011

Accept Your Role

Every player wants to be the star. Every parent wants their kid to stand out. But a coach has a responsibility to put the players on the field that gives the team the best chance to win (I understand that this doesn’t always happen at every level).

And it is hard to do, but you have to be prepared to accept your role. 

If your coach doesn’t feel like you are one of the better kids, you can do a couple of things.

You can quit. But that only hurts you. You are no longer around your friends and it hurts your development in the game. 

I always found it funny that parents and players think if they quit, it has a huge effect on me. Sure, I don’t want anyone to quit, but if you aren’t willing to accept your role, it may be better because I won’t have to deal with any distractions. 

Or you can try harder at practice and accept your role for the time being. 

Show the coach that you not only want to be there, but that you are willing to do whatever you can to become a better player. This isn’t going to happen in a single practice. But show up ready to learn at each practice and the coach will take notice. And when the coach gives you some advice, don’t dismiss him like you already know everything. 

Until you can crack the starting line-up, you have to accept your role. You may be a defensive substitution because you struggle with the bat. Or you are a pinch runner because of your quickness. Maybe the coach doesn’t see you as a starting pitcher, but as someone who could easily get a couple of outs in relief. 

Don’t be too shy to ask the coach what you can do to improve. There is a reason you aren’t in the line-up. Ask him what areas you can work on. Believe me, he will appreciate it. 

Most teams are made up of too many players for the starting positions. But winning teams are full of players who accept their role and do it to the best of their ability. Embrace the role your coach gives you, but continue to work hard to be inserted in the starting line-up.

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