When organizing a team to participate in the USA Baseball National Tournament [formerly Junior Olympics], the main purpose, my goal, is that each player, as well the team, leave the tournament realizing the game of baseball is, “An Individual Sport in a Team Concept!”
In the later years I started organizing the team made up of players from all over the country. Most Valuable Player’s team success rate faltered somewhat, but USA Baseball’s interest in my players’ grew. In fact, USA Baseball seem to select one or two players [a limited number of players selected from the field of 144 teams] from my team every year to participate in the final round of National Team try-outs held months later; Each with the hope of making the USA National Team.
Every year I remember coaches and parents asking, “How and the heck did your team with a record 2 and 5 get anybody selected?” I answered, “Being Good!”
Sadly, most just didn’t get it! The talent level of a player has nothing to do with the performance of a team. It has nothing to do with a particular game or even the teams record. In fact I can honestly say, I have never had a college recruiter or Pro Scout tell me they were interested in everyone on my team. Their decisions are based upon their needs and whether a particular player is good enough! My job was simple; help each player show well individually.
The hard part was helping players understand how important their individual play was versus focusing or worrying how well their team does. Conceptually from a Team perspective, if the majority of your teammates play well individually, you have a chance and are likely to win. However I believe the corollary is also true; If only a couple players play well, the odds of winning are against you. So play well individually and it won’t be long before the other players will attempt to do the same. How long it takes a team to recognize success is based upon individual play usually identifies how long before a particular team starts winning.
True, talent can determine just how good your team could be, but the talent needs to do their job before you can ever find out just how good they are.
Until next Blog,