Bat flips and player celebrations have been getting a lot of attention over the past several years. Let me start by saying that I don’t have a problem with these things. Being excited about your success or the success of a teammate should be encouraged. Baseball is a tough game, an emotional game, and sometimes those emotions need to come out. While I think being excited about success is perfectly ok, I think that being a respectful human who takes pride in doing things the right way is also just as important. I understand that some players play best with an edge on the field, and I am ok with that but when opportunities to be a player of character arise, you should take full advantage of it.
As a young player, we are focused on developing the skills and improving performance on the field to be good enough to keep opening doors on the journey. While this is important, there are many other factors that can influence how others perceive you and your potential as a player. The way you carry yourself and conduct yourself both on and off the field can have a significant impact on your success as a player and your future in the sport.
Little Things Matter
This includes everything from the way you wear your uniform to the way you interact with coaches, teammates, umpires, and family members. Even small details like the way you run out every ball or back up bases can make a big difference in how others perceive you as a player.
Wear Your Uniform With Pride
One of the first things that others will notice about you is how you wear your uniform. This may seem like a small detail, but it can say a lot about your level of dedication and attention to detail. When you take the time to properly put on and maintain your uniform, it shows that you take pride in your appearance and are serious about the game. Conversely, if your uniform is sloppy or unkempt, it can give the impression that you are not fully committed to the sport.
And for God’s sakes wear a belt!
Hustle on and off the field.
Hustling on and off the field shows that you are committed to the game and are willing to put in the effort to succeed. Running out every ball, even if it seems like a routine ground ball or fly ball, demonstrates your hustle and awareness on the field. Similarly, backing up bases shows that you are thinking ahead and prepared to make plays even when you are not directly involved in the action.
Kindness Always Plays
One of the big rules we have in our house is don't assume adults are just going to like you. Go out of your way to be likable because adults have experiences and perspectives you don't have that you need. They aren't always right, but if they don't like you, they won't share information with you.
The way you interact with others is important. This includes the way you talk to coaches, teammates, and umpires, as well as the way you treat your family members. When you look a coach in the eye and respond to failure with a positive attitude, it shows that you are coachable and willing to learn. This can make a big difference in how coaches and other players perceive you, and can help you to improve your skills more quickly.
Similarly, the way you talk to umpires can have a big impact on how they perceive you as a player. Umpires are often in a position of authority, and it's important to treat them with respect even if you disagree with their calls. Being polite and respectful can help to build a positive relationship with umpires, which can be beneficial in the long run.
Finally, the way you treat your family members can also make a big difference in how others perceive you. When you show kindness and gratitude towards your parents or other family members who support you, it demonstrates good sportsmanship and character. This can make a positive impression on coaches and other players and can help you to build a reputation as a team player who is dedicated to the sport.
Responding To Failure
Another thing that can make a big difference is responding to failure in a positive way. Every player experiences failure at some point, whether it's striking out, making an error, or losing a game. How you respond to these setbacks can say a lot about your character and your potential as a player. Instead of getting down on yourself or blaming others, try to stay positive and focus on what you can do to improve. This shows that you are resilient and have a growth mindset, which are important qualities for any player to have. Instead of throwing your helmet the next time you strike out (we all know you're frustrated) try investing in the success of the guy next to you.
Whether it's your coaches, teammates, or even scouts, those who get paid to notice things don't miss anything. This means that it's important to pay attention to the details and always strive to be the best version of yourself both on and off the field.
By focusing on the little things, you can stand out and make a lasting impression. Whether it's wearing your uniform with pride, hustling on and off the field, or treating others with respect and kindness, every little detail matters. When you pay attention to these details and make them a priority, you can become a better player and a better person both on and off the field. Remember, somebody is always watching