The Game Starts in the Parking Lot

September 11, 2017 | Category: Preparation | Tags: , , , , , ,

Successful teams show up to every game ready to play. It doesn’t take skill to show up early, take extra reps, or work hard. The best way to set the tone for your team is to establish a mindset where each player has a mission the second they open their car door. This can either be to win, to try their best, to have fun, etc. It’s no coincidence that players who show up ready to play are more successful on and off the field. It doesn’t matter if you are a new coach or have been coaching for years. Every coach should hold each player accountable from the time they show up to the time they leave with a common goal and this starts in the parking lot.

“The best way to set the tone for your team is to establish a mindset where each player has a mission the moment they open their car door.”

                                                                                                                                                                              -Casey Medairy, Coach COA

Develop a routine from day one where every player knows their role when they pull up to the field. For example, a simple way to get the point across is to have the players arrive in their uniforms. Showing up in shorts to a baseball game is like getting dressed in the bathroom before an interview. If you have any aspirations as a baseball player to play professional baseball, the field is where your interview takes place. Show up dressed for success. This means hat, jersey, pants, socks, belt, and shoes…not sandals. The only exception to this rule would be the use of locker rooms. Even then you should choose your attire carefully. You don’t always know what the field conditions are or what’s available so don’t be the player hitting in the cage in bare feet. Players should put their cleats on in the dugout so they don’t ruin them walking on concrete and have a pair of athletic shoes to wear for turf cages.

Don’t just stop there. Take it to the next level by creating a game day routine that you HAVE to stick with. When coaches deviate from their routine, so will the players. Hold them accountable even if you aren’t the first one to the field. One of the finer things in a coach’s life is when they are late for some reason but the team continued their game day warm up like any other day. They didn’t need to be told what to do. They knew what was expected of them and they believed in it because their coach held them accountable and proved that in order to be successful, the team has to have structure.

“When coaches deviate from their routine, so will the players.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                              -Casey Medairy, Coach COA

Other simple things to add to a team’s routine that can be easy to manage on a day-to-day basis are team stretching, throwing, or running. Set a time that is consistent when these things should begin. Communicate it to players and parents and enforce it. Every coach should be on the same page about the routine so make it known before the season starts.

-Casey Medairy, Coach COA

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