Issue of September 17, 2017
Mt. Province

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Life coaching in baseball
When I huddle my players on a time-out especially in critical moments of the game, I don’t bombard them with strategies that might confuse them more, I tell them that I have trust and confidence in them and to just stay positive. Most often than not, we win. In reality, coaching is not all about strategy and play skill, it is also teaching players life skills.

In a game, belief in oneself is one of the greatest factors to win. Game analysts often predict who will win in a match even if the game has not started yet. They base their prediction on the aura of the players. Sports commentators used to call a blow-out game a “humiliation” or worst “psychological damage” on the part of the losing team. Emotional and psychological breakdown happen in game fields. To avoid this, players must learn to stay positive no matter how the game stands. They must evoke positivity and confidence in the midst of a collapse. This is what we teach our students to overcome problems in life. They must maintain their composure through their belief in their abilities and by staying positive. Otherwise the result would be more devastating.

In coaching I emphasize the value of listening. Listening is a form of respect to the person speaking. It is an acceptance that the person has something to share; therefore, it is valuing other players or persons. It is imperative that players learn the art of active listening because it is an acknowledgment that they have a lot more to learn in baseball and in life. They do not know everything. In listening to their coach and to the other players, they open themselves to improvement and growth.

I tell my players the meaning and application of teamwork. They cannot win by themselves. They have to recognize that they belong to a team; hence every action must depend on this idea. Michael Jordan didn’t win by himself. His talent was supported by teamwork. Teamwork teaches the idea that a person is societal in nature. No one lives and dies for himself/herself. A person needs other people to achieve his/her growth. A person needs help and in return he is needed by others. It is difficult to find meaning in a life of seclusion.

Coaching baseball entails a coach’s drive to integrate playing skills to life skills. Baseball is the best venue for my players to learn these skills. This is their interest. They can relate to it better. My main goal as a coach is for my players to embrace these skills and translate them to their everyday lives. The more they learn them under my care, the more chances they have to succeed in life.

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