What you teach

There are definitely those in our sport who believe in flaunting the rules. They teach baserunners to leave the base early to “gain and advantage.” They teach hitters to intentionally interfere with the catcher’s throw when a baserunner is stealing a base. They teach fielders to stand in the baseline or on the base to slow down runners.

In each case the rationale is that the umpires rarely call it. In other words, get away with as much as you can because you’re unlikely to get caught. “If you ain’t cheatin’ you ain’t trying” they like to say.

The problem with that line of thinking is they never take it to its logical conclusion. They don’t see where it could lead. So allow me to late it out for you.

Coaches who teach those things shouldn’t be surprised when their players lie to them about their schoolwork, their whereabouts during the last practice, or what time they went to sleep before the tournament games. After all, they thought they could get away with it.

Coaches who teach those things shouldn’t be surprised when their star athlete gets caught cheating during an exam. They were just trying to get an edge in order to “win.”

Coaches who teach those things shouldn’t be surprised when their players are arrested for underage drinking or drugs. They figured they wouldn’t be caught, so it was ok. After all, that’s what the coach taught them.

What we teach impacts our players much more than in their on-field conducted. Many have trouble separating the two. As coaches, we need to make sure we’re holding our players to a higher standard, not a lower one. It’s the right thing to do. And if you can’t win without cheating, maybe you’re not the coach you thought you were.

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About Ken Krause

Ken Krause has been coaching girls fastpitch softball for nearly 20 years. Some may know him as a contributing columnist to Softball Magazine, where he writes Krause's Korner -- a regular column sponsored by Louisville Slugger. Ken is also the Administrator of the Discuss Fastpitch Forum, the most popular fastpitch discussion forum on the Internet. He is currently a Three Star Master Coach with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), and is certified by both the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and American Sports Education Program (ASEP). Ken is a private instructor specializing in pitchers, hitters, and catchers. He teaches at North Shore Baseball Academy in Libertyville, IL and Pro-Player Consultants in McHenry, IL.

Posted on October 14, 2007, in Coaching, General Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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