Questionable Program

I am a sophomore in high school, and with experiences on my freshmen team last year, and from observations made during winter workout sessions with varsity coaches, I’ve noticed some questionable “tendencies” that ultimately affect the baseball program.

The biggest of these “tendencies” is nepitism. The former JV coach had two of his own kids in the program last year, one on varsity as a senior, and one on JV as a sophomore. This year, the coach has moved up as an assistant coach for the varsity, where his youngest son, who is now a junior, will play. It seems to me that one of the team sports commandments has been broken, and the best players are not always playing, or even making the team for that matter.

I have no problem with this, yet, because it doesn’t directly affect me, but it seems to be a big problem. Any suggestions on what to do? Suck it up? Do something? Any advice is welcome. Thank you.

My opinion as a coach of 10 years:

If the coach is making roster decisions with the best interest of the team in mind; he’ll field the best 14 or so players no matter who they are. Having said that, all things considered if there isn’t much difference in talent, attitude and effort between the coach’s son and someone else’s; coach’s son wins every time. Coaches usually justify this by the time and commitment they put in the program.

If this is truly a problem then it does directly affect you because you are a part of the team.

If other players on the team feel the same way you do then your season may be less successful than it should be if you let that happen.

My opinion: I think you need to acknowledge that at least you (and I suspect others) think a problem exists. Nepotism exists everywhere; politics, the workplace and on the baseball field.

Let the coach make the roster decisions. That’s one of the things he was hired for and he has to answer to. As a player, respect the game - make your team the most competitive that it can be. You can be true to your conviction but you don’t have to draw a line in the sand.

Concentrate on the next pitch, the next at bat or the next fielding opportunity.

Dear Lefty22,

I think what Dino said is perfect. It seems like this situation is a major distraction to you, yet it is out of your control. Like Harvey Dorfman said in the Mentral Aspect of Baseball, worry about what you CAN control. Dino said it best,“The next pitch, the next at-bat, and the next game.” That is great advice…

What you cannot do is let this serve as a built in excuse on why you didn’t make the team. Keep working as hard as possible, no excuses or shortcuts. Make the situation as competitive as possible. If you are competing for a spot, make sure you are the hardest worker, best conditioned, and most coachable kid in the program. All of these areas have nothing to do with physical talent. Throw in even average ability and it will be hard not to take notice.

Finally, trust your school and their administrators. They picked your coach for a reason. He must have some great quailities if he was chosen to lead your program. I know it is hard to do, believe me, this resentment is not good for team spirit and a positive attitude.

Good Luck,

Coach Kreber

Thanks guys. That advice is just what I think I needed. I’ll keep that in mind for the next workout with the team. Thanks again, the advice is greatly appreciated.