Alright Coaches. Almost all of us (with younger teams especially) have felt the pressure - the pressure to score or win in the face of or at the expense of teamwork or teaching the game. The temptation of running the offense solely through the best hoops player, letting one player dribble through 6 defenders to score a soccer goal, pitching your only ace until his arm falls off.
Share with us your stories of coaches doing this, parental reaction one way or another and hopefully your or others' success stories in teaching the skills and sticking to it.
Interesting. As seen in another thread here, I coach two teams (15U), one of which has achieved milestones such as 10 errors in one inning. Between the two teams, with the season nearly over now, they have won four games. To be fair, there are roster challenges. The high school coach has raided the rec league by "arranging" to have both a 7th grade team and an 8th grade team which plays surrounding towns' 7th and 8th grade teams. While adjacent towns' coaches do not do this, in our town players are subtly discouraged from participation in rec league while playing on these teams. So twofold consequence: we have a lot weak players, not a lot of strong ones and our opponents field a much better caliber of player overall. It is difficult to be competitive.
So we teach. Fundamentals always, repeatedly be it at practice or coaching moments during games. Cutoff drills, outfield route drills, 2B pivot drills, PFP, tagging technique, baserunning, pickoffs; I could go on.
Parents don't complain overtly but we hear grumbling from time to time when for example, we provide concessions to the other team for a lineup shuffle when a player has to leave or gets injured. What is the point of claiming an extra out for two or three passes through their order when you're behind 7-0 and have 8 fielding errors after two innings?
So yeah, in recent weeks there has been noticable improvement, particularly in pickoffs and control of the running game. About a month ago, aggravated by large leads off 2B and 3B steals at will, I taught them how to call a timing play for 2B pickoffs. While some pitchers are better than others, we have gone from a team who opponents knew they run on freely, to having picked off some 6 runners since. All season, we couldn't get them to understand the nuances of the dropped third strike. But on Thursday this past week, one guy remembered that with two away and a runner on 1B, dropped third strike you should go. Catcher got flustered and threw the ball into RF, leaving runners on 2B and 3B. Two doubles later, three runs were scored. Those three runs were the margin of victory over a superior team.
That made two wins for the year.