Who’s the new kid: How to handle yourself on a new team
Baseball Rebellion was at the Baseball Youth All-American Games in Myrtle Beach, SC this past weekend. It was an awesome event and all the kids and parents we interacted with were great. Because it was a “all-star” type event, kids from all over the country were put on teams together with other kids that they had never met before. It was a unique and new situation for most of the players, coaches, and parents.
It is something that happens in youth sports often that many people don’t talk about: How to Handle Yourself on a New Team. Sometimes you’re on a new team for just a weekend, other times it’s for a whole season. No matter your skill level, it can be a stressful time for players and parents. Maybe your kid is being asked to play on a better team with better coaches and players. Maybe they are being asked to play a new position. The bottomline is, you don’t always know what you’re getting into.
Do Your Homework
Before you even think about joining a new team that’s going to be everything you and your kid wants, you have to do your homework first. If you’re looking for some quality coaching and development, you have to make sure that’s what you’re going to get. Often times, travel ball teams make promises they can’t keep. Whether they are going to top tournaments around the country or promising you playing time, nothing is guaranteed. Therefore, if they say they are going to certain tournaments, make sure that they actually are. Another thing to consider is finding out how many kids will be on the team and what positions they play. For example, if they have 4 outfielders already and you come in as the 5th, then you better show out and play so you’re not on the bench. All I’m saying is, be careful and do your research before you start shelling money out to someone who may not have the best interest for your kids’ future.
You’re The New Guy, Make A Statement
When you get on a new team, making a statement first thing is crucial. You need to be the guy who stays positive and has
energy. Not anything over the top and “eye washy”, but something that comes from within, something real. If you’re more of an introvert and have a tough time showing enthusiasm, then let how you play on the field do the talking. Be that guy who gets a hit with runners in scoring position or the guy who takes an extra-base from a ball in the dirt. We want you to play like you have something to prove. Don’t hesitate to be the guy who steps up and is ready to go from the first time you step into the box.
Listening and paying attention to what is said by your coaches and your teammates is crucial as well. Listening to what other players on the team talk about is something that’s either going to bring you down or lift you up. Players on the team that are toxic are ones to be avoided. A toxic player is one who is negative, lazy and makes excuses, which often bring the team down. Always be respectful but keep your distance from those toxic players. Teammates that stay positive are ones who you need to be around since they will lift you up. In regards to what your coach says, whether it is him giving you tips on how to hit or field, make sure that what he says lines up to what you’ve been taught. If you haven’t been taught anything like I mentioned before, do your homework. You do not want your kid doing something different just because the coach says that’s what’s right. Being able to communicate is key to understanding what your coach knows and what he wants. Don’t be afraid to ask “why?” in the most respectful way as possible.
Get To Know Your Teammates
In this day and age, every kid usually has a smartphone with multiple social media apps. This is how kids and peoplecommunicate. It also can help you get to know your teammates better as well. Ask for their snapchat or instagram like their posts send them snaps and talk about whatever! Another great way to get to know each other is doing things together outside the field. You could go out to eat, go see a movie, go play wiffle ball, or go get a workout in together. The list goes on and on, and the main thing is you need to make an effort to get to know them.
Unfortunately, we can’t see the future and when you join a new team you really don’t know how it’s going to go. Find a team that fits your goals. If you just want to play for fun and do not really see yourself going any further that high school, then find a local team to play on. If you’re looking for some serious development and to compete in a competitive environment, then tryout for an elite team. Do your research, get online, and find out what the team is all about. For completely new teams, you must find out what the goals of the team are. Teams coached by dads who don’t have any playing background are not the best for player development. Don’t pay some random person just because they sell you on their team. I hope this article helps those who are trying to fit in. Remember always be yourself, stay positive and play like you have something to prove!
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