Volume 5, No. 8 - December 2010
San Francisco Giants' World Series Win Is a Victory for Little League Coaches
The San Francisco Giants' World Series win under Manager Bruce Bochy is a victory for Little League Baseball and Softball managers and coaches, who can use the occasion to learn and teach many lessons on the meaning of team. All 25 Giants players, as well as management, pulled together in the same direction.
There were no superstars, with the possible exception of Tim Lincecum. Instead, the Giants needed, and got, contributions from every player, no matter how unsung. That should prove something to any coach who is tempted to stack a team with talent, and more importantly, the coaches left with un-stacked teams. Chemistry between players and a team culture set from the top down that values each individual -- so that all players are engaged and ready to give their best and bring out the best in others -- trumps any amount of talent.
Between injuries (Edgar Renteria), inexperience (Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner), unusual physiques (Lincecum, Pablo Sandoval), aging (Renteria again), and dismissal by other teams (Aubrey Huff, Pat Burrell and Cody Ross), none of the Giants' heroes fit the normal mold. The Giants' genius is in seeing the beauty of each player, anyway, and finding the time and place for that beauty to shine. "They call us misfits," Lincecum said in one of his postgame interviews. "But we fit well together."
If Little League managers and coaches can model their teams after the Giants, valuing even the least-talented team members so that they will give their most, millions of Little Leaguers can know and feel their true worth as athletes.
For more ideas on getting the most out of your players while teaching life lessons, take the Little League Double-Goal Coach® Course at http://shopping.positivecoach.org/Little-League-DGC