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PCA Article

Volume 6, No. 2 - Feb/March 2011

The Importance of Character on Your Little League Team

By David Jacobson, Positive Coaching Alliance

When you draft your Little League team for this upcoming season, try considering character as much as talent. There is ample evidence from pro sports that a team of superstars does not guarantee on-field success. But that kid who is upbeat, positive, and always ready to fill teammates' "Emotional Tanks" may turn out to be your most valuable player.

Such players provide so much support for teammates that their performance improves. Plus, the character player is a joy to be around, keeps teammates loose and sets an example that other players may emulate. When that happens, Emotional Tank-filling is contagious, and before you know it you have a team full of positive players.

One key to success with your character players is keeping them happy. If they are less talented, you may find yourself tempted to play them less, but you must keep them engaged and reinforced enough to maintain the positive attitude that led you to draft them in the first place.

It's even more important than usual to praise these players for what they bring to your team, even if it's not their own hits, runs and RBI. Also, be aware of heaping praise on your most physically talented athletes without taking their character into consideration. The more you praise character, the sooner your players will strive to develop it.

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

© 2011 Little League International. All rights reserverd.