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Winning While Developing Better Athletes, Better People

By Positive Coaching Alliance

Positive Coaching Alliance and Little League® both believe coaches can develop better athletes and better people. But what about winning? What if a manager or coach must choose between winning games and developing players and people?

A Double-Goal Coach® strives to win and achieve another, more-important goal of teaching life lessons through sports. So, if you have to choose, we encourage you to make the choice most likely to result in the personal long-term, overall development of all Little Leaguers®.

However, that rarely is an either-or proposition. There are plenty of opportunities to invest in player development in ways that also contribute to scoreboard wins. Perhaps the best way to do this, especially at younger ages, is through adjustments in players’ positions.

For example, if you are intent enough on winning that you “hide” a player in right-field, consider a chance at second base, where arm strength is not an issue. You raise your right-fielder’s confidence with a move to the infield; that confidence alone eventually will contribute to your team’s scoreboard success, and just imagine how such a boost in confidence can impact the players’ personal development!

Other benefits of that move include sending a message to other less-skilled players that they too have a chance to advance their roles on the team. You also send the message to your stronger players that they face some competition as regulars at any position.

Plus, you’ll be amazed at how supportive the stronger players are when they see a less-skilled player get a chance to shine. That builds team cohesiveness that often is reflected on the scoreboard.

The more players you develop in this way, the more likely they are to have fun and improve. Again, that contributes to wins and most importantly keeps players coming back to Little League for all the important life lessons and opportunities to develop as people.

You can learn more about managers and coaches developing players and people through relationship-building in this video of former Major League Baseball player and manager Dusty Baker, which is included in a new website of free PCA resources at www.PCADevZone.org.

For more ideas on getting the most out of your players while teaching life lessons, take the full-length Little League Double-Goal Coach® Course at http://shopping.positivecoach.org/Little-League-DGC, or free Little League Double-Goal Coach® Quick Course at http://www.littleleague.org/pca.