Have you caught yourself wondering what your coach thinks of you? Do you worry that your coach likes someone else at your position or is doing what he can to keep you out of the line-up? If you are distracted by thoughts like these, you are headed for trouble. In this article, we share 5 reasons why this kind of thinking will only make things worse.
Reason #1—Worrying about something you have no control over will not change anything.
You have no direct control over your coach’s thoughts and beliefs, but you can give him plenty of reasons to think positively about you. Place all your energy into what you can control—your effort, your knowledge of the game, and your attitude. When your focus stays on the things you can control, your performance benefits, making it more likely to see the field.
Reason #2— Being distracted can affect your performance.
Baseball is a game that requires a lot of focus and attention to detail. If your head is elsewhere (like worrying about what your coach thinks), it will be hard to stay a step ahead of the game and maintain the focus required to get better at practice. Practicing with your thoughts elsewhere is not going to help you improve on your weaknesses and is likely to lead to mental mistakes.
Reason #3—Negativity breeds failure.
Baseball is a difficult game. Experts have shown that positive thinking is a major contributor to success. On the other hand, negative thinking limits your ability to see solutions to problems that come up. If you focus on your disappointment that your coach seems to want you on the bench, your attention is not on learning what you need to do to win a spot in the line-up, and there is a good chance you will end up on the bench.
Reason #4—Blaming others for problems makes it harder for you to take control.
If you decide to blame your coach for your lack of playing time, you are giving up on yourself. What dictates playing time most of all is talent and performance. The goal for every player should make it so obvious that they need to be in the lineup that the coach has not choice. What are you already good at? What skills do you need to improve? Take control of your improvement. Work hard until you know that you can help your team win. If you perform well at every opportunity, it won’t matter what anyone thinks of you. The numbers and results will speak for themselves. That’s the best way to get more playing time. Keep your focus on the process that will give you the best chance for positive results. You control the process. Keep the focus on what you can control.
Reason #5—Blaming is a bad way to deal with conflict.
When you disagree with someone on something that is important (i.e. playing time), it is a natural response to get mad at that person, at least at first. But you don’t want your emotions to control you. If you lose your temper and say things you’ll regret, you will only make your coach feel certain that you shouldn’t be playing. Take a little time and think about what is the best way to get the information you need. Don’t pout, go talk to your coach about what you need to do to get more playing time. Ask questions that will help you better understand what to do to earn more playing time. Questions like, “What do I need to improve on to get more playing time?” can be helpful. Stick with what you can change and how you can get better, instead of pointing fingers or making accusations.
If you end up on the bench, blaming your coach or deciding that he’s against you will not get you back on the field. Show everyone on the team that you can take responsibility for yourself and that you can handle conflict in a positive way. Be a good teammate and use your time on the bench to observe, learn, and support (Watch from the 2:20 mark). If you want more playing time, you can never go wrong focusing on being a good teammate in addition to self-improvement, effort, and your thought process. It’s up to you to show your coach just what kind of player you are.