Whether you already manage a baseball team or it's a dream you have for your future, there's always more to be learned. Managing a team isn't just about loving baseball. It's also about knowing how to run a business. The unique combination of wanting what's best for the team and wanting to help them succeed is what will make you a great manager. This article will give you a few key tips for success as you manage your team.
1. Dress For Success
While there's a lot more to dressing for success than just having the right baseball gloves, it's also important that you, as the manager, understand how to help your players be in the right position and place to fulfill their potential. This means getting to know your team, inside and out. Skill in the game of baseball is not just about raw ability, but about the player's mental acumen, as well.
Knowing who is confident where, and which players would make good leaders will help you to make tough calls about changes that need to be made. This is how you, as the manager, can help your players "dress for success". Some players will need to be pushed out of their comfort zone, while others will thrive on praise and a casual attitude. By being given the tools they need and the right position, they'll be able to excel and win game after game.
2. Think Big Picture
What makes the manager unique in the world of baseball is that they're always focused on the big picture. Thinking ahead to the next game is only a part of what goes on in your mind as you make decisions about your team. When you see the season as a whole, rather than from game to game, you'll make some choices that may confuse your players and anger fans. It's important that you trust your intuition and make the choices that will bring success to the team, even if they're initially unpopular.
This perspective will also help you to stay level headed and calm in the face of loss or other frustrations in the team. Your players will have confidence in you and will look to you for guidance, knowing that you have the bigger picture in mind and one small problem won't ruin their progress.
3. Take On the Pressure
One of the toughest aspects of being a manager is that you're responsible for carrying the weight of the team on your shoulders. For your players to do their best, game after game, it's important that they feel as little of the pressure of winning as possible. Stress will only lead to poor performance. By taking the pressure on yourself and accepting responsibility for others' mistakes, you'll be earning a reputation as a truly exceptional manager. Your players will respect you for being humble, and will most likely play better as a result.
4. Talk One-On-One
This tip is one that transcends the world of baseball and applies to management positions of any kind. It's an accepted fact that your players will make mistakes, and that you'll at some point have to confront or discuss those mistakes with them. As much as possible, try to take players aside to talk over their problems, whether that's your office or just the sidelines. While yelling at players in front of their teammates might be an effective tactic, you're more likely to earn respect and void resentment by respecting their privacy. Cultivating personal relationships with the players is one of your top priorities, so treating them like small children won't help much in the long run.
5. Create a Team Goal
From day one on your baseball management journey, you should have a goal in mind for the team. This might be a big, upcoming game of some kind, or just a goal for overall season results. Whatever you decide is the best motivation for your team, make sure to let them know what it is and reinforce it throughout the season.
Getting your team to function as one unit towards a single goal is going to depend on how well you motivate them, so go into the season prepared with pep talks and encouraging speeches in your tool belt. You never know when a little talk is all your players need to improve their game and win over and over again. Stay dedicated to your original goal and you'll find that managing a team can be a rewarding and inspiring experience.
Managing a team is going to give you a lot more skills over time than just raw knowledge of the game. You'll be building personal relationships, developing interpersonal and communication skills, and finding a bigger purpose for your life all at once. Use these tips to make your management career successful.