The Ole Ball Game

Selfish Assistant

Anonymous asked: Have an assistant coach who also is head coach of a T-ball team.

Two of his sons are on the baseball team he assists with.

If he has a T-ball game the same day as our practice, he doesn't make his boys come to our practice.

One of his boys has started the season at 2nd base and has now missed three practices.

Please give me advice on what is the proper way of handling this and letting him know we can no longer start his son at 2nd.

Wasn't prepared to have an assistant act in this manner. Have only known him a few months.

Please Help!!!

Rick answered: Thank you for your question.

A tough situation to find yourself in; but unfortunately one which comes about quite often, in many different formats.

The quote above from John Wooden, truly summarizes
what being a member of a team encompasses.

"Understanding that the good of the group comes first is fundamental to being a highly productive member of a team."

Count on me

Count on you

Count on us

Count on each other

All team situations, whether they are sports related, business related, family related, classroom related....all require the same sets of dedication from the participants to be successful.

Your assistant may not realize that when he has his son's miss their practice, on the days he coaches his t-ball group, it creates a ripple effect for you, other assistant coaches if you have them, the other players on the team, as well as his son's.

Baseball, at all levels, is a game which requires much repetition to make it run smoothly come game day. If all participants are there for every practice, then you are sure everyone has been exposed to all the information needed to be successful come game time.

At the beginning levels of baseball, the amount of information needed is limited; but due to their inexperience will still seem like a lot of it coming at them fast.

When players miss a practice, chances are the team will not get back to the situations covered in that last practice, they will be moving on and building up.

There is the added factor of playing time as well. As a coach, you really can't justify one player over another, if one of them misses practices. Talent cannot over-ride preparation, if a team is going to be a cohesive unit.

The link below will take you to a page on the site about teamwork. For me it has always been about everyone involved being able to count on all the others in the mix; coaches, players and parents.


It is always a good idea, at the start of every season, to schedule a parents and coaches meeting, to go over expectations and rules in advance. That way everyone is on the same page, and it provides you an opportunity to state the rules, as well as explain why they are important for everyone on the team.

For the majority of the players you will coach over a career, becoming good and productive teammates will be one of their most valuable life lessons learned. It will carry over into all phases of the rest of their lives.

Best of luck as you move forward. I would like to hear how it all works out. I would think your assistant would understand, when he steps back from it and sees the problems it causes for the team, as well as his sons.

Yours in baseball,


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