Even Baseball Stars Have To Hustle
A few days ago, a big time star player in the National League was benched by his coach for lack of hustle. The interesting thing about this is it wasn't like the game as blowout or anything, The score was close, 1-0 in their favor.
In the baseball era of big time egos and big time paychecks, the benching of this star was a breath of fresh air and a very strong statement by a manager in the major leagues.
The player was benched because he didn't run out a routine fly ball at full speed. In the play, the fielder dropped the ball. The error allows the baserunner on second base to score but the batter only got a single. After the game the star admitted he didn't hustle and that the manager had only two rules (1) listen to the manager and (2) hustle; and that he had broken one of them. The big star wasn't angry at the coach for taking him out and vowed not to do it again.
As a youth baseball coach I am so happy to see a manager put his foot down and stick to his guns. I mean, today in Baseball, benching a star player is taboo and doesn't sit well with owners worried about the effect this could have on the team's attendance. But the message sent by the manager in this situation is that nobody is above the rules.
On my kids baseball team there are three rules - Respect, Hustle and Fun - very similar to those of this major league manager.
I hope this situation helps all of us in kids baseball leagues when it comes to attitude, respect and hustle. This story should be shared with the kids on your youth baseball team.
Another great tip for kids baseball coaches is to share this story with your players. Explain to the kids that everyone makes mistakes but admitting them helps you to learn from them. Also, people get second chances.