Personal achievement is what every athlete strives for, human beings are competitive and want to be the best. A well coached and cohesive team can evolve past that most basic need of personal recognition to foster a team environment in which the good of the team comes before the good of the individual. Even in this modern "me" culture good sportsmanship can become the standard once again.
How to Handle Dissapointment
A 9 inning heart-break is one of the hardest pills to swallow in sports. Three hours of emotional ups and downs and physical exhaustion can take its toll on even the most easy-going person. The urge to throw equipment in a Kanye West like meltdown is strong in moments like this. Tough losses are part of every competitive endeavor and men and women of all-ages can benefit from a lesson in humility every once in a while. These are the greatest opportunities to teach discipline, which will benefit every part of your players lives.
How to Handle Success
The best advice for how to handle yourself in a winning situation is; act like you've been there. A stoic attitude is the best way to humbly accept a successful game. Excessive and put-on celebrations make the player look like an amateur and paint a massive target on your back the next time they step in the box. Bat-flips, struts, and fist-pumps don't put any runs on the board and they don't record any outs. The accomplishment of a solid hit or overpowering strike out should be accomplishment enough. There is no need to denigrate your opponent.
Handling a Teammate's Success
Every team takes the field in order to help their team win. A team only functions as a whole when all nine players on the field are focused and ready to win. There are times when one player will excel and raise his production to a higher level. It is important that each member of your team recognizes and supports each other in good times and bad. Every teammate should strive to be the best as well as support their teammates when they are producing. Jealousy is a toxic force inside the dugout, it will produce an environment in which success is discouraged. Your team will suffer and success will be but a memory. As a great man once said (probably) "A team that is divided against itself will fail."
Instead of bragging of greatness, respect the game and realize that no one stays at the top forever. Baseball is a game that can change from pitch to pitch, at-bat to at-bat. Encourage success and foster an environment in which success thrives. Do not begrudge a teammate his individual accomplishment, instead celebrate with him and strive to be the best in the future. In defeat be congratulatory and collected. In success act with humility and happiness.
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