The five-year-olds on the baseball field deserve better. At least that’s what I told myself as I walked off the field last night. The game ended in a tie, of course, as all games at this age do given we don’t count outs and runs, but my feeling of failure last night as a head coach had nothing to do with the game result. Looking back on the game the kids had fun, we avoided any significant injuries, the players generally understood where to be and what to do, and the flow of the game resembled an actual baseball game (sometimes the biggest challenge with this age group).
So why the feeling of failure? As always, we didn’t spend any time developing the foundational baseball skills of the kids. As coaches, we have to spend all of our time and energy managing the tasks required during each game night and that leaves no time or energy for doing what would be most helpful to the players long-term. Each player gets to hit and likely makes some plays on the field each night but we don’t get to spend time with each child individually to really work on the skills that can help them have long-term success playing the game.
Does this sound familiar? As a manager do you spend more time going through your task checklist each day than you do with skill or team development for your players? Or as an employee is your manager working hard to develop your foundational skills for long-term success or just trying to get through each project/task as assigned?
Managers have accountabilities beyond the coaching and development of their team members just as I have accountabilities every Tuesday and Thursday for one hour to get the kids safely through a baseball game. Perhaps I take my role as the coach of a little league baseball team a bit too seriously but I hated feeling like a failure last night. Is your work manager unable to spend time on your skill development? Don’t you deserve better? Do you as a manager feel empty when you can’t effectively coach your team? Don’t we all have to find a way to do better?