Each year and season, the issue of “playing time” raises its ugly head! It is important to understand that baseball is a game of individual skills sets played within a team game. The major underlying credo of Klouter Baseball is “We, not ME”…team before ME! Put these two concepts together and we understand the game of baseball…it is a team game not an individual one. It also must be added that “life is not fair, and neither is baseball”. Hence, not every player is going to play equal amounts of time nor in the position that he/she feels they should play. Klouter Baseball is unconditional…you are a team member and will do whatever it takes for the team!
As the Head Coach I take full responsibility for playing time and all Klouter decisions. Many are made unilaterally by me and others in consensus with the coaches. We clearly outlined the chain of command at the onset if a player feels slighted or wishes to discuss an issue. First, he/she meets with a captain(not during a game or tourney), and if this is not sufficient, he/she meets with a coach. If for some reason, this does not find resolution, he/she and the parent(s) may meet with me. Hopefully we can resolve the issue. The key to this process is that youngsters must learn to solve their problems and not have their parents always “go to bat” for them! One of the key life lessons that we try to teach is problem-solving; our process is part of this learning experience. Also, it will engender a decision-making process that will teach them to make choices. Life is about choices and NOW is the time to learn that key life lesson/skill set!
The first tourney of the year is unlike all the others. First, there is ALWAYS the threat of rain. We have a very clear plan as to alternatives and make do as the weather dictates. We must adjust to the changes and if they do not fit your schedule, you must make the decision as to what you will do. Secondly, there are a number of new players and families. We must help them in their initiation as a Klouter family, and empower the new players to learn our rules and procedures. Lastly, we will not bat every player every game. This is relatively new but is imperative, especially if it rains. This does NOT apply to the 12U team! In most cases, for the 9, 10, and 11 teams, we will bat 12- or 13 each game. All players will bat in the tourney but each must be patient and await their turn. This will not apply to defensive positioning, as we will do our best to get everyone in every game for at least one inning. If you are going to count innings of play, you have lost the focus and importance of team play. You have entrusted your player to our program, so please allow us to manage the team. Again, if there are issues, please use the chain of command to resolve them. Each game and tourney is different so it is very important to be patient. Klouter Baseball is based on meritocracy.
Thank you for your consideration and Go Klouters….GAGPTH and FAW!!!