What is special about your team? What makes you different from everyone else?
What are your team’s core values?
These are things that make up a youth baseball team philosophy, and I ask you to put them in writing. I’m doing so with this blog post, but I’ll also create a special page on this site for it as well as print it out for all of the team families.
We’ve already spelled out the rules and expectations for the Spiders:
We also stepped through the 3 Pillars, which lay out what makes a youth baseball player or team great (and what we will strive for):
A “Team Philosophy” will be made up of all of these things. But it is a single document that condenses it all to clarify the core values of a team.
So now let’s take a look at the Spiders’ Team Philosophy. Feel free to steal from it so that you can create your own!A team's philosophy is built on its core values and it's what makes it different from others... Click To Tweet
1. We Will Live By “WE” Over “ME”
Baseball is a team sport. Success will always be measured by what we accomplish together.
Each at bat will be taken and pitch will be made with the team in mind. We will not be obsessed with our individual accomplishments.
We will sacrifice ourselves for the good of the team. We will uplift one another knowing that doing so will make us strongest as a unit.
When the season ends, our individual statistics will be secondary. Our measure of success will be what we accomplished together, and what we went through together to get there.
2. We Will Always Hustle
A team that always hustles sets a tone. Nothing will come easy for our opponents. You will need to play your best to beat us.
We will always hustle on the field and we will always hustle off.
Countless plays throughout the season will be determined by hustle or the lack thereof. Runs will be scored and games will be won or lost as a result.
There will be no easy plays for you. We will always give everything we have. We will be aggressive, but we won’t be careless.
You will earn every base and every run you score on us. We will hustle to every ball hit in the field.
When the game is over, we want our opponents to always remember us because of the way we play — and a primary focus of this will be our hustle.
3. We Will Be Aware
We will know the count.
We will know how the number of outs.
We will know our role and the responsibilities we need to execute.
With a focus on awareness, we will be one step ahead, prepared for anything that will come our way.
4. We Will Be Mentally Tough
We will play at a high level, and we will play other similarly talented teams. As a result, games will often be won and lost by the team that can handle adversity.
Baseball is an emotional game, but we will know how to handle failure. We will also know how to handle success.
5. We Will Never Quit
We will play every inning that is given to us. Any inning that is played without full effort is a wasted inning.
If you are up big on us, score some more. Please do. Because we will not quit. We will come back.
As long as there is another out left, we will always have a chance, no matter what the deficit.
6. We Will Respect…
Our Opponents, Their Coaches and Fans
The other team is just like us. They simply dress in a different uniform.
No matter their record or past performance, any team can win any given game.
We will appreciate our opponents’ big hits and great plays. We will thank their coaches for the challenge.
We will not chant, scream or sing in an effort to distract them.
We understand that the other fans are passionate for their team just as our fans are passionate for us.
The umpires dedicate countless hours to this game, with little appreciation. There is rarely a mention when they make a good call, but everyone is quick to pass blame when an apparent incorrect call is made.
Being an umpire is not an easy job. Our players will not argue with calls. Our parents will not complain. And our coaches will discuss calls calmly.
This is so much more than a game.
We will respect baseball’s history and the players who came before us. We will appreciate that our fathers and grandfathers — and their fathers and grandfathers — played on some of these same fields, or one like them. Baseball bonds us all.
We will play the game with the honor and passion it deserves.
We are teammates. We are friends. And we are a baseball family.
We recognize how difficult it is to go through a slump or make an error. We will support one another through the toughest of times because we will always succeed and fail as a team.
We — as individuals — will always keep our heads up. We will have high expectations of ourselves, but we will not expect perfection.
We will not beat ourselves up or think negatively about ourselves.
7. We Will Handle Winning with Class and Losing with Grace
Baseball is an exciting game. Nothing in life can be compared to a big walk-off hit or final championship-clinching out.
When we win, we will appreciate the fight our opponents gave us. We will shake their hands, look them in the eye and sincerely thank them for a good game.
When will be passionate. We will celebrate. But we will not cross the line.
We will also experience heartbreak. We will lose on a walk-off hit. We will hit that final out of a championship game.
When that happens, it will be easy to drop our heads. But we will appreciate the fight our opponents gave us. We will let them celebrate. And we will handle the loss gracefully.
8. We Will Learn From Our Mistakes
We are not perfect. Not our players, not our coaches and not our parents.
We will make mistakes. We will make lots of mistakes. But the key is that we will learn from them.
As a team and as individuals, we will not grow without failure. But it’s how we handle that failure that makes the difference.
We will reset, reflect and refocus on each mistake. Each will be an opportunity to grow.
9. We Will Play Within the Rules
It is fun to win, but only if that win is something we can be proud of.
We will play within the rules. We will know what is and isn’t allowed, and we will respect those rules.
We will play ethically. Even when there is no rule in place, we will do what is right.
10. We Will Be Physically and Mentally Prepared
We will work hard at practices and be prepared mentally. When we step on the field, we will be ready.
We’ll be ready for that pitch. We’ll be ready for that play. We’ll be ready for that situation.
11. We Will Remember What Is Important
We love the game of baseball, but in the end it’s just that: A GAME!
Baseball will not be more important than school.
Baseball will not be more important than our family.
And baseball will not be more important than our individual development.
The game of baseball will serve many life lessons along the way, but it will not be our life’s priority.
Anything you’d add to this team philosophy?
Let me know in the comments below!