Principle #3: Honoring the Game
Honoring the Game goes to the ROOTS of the matter, where we all have to RESPECT the Rules, Opponents, Officials, Teammates and one’s Self. Coaches receive specific tools to help them introduce the concept of ROOTS to their players and parents.
Following is a script you can use to explain Honoring the Game to your players. You probably will want to alter this script, depending on the players’ ages and level of competition, as well as your own personal style. However, the core message here can empower players of all ages.
I love baseball, and I hope you do too. Baseball has a long history and is our national pastime. It is an honor to be involved in baseball, so I want to talk to you about Honoring the Game. To remember the major points of Honoring the Game, we get to the ROOTS of the matter: Each letter in ROOTS stands for an important part of baseball that we must respect.
R is for Rules. The rules of baseball keep the game fair. Respect for the rules is important, even when it's possible to break them without getting caught. I want you to play by the rules.
O is for Opponents. Without opponents, we could have no game. A good opponent makes us perform our best. I want you to try your hardest to win, but you must always respect your opponents.
O if for Officials. It is important to respect officials. This can be difficult, so we need to keep it as a focus when we play. Umpires have a hard job and without them the game would be unsafe and unfair. Sometimes you may disagree with the umpires, but you still must show them respect.
T is for Teammates. A big part of baseball is the team. Being with your teammates should be fun. Later in life you will often be part of a team, so it is important to learn to work together. I hope you feel a commitment to your teammates and that you will encourage and support each other on and off the field.
S is for Self. Some people only Honor the Game when their opponents do, but we will Honor the Game no matter what the other team does, because we set our own personal standards. And we live up to them no matter what.
So, again, when we say that Honoring the Game goes to the ROOTS of the matter, ROOTS means respect for Rules, Opponents, Officials, Teammates, and Self.
This information is brought to you by Positive Coaching Alliance. To learn more, please visit www.positivecoach.org
Courtesy Little League International