Mottos and mindset
— By Trevor Wamback
Why bother with team mottos?
Is it simply a few hours of fun when players can throw out little sayings and play with words instead of against their opponents or the clock? There could be a cool t-shirt at the end with the new motto.
Actually, it’s so much more than all of that.
What does your team believe in?
Developing a motto is an opportunity for a team to determine for itself what it believes in and during the tough times the players can remind each other of the motto and the mindset. And, yes, they’re very much related.
Baseball, for example, is 95 per cent physical and five per cent mental, but the mental controls the physical.
Therefore, if the mental is not there then you don’t have the physical, leaving you with essentially nothing.
One of the mottos I try to live by is NEMA — “No excuses, make adjustments.”
Baseball, in a sense, is a game of failure, and our tendency as humans is to make up excuses for our shortcomings, for example ‘my arm’s sore,’ or ‘the mound has a big hole in front of the rubber.’
This motto really forces us to create a solution to the problem and take action rather than just complain about it. This same mindset applies to the things that happen off the field — ‘I don’t like my job, I’m out of shape, I’m always tired and so on.’
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If we focus on how we’re feeling and try to find a solution we will be more successful, and we’ll feel better about ourselves as we were able to figure out a solution to the problem.
'It's all part of it'
During my first season coaching Nova Scotia's 15-and-under provincial team, we lived by NEMA. When the players would start to make up excuses, other players would interrupt the particular player who was about to put up a roadblock and remind him of NEMA. That totally changed the mindset!
This past season, our motto was “It’s all part of it.”
Whether it was raining during our workout, or the vans were uncomfortable during our drive to Quebec, or the field was not impeccable, our players believed it was “all part of it.”
Becoming a great baseball player and not being able to control certain things “is all part of it.” So run with the things you can control. You will be much more successful and you’ll focus your energy on the things that will make a difference.
Players taking ownership
This motto was on the front of our hoodies, which we wore during practices, games and off the field, so it was constantly in your face.
The above mottos are just a couple of examples of things that I’ve done over the past couple of years.
Part of this process is getting the players to brainstorm what they believe in as a club. This way they take true ownership of the process and it is truly what they believe. These mottos and mindsets help develop the players to be great players, but more importantly great people!
Trevor Wamback is the technical director at Baseball Nova Scotia, head baseball coach at Newbridge Academy, lead instructor at W28 Baseball.
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