This may be a blog for your family, your job, or your team as much as it is an update on the Smyrna Bugs.

The weather has finally gotten warm enough for the Bugs Coaches to wear shorts and the parents to sit in the stands without freezing.  The players can warm up and not feel like their fingers are frozen into knuckle-ball position. Spring is here and it feels like baseball season once again!

So far for 2010 we have seen pitchers trying to find their grove and a routine is developing for the starting rotation.  The bats are still warming up, trailing the 70 degree days by a week or so.  The positioning of players is beginning to be established as players become more comfortable with each other and team unity develops.

The Bugs started off the season in February with 30 degrees.  The guys came out fighting and hitting the ball with excitement.  We kicked off the year with a 6-0 record.  Most of these games saw players being rotated, batting line-ups adjusted and tweaks being made to the system.  Much of that is still happening as we develop over the spring to the team the Bugs want to be.

The last two weekends have been more challenging as the comfort level of each player still being fleshed out.  We are now facing more and more teams from various parts of the southeast. This brings excitement, great baseball, and butterflies in the stomachs of players and parents alike. But none the less we are looking to settle into our routine over the next few weekends.  Practices are becoming more focused and players are developing in areas they have identified as needing improvement.

Skill development is very important to team success.  However, just being great athletes will not always win games. I spent my senior year playing with some of the top players in the state.  Half of them received scholarships to the next level of play. But we did not always win the big games.  Big egos, lack of unity, lack of trust and a dependence on our own ability was what seemed to be the attitude of the team.  It was normal to just show up late to practice or not at all, get to the game just in time and then try to perform our best lost a lot of games. You have probably experienced this in life or on your ‘team’ at some point.

The unity of the team is as important as skill, if not more so. Unity in a team is not something easily attained.  With players growing, lives changing, desire shifting, the unity that it takes to win tournaments becomes tougher.  For the most successful teams, whether in sports, life, work or even on the Apprentice, knowing each other on your team and knowing that they ‘have your back’ is vital to the success of the team.  Players and Coaches have to become one for the success of the team to ever be seen.  Every year about this time the Bugs go through this search for the leaders, the play makers and the dependence on each other.  It takes time together, laughter in the dugout and a lot of innings on the field for this unity, trust and TEAM to come together.

With our current 8-3 record we are getting the innings in to see the team come together.  The focused practices and the laughter are beginning to stir the team toward unity.  Only time together with respect for each other and the priority of the team will cause the these players and coaches to make it to the next level.  That will happen as the excitement builds for each new game.

Come out and watch the Bugs build team unity, play great baseball and have some of the most fun a ten-year-old can have.  Next tournament is April 16-18 in Mt. Juliet at Mundy Park.

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