OK… I am not a baseball expert, but I am a fan. I am hopping directly and unapologetically on the Royals bandwagon.
I think there are many lessons that coaches and players can learn from this 2014 Kansas City squad and this Royals organization that can be transferred to other sports.
Here is my list:
Turnarounds take time
Turning around a struggling program takes time… maybe not 29 years, but time. It is hard work, and typically takes “buy-in” by everyone from management (administration) and coaches, to players and community…. and…
See post Beyond Moral Victories
They had a plan and stuck to it
They had a philosophy, and keeping with that philosophy drafted and traded accordingly. They did not go looking for a “quick fix”, instead opting to take “long way” as the only real shortcut.
See posts What is your “Elevator Speech” and A Guaranteed Shortcut
Money is not everything-Budget
The Royals are not in a “major market”… their payroll ranks 19th out of the 30 teams in MLB…. actually less then half of each of the top three clubs. I know it is easy to get caught up in the “we don’t have the budget (facilities, staff, etc) of the cross town school.” As a Coach, there are many things that we can do to improve our program that cost nothing… except effort.
See post Don’t Spend-Invest
Despite his leading the team to their first winning season in 10 years (in 2013) and taking them to the playoffs this season, many “fans” and “experts” have questioned manager Ned Yost over the last four years during his stint as Royals manager. I have heard people say that the Royals are winning despite Yost rather than because of him. As I said, I am no baseball expert, but any time people…. fans… question coaching I bristle a bit. The “fans” or “experts” have no idea what happens on a daily basis… in the clubhouse, on the practice field, in the batting cage, or with the players physically or mentally. The coaches do. They are professionals that are making decisions based on everything they know and observe. An outsider has no idea. The proof is in the pudding.
See Post The Courage to Compete
That what Speed Do!
It has been a common theme among football coaches that “speed kills” and “you can’t coach speed”, but for it to be an important aspect and consideration for a baseball squad… on par with hitting and pitching… is a relatively new revelation. I think in most sports, speed and quickness… and developing it as much as possible… will help your team’s performance.
See Post In the Spotlight – Roy Bay
I remember around the middle of the season, a member of the Cleveland ball club was talking about the Royals… he said, “They don’t realize how good they are… I hope they never do”. Ned Yost said that during the comeback in the Wild Card game, the players were pacing in the dugout, confident and enthusiastic that they would win. That feeling has not ebbed since…. and it is reflected in their play.
See Post Confident vs Cocky
The old adage in football is that “Defense Wins Championships”. The Royals are proving that this maxim applies to baseball as well. While many team’s evening highlights display home runs and extra base hits, the Royals’ reel is riddled with great defensive plays.
See Post Dirty Red
The Royals are unselfish. They bunt… they will swing to protect a runner…. they sacrifice to advance a runner. They understand and welcome when they are taken out for a pinch runner… Whatever will put the TEAM in a winning position is OK. It is evident that they respect one another… and
They Have Fun!
I have never been around a great team that did not enjoy and have a special bond with their teammates. It is a chemistry that develops from mutual sacrifice… the mutual shedding of blood, sweat, and tears.
See Post True Team Building
Many Lessons! Go Royals!
You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It!