At all levels of baseball, team and individual attitude play an important role in achieving excellence. A sound demeanor, temperament and approach to the game spell success. When a professional or college scout asks about a player the first thing they question is his make-up. What kind of kid is he? They already know he has talent; they want to find out that if they invest their money will he have the temperament to stick it out. Does he have good character, how well does he react under stress, does he have the capacity to learn, is he intelligent and is he coachable.

When you look at many major league teams, the ones that have a reputation of doing well year in and year out, understand that this goes beyond mere talent. Throughout their organizations they settle of nothing less than the best possible attitudes. It starts at the top and filters down. They exude a quiet confidence from their instructional teams all the way up to the big club. If a player doesn’t fit the mold of their philosophy he is quietly traded. No fanfare, just gone. Thank you, see you later. Talent alone is never enough in a long season.

There are many instances of losing attitudes; jealousy among players, lack of respect for the coaching staff, lack of knowledge and teaching, and a “Me First” disposition.

A winning attitude is not just about keeping score, it is a code of conduct and a way of sports life.

“Show class, have pride and display character. If you do, winning will take care of itself.” — -Coach Paul (Bear) Bryant.

This kind of winning attitude can be instilled in baseball teams at all levels, from LL to HS to college. Two things: coaches have to originate it and players have to take a lot of the responsibility for it.

Let’s look at how we instill a winning attitude in amateur baseball teams.

STARTS WITH THE COACH- his overall philosophy and approach to the game.

  • Gives proper direction. The coach sets the example for his team. He sets the tone. He demands a lot from himself and from his players. A good coach treats the game seriously. He understands how the game is supposed to be played and he communicates that message to his team. By way illustration, the coach sets a good example by:
  1. Dressing correctly. When playing on a regulation field the coach will be in a matching uniform and the uniform is worn correctly.
  • He makes sure they are in top condition. Strength conditioning, agility drills, sprint work and running are all necessary components of conditioning. “Baseball Shape” requires that players perform at their best in the first inning as well as in the last, and even the last inning of a double header.


Teach your players to confront and understand failure.

  • Teach that the game is based on failure. As an example Rod Carew made an out 7 out of 10 times and he is in the Hall of Fame.

How to learn from failure.

  • Keep the attitude that from every failure you will get that much better at a skill.


  • Develop a positive conviction in your abilities. Get rid of limiting and self-defeating talk. Shred words and phrases like, I can’t, or don’t or never. “I’ll never hit the ball that far, I’ll never throw that fast, we can’t beat those guys.” These phrases will limit your performance. Instead think of phases like, “I am, I can, I will.” It takes some effort to get rid of the negative thoughts but it will be well worth it. Take these steps.
  1. Recognize the areas you wish to change. Understand the negative words and thoughts you have been using in the past.

Coach Tim Kafer



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store

Tim Kafer has coached over 25 years of youth baseball. He has worked with players at college, High School and youth