Baseball folkways vs baseball mores
Every culture has its own set of folkways and mores (pronounced “more-A’s”). Folkways are the little things like manners, etiquette, and other behaviors that you may be expected to do but really won’t face a formal punishment if you don’t. You are expected to open doors for women but you are not going to get a fine or get thrown in jail if you don’t. That’s what puts it into the category of a folkway. Mores are the significant behaviors that usually encourage the formation of laws. Murder, assault, robbery, arson, skipping school, etc. are behaviors we need people to avoid so we provide incentive to do just that by attaching a severe penalty that is given by someone (or some organization) of authority.
Many people think that if they just take care of the “important stuff” (mores) then their culture will be fine. That is often a mistake.
Baseball is a culture of its own and therefore has a set of mores that are generally understood. Mores include things like … You shouldn’t curse out umpires, coaches, or fans. You shouldn’t throw equipment. You shouldn’t fight with teammates or the other team. You shouldn’t play dirty or commit unsportsmanlike acts. All these things bring some stiff penalties from leagues and schools.
Those things have to be adhered to but I think the success of a baseball program has more to do with folkways. There are plenty of teams that have talented players who never break the mores of their league/team and yet they still don’t win.
I firmly believe that success in anything has more to do with the little things (folkways) that outsiders never see or at least don’t realize that they are seeing them.
Below is a list of folkways that may go unnoticed or seem insignificant by themselves but if you do them in total over long periods of time, I think winning follows.
- Players always wear their uniform correctly in practice and in games.
- Wearing uniforms during practice.
- Run or fast jog on and off the field.
- Jackets off during pre-game infield/outfield drills.
- Spending most of your practice time drilling the movements and skills your players would actually have to do during games.
- Players on the field ready to start practice at least five minutes before the start of practice.
- Taking a batter’s hat/glove out to him when he makes the 3rd out of an inning.
- More than one bench player immediately hops off the bench to go after every foul ball.
- Every player helps to prep the field after practice and games.
- Organize practices so players rarely (if ever) are standing still.
- Comments from the bench (and stands) are positive and only directed at your own players.
- A couple bench players take a cup of water out to the umpires every few innings during home games.
- Contacting opposing coaches in your league/area to congratulate them on championships won and/or players who have received scholarships.
I could go on and on but add these folkways up over the course of a few seasons and you are well on your way to a successful program.
Tomorrow’s post: What’s the difference between a “hit and run” and a “run and hit” ?