Confronting bad body language
A player’s bad body language on a field is one of my pet peeves. Like many coaches, I despise it and do not tolerate it on my teams. That being said, I also do not jump down a player’s throat when I see it the first time.
I tell my students in class that when it comes to dealing with behavior problems, my job is to stop patterns. If it happens once, it may be an anomaly. Twice, it could be a coincidence. Three or more and it’s now a pattern I need to step in and stop.
My go-to method in baseball is typically to pull the kid aside and say something like …
“I’ve noticed a few times recently that you have had a lot of bad body language. You look lethargic and don’t seem to want to be here or even like baseball. Is that the message you are trying to send?”
The player always answers with, “No. I like baseball and want to be here.” That’s when I continue with telling the player that if a negative message is not what is intended then he needs to be more aware of his body language and adjust accordingly.
Usually the body language improves after that. If not then you have every right to be more forceful the next time you address it. The end of the bench is still the best motivator in sports.