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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Scrum Master Qualities in Little League?

My 9 year old son's little league team just won their league's AA championship. They dominated the series and made us parents pretty proud.

As proud as I am I have to give most of the credit to the coaches. I noticed a few things they did:
  • Drilled the basics of teamwork. For example, fielding a ball in practice wasn't enough. Each player had to successfully field the ball and get it to the relevant base quickly. They repeated this for every player until each of them got it right.
  • They didn't favor the better players. Sure, some players couldn't pitch or didn't want to play catcher, but weaker players weren't banned to the outfield.
  • The coaches were pretty quiet during the actual games. They let the players make mistakes and learn the hard way.
One thing you would notice about this team was that the boys were pretty vocal. They encouraged each other during the games. They cheered for their team mates batting. They absolutely mobbed a weaker player who made the big play with congratulations. I think it psyched the opposing team a bit to play such a vocal group that was having so much fun.

Most of all, they loved playing the game. Baseball can try the patience of a 9 year old standing in the outfield during a hot day, but these boys loved being there. My 9 year old even started collecting major league playing cards.

I think of these coaches as model Scrum Masters in a few ways. They treated the team as a team. They didn't (and couldn't) force teamwork and passion for the game...they merely employed a few practices that allowed the team to lead itself to teamwork and love for baseball Most of all, the coaches knew when to get out of the way and just let the team play the game.

I recorded (poorly) the last few minutes of the final game and posted it on YouTube. My son is # 3.
...and no, that little huddle at the end of the day isn't a daily Scrum!

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