By Jack Singer, Ph.D.
Licensed Consulting and Sport Psychologist
By now, all of you who are baseball fanatics have observed the unbelievable collapse of a wonderful baseball team during September, which culminated in their most frustrating moment, losing to Baltimore with one strike separating them from a win and at least a tie in the wild card race.
We all read with sadness how Tito Francona felt somewhat helpless trying to rally his players and eliminate the causes which he identified as contributing to their uncharacteristic collapse. If you look at any organization in the business world, what would you, as the CEO, do if your manager is impotent? This was the question facing the Red Sox brass, when Tito removed himself from the equation, citing that the club needed “a new voice.”
What to do to rectify the situation:
Here are my thoughts about putting this baseball organization back on top where they can get the most out of their remarkable talent base.
- First, management must identify the specific sources of disruption in the leadership and communications failures that plagued the Sox, particularly as the season wound down.
- Secondly, they need to carefully assess the personality traits of candidates for the manager’s job and match them to the needs of the players whom he must manage. This step is almost never addressed in athletic hiring decisions. Using the specialized tools of the Industrial/Organizational psychologist during this process will offer a new picture of the organizational culture and the best fit for a new manager.
- Third, each ball player needs to be assessed to determine what specific issues led to their personal failure to produce consistently. Sport Psychology techniques are perfectly suitable for making this determination and designing individualized remediation programs for each player, designed to prevent this from reoccurring next season.
In short, the Red Sox masterminds need to go outside the organization and bring in an expert, who can come on board and help them make the right selection, so our beloved Sox will go on to years of post-season glory!