The Matheny Manifesto

Here are some insights and highlights from St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny's new book, The Matheny Manifesto: A Young Manager’s Old-School Views on Success in Sports and Life.

Posted in , Apr 20, 2015

Mike Matheny in the Cardinals dugout

"I’ve always said I would coach only a team of orphans,” Mike said in his now famous manifesto, “because the biggest problem in youth sports today is the parents.” These words lit up the Twitterverse and led to a book. A sample of Mike’s wisdom:

Parents, step back. Baseball should be all about the kids. “It’s hard not to coach from the stands and yell things,” he wrote, “but trust me: Coaching and yelling works against their development and enjoyment.” Clapping is enough.

But be involved at home. Play catch, practice batting, hit ground balls in the backyard, like Mike’s dad did. Then entrust your kid to the coaches when you bring them to a game or practice. Get them there on time with their shirts tucked in and hats on straight— and no pants drooping to their knees.

Develop responsibility. Don’t stand behind the dugout asking your kid if he’s hungry or thirsty. Don’t run back and forth to the concession stand. Let your Little Leaguer take responsibility for his or her own water and snacks.

Every player hustles. “There is never an excuse for lack of hustle on a baseball field,” Mike wrote. “Players who don’t hustle and run out balls will not play.” No matter their level of talent, everyone can hustle.

Let them learn the inner game. Attitude, concentration and effort are three things that kids can control on and off the field, even sitting on the bench. “If they give me those three things every time they show up, they will have a great experience,” Mike wrote. Not just Little Leaguers either. “My wife was a college field hockey player and my daughter is a college ice hockey player. The Manifesto works for them too.”

Read Mike's Guideposts story!


Cover of The Matheny Manifesto​Mike Matheny is the manager of the St. Louis Cardinals and author of The Matheny Manifesto: A Young Manager's Old-School Views on Success in Sports and Life (2015, Crown Archetype).




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