“There’s No Crying in Baseball”

The #1 Thing You and Tom Hanks Don’t Know About Coaching


In the famous scene from “A League of Their Own”, Tom Hanks’ character Jimmy Dugan berates one of his players for making a throwing error. She begins to weep, and a classic movie line is born:

“There’s No Crying in Baseball”

Then Jimmy launches into an expletive laced tirade of examples proving his point. And based on the evidence, Jimmy Dugan was right. There is no crying in baseball.  But Jimmy lost the argument.  He lost influence. He lost credibility. And kicked of a spiral leading to his being tossed from the game.

Jimmy lost because being right isn’t enough.

It’s true the player (Evelyn) made an ill advised throw.

It’s true Evelyn’s error let runs score.

It’s true Evelyn’s error could lose the game for her team.

But Evelyn won’t remember the truth of any of those facts.  She’ll first remember how she FELT about her coach.

Gaining influence and collaboration in your relationships is rarely about what literally happens, it’s almost always about how the person FEELS about what happens. Feelings are real. Feelings are powerful. And if you ignore feelings, trouble is never too far away.

Find your method to hold team members accountable without trampling their feelings. Tom Hanks pulls it off later in the move.

You don’t have to be soft, just be smart.


  1. Amy Steenbock 5 years ago
    After reading what my coworkers have shared I agree with all of them. Spoken words can not be taken back. Think before speaking and ask yourself how you would like to be spoken to. Keep positive and there will be positive results.
  2. Sheila Mroczynski 5 years ago
    As soon as someone raises their voice, the person being yelled at stops listening to the words and focus on how they are feeling. Cooler heads prevail. Again, it goes to positive words and actions.
  3. Lisa Erdmann 5 years ago
    Feelings can get hurt very easily with words - and once said you can't take them back. Like the old saying "Think before you speak!"
  4. Aimee Holbrook 5 years ago
    Harsh words and actions will not solve a problem. If you calmly explain how something should have been done, and offer them friendly suggestions, that person will be more likely to want to help you again. If you lose control of your emotions it will put them on the defense and they will be less likely to want to assist you in the future.
  5. Brianna Finger 5 years ago
    I completely agree with Rhonda and love the quote she used. When you lose your temper and say things you shouldn't or wouldn't normally say to someone in any situation you are not only hurting your reputation and the way people may think of you and approach you in the future; you are also hurting who you are talking to and potentially ruining your relationship you have with them. I think it is important to get your feelings out, however it should be in a way that will help the problem and you have to have a good mindset and intentions to fix the problem before you address the problem.
  6. Sharon Malueg 5 years ago
    Totally agree with the statement fellings are real & powerful. It truly is all about how the person feels when something happens
  7. Gail Bartz 5 years ago
    I have found that even though I forgive someone who "screams at me", the relationship is just never the same - it becomes a "do what you have to together", but not a "want to do something with that person".
  8. Kay Tellock 5 years ago
    I am so glad Rhonda shared Mayo Angelou's quote. I heard that many years ago and it has stuck with me for years. We are all made up of feelings and how we are addressed and deal with a situation affects our feelings and those that we are addressing. It is never easy to deal with a problem or conflict. However, remembering that the words that are said now, have a much longer outcome and will affect the future of that relationship. Because it is in those moments that feelings come into play and that is what will be remembered not the words spoken. Like the post comments said Evelyn never learned a thing about what she did wrong, she only remembered how hurt she was. Taking time to remember that will help any conflict moment be better in the end.
  9. Dana Bessette 5 years ago
    Evelyn surprised Jimmy. He thought everyone should think like him. But in the banking business, we do cry. We cry when a favorite customer passes. We cry when the spouse has to change the accounts to not include their life long partners name. We cry when a person with a family loses their job due to illness and defaults on a loan. We cry because sometimes we have to do our job, as bankers. How does my comment pertain? Because some customers blame us because they overspend and then blame us...however, we still try not to be like Jimmy.
  10. Tiffany Krueger 5 years ago
    This lesson reminds me of a Bible verse that was used in a sermon very recently. James 1:19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. If Tom Hanks would have changed the order of which he handled the situation, the outcome would have been very different.
  11. Jessica Martens 5 years ago
    the Maya Angelou quote nailed it head on. you will always be remembered on how you made someone feel. when someone yells, screams and carries on in a negative way towards me, I tend to shut down and then I am done with that person. it takes a long time and a lot of forgiveness to get back what we had. you should always try to find the positive in every situation.
  12. Waupaca Tellers 5 years ago
    I agree with Rhonda. I have to remind myself of this. Try to find the positive in the situation and talk kindly about the issue. Jean waupaca
  13. Lauri Baranczyk 5 years ago
    I agree communication is a big key to being effective in any job. It is hard to feel good when someone is berating you and then communication shuts down and it is hard to build the relationship back up.
  14. Vicki Riska 5 years ago
    Lynae nailed it when she mentioned the word communication. Keeping a positve vibe in the office always makes for a better work environment. It does take teamwork to keep that positive vibe flowing through everyone. It is hard to keep emotions out of any difficult situation but everyone needs to keep trying.
  15. Rhonda Schertz 5 years ago
    "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." This is one of my most favorite quotes by Maya Angelou. It is so true, people will remember how you made them feel and how you connected with them even maybe without remembering their name. Don't let emotions come blurting out, take a breath, and proceed with caution and kindness.
  16. Melissia Mortensen 5 years ago
    I really like the lesson here and agree with Debbie and Char. It is hard sometimes to communicate effectively when something is going that is making you mad. I don't like holding things in but like I've learned in grade school it is always better to take time to cool off first then sit down and discuss the issues later.
  17. Tanya Zimmerman 5 years ago
    I agree with Char. It's how the communication skills are used to in each situation to improve the end result.
  18. Lynae Wudstrack 5 years ago
    I agree with Char. Communication is key. Discussing what happened and going thru the steps that would bring a better outcome is likely more effective than emotions running high and embarrassment in front of others.
  19. Jeff Wilke 5 years ago
    Trying to keep emotions out when addressing issues is difficult because emotions are part of our makeup. However, by taking emotions out of the equation, solutions come much easier because everyone is concentrating on the issue, not the emotion.
  20. Char Larsen 5 years ago
    Berating people is not effective. It affects their self worth and future job performance. It is best to discuss things and determine an approach that results in better communication and performance of all involved.
  21. Jackie Suehring 5 years ago
    I can not agree more with Debbie....
  22. Debbie Greenberg 5 years ago
    kill them with kindness. Positive words get positive actions

Comments are closed.