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Remember the time your parents asked you to put your phone away at the dinner table? Because it was “family time?”Well, similar cries have reached the professional sports scene, writes SI’s Adrian Dater.
Dater’s conversations with coaches, general managers and veterans reached the same conclusion: modern technology is negatively affecting team chemistry.
We’ve all seen it: athletes stepping off the bus wearing Beats by Dre headphones. Players engrossed in their iPhones and iPads in the locker room.
“When you get on the bus now to go to a game, everybody’s got their headphones on, or staring at their phones instead of sitting there talking,” former NHL defenseman Rob Blake told Dater. “But now where I’ve seen [a difference] most is in the dressing rooms. You always had a team stereo, and you always had one guy put the music on and you always had a team song. Now, guys have their own headphones. You don’t even really need a team stereo anymore, because they’re all listening to their own music.”
According to Colorado Rockies manager Jim Tracy: “It’s very, very difficult to keep secrets in this game now. Believe me when I tell you.”
Rockies teammates Jason Giambi and Todd Helton, fellow “old-timers,” have instituted unofficial clubhouse rules for specific “no-technology” periods.
Any substantial changes will be difficult to implement, as technology has its advantages.
Eliminating on-demand scouting videos, statistics and information would be a tough sell.
Until a happy medium is reached, coaches like Jim Haslett are resigned to yelling at players like Albert Haynesworth to put down the phone.