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My best baseball coaching methods have come down to my player expectation chart. I have designed an organization chart that I use for my ballclubs.
I can quickly and easily go over my main coaching approach points with the ball players and baseball parents. My coaching strategies are shared with assistant coaches and my entire coaching staff.
Everyone involved, parents, players and coaches know where I am coming from. I originally wrote it for my high school baseball teams. It can easily be adapted and used for all ages of amateur baseball.
I have the baseball player expectation chart down to six topics. Many of these baseball topics deal with my coaching philosophy and some deal with baseball team procedures. Some of the best baseball coaching styles deal with these topics.
· I start off with character
· Attendance and participation.
· Drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
· Sportsmanship benchmarks.
· Team baseball practice procedures
I tell my ballplayers that they have to try to have the ‘whole’ package to be successful. I talk about kids that have character ‘flaws’ off the field and how those ‘flaws’ will show up on the baseball field.
In other words if you are a slacker or a goof off in the school classroom then at some point those same behaviors will surface on the ball field. If you are a selfish, arrogant and overly cocky type person off the field then it is likely that those same characteristics will surface on the baseball diamond.
The personal flaw’s that show up on the field usually expose themselves in a key crucial clutch situation moments in big games, too. I want my players to be well rounded on and off the field.
Try to be a good, solid, trustful, dedicated person of high character and moral virtue off the field and you will often be the kind of ball player that will hold up in tough times during the baseball season.
When the game is on the line, who do want in a clutch situation; the dependable high character player or the player with several ‘flaws’ off the field? I will go with the solid character guy any time even with average or below average baseball ability.
Of the best baseball coaching skills these are the most important areas to take on.
Baseball is going to end for everyone at some point. In the long run 99.9% of baseball players will make a living in something besides professional baseball. Even the pros have a pretty short baseball career.
Players will need to have a plan B and a plan C. Start moving toward another career path early on. Gain as much knowledge as possible. Knowledge is power. Be a good student.
Study. Apply yourself in the classroom. Take the toughest most challenging classes possible. If a high school baseball player has the desire and the abilities to play college baseball then you need good grades.
The first thing a college baseball coach is going to do when recruiting a baseball player is to look at the player’s transcripts. If the player’s grades are really good then the college coach will put much more energy into going after the player.
Why? Because the coach knows that the player will be able to get into his college and likely be eligible for academic scholarships. A player with bad grades on the transcripts will greatly diminish the interest level by a college coach.
College baseball recruiters will not want to waste or invest much time in a player with little or no chance of getting into his college and likely will not qualify for any academic scholarships.
Best baseball coaching makes the best use of time and invests their time wisely in dependable ball players with a good tract record.
The best baseball coaching strategies will advise coaches to address policies and procedures dealing with attendance and participation. Top coaches go over their policies with baseball parents at the pre-season parent-coaches meeting.
Baseball parents and ball players will need to know what are your policies for being late, being absent for games and practices. You will lose your coaching credibility if you do not stay pretty consistent in your policies and procedures in this area. I am going to apply my policies here for a high school baseball team.
You can adapt these best baseball coaching tips it to the level you coach with.
· Missing practice: Missing practice usually comes with a price to pay which is going to be less playing time. It is just not fair to miss a practice and not give up some of your playing time to a person who was at practice.
Missing practice for a school related scheduled event is usually largely excused. For example: If a player is in the school choir or has a lamb in the county fair and misses practice then the player is largely excused. They may not start or play the entire game but sitting out can be minimal if any. For just about anything else the player will likely not be in the staring line-up up to missing an entire game.
I had a starting centerfielder once who went with his dad to the Pebble Beach Golf Tournament for a day, which is a real treat to get to watch. I told the player he would have to sit out a game during the season, which he did.
I had another starter go to a college football recruiting combine in Las Vegas for a day—same thing, he had to sit out a game. Now I do believe family comes first and players can go off and attend family functions, but I also believe that if you miss practice or games you will have to sit out for a time, too.
If a player is sick or has doctor’s appointment they still have to sit out a bit the next game even though these are common incidents that cannot be avoided. I just think you need to be consistent and have a policy of sitting out some innings if you miss practice or games.
Will you miss having your best players in the line-up at times? Yes.
Will you gain enormous credibility with all the players and parents by establishing a sitting out for a time policy when not in attendance. You bet you will.
Players are going to miss practice and most of the time it cannot be helped. But there should always be consequences for missing practice. That increases your practice attendance and lets everyone know that your baseball practices are important.
If a player or baseball parent chooses to miss a practice then the reason should be very important to them. There is nothing worse than your clean up hitter missing a practice and showing up next game in the starting line-up batting fourth again. You lose way more than a chance to win a game by not holding up your policies consistently for every player.
· Always call or text: Players should always call or talk to the coach directly to let them know they are running late or will miss practice/games—do not send word with someone else.
· Let the baseball coaches know ahead of time if you have upcoming conflicts and will not be at a game or practice.
Best baseball coaching tip is to put some thought into your attendance policies and procedures. It will come up so you better be ready to address it.
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