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To coach baseball well I have found it is worth taking some time to analize yourself, your motive and beliefs.
Not only should we check ourselves right now--we should have an ongoing evaluation process. Tweak it as we go. Polish it when you see a better way or approach. Continue to sharpen the saw.
Since your style will likely change and adapt as time goes by you can always add and subtract different important aspects.
Here are some important features and baseball topics to consider when you try to formulate your philosophy and outlook together as you make up your most important priories in coaching baseball.
I have seen various models on how you decide what is more important and what is lower in priorities according to the age group level of the ball players.
One of the priority models is the 30%-30%-30%-10% system. You would have a fixed amount of emphasis on particular areas of emphasis.
You have to decide the importance and priorities that answer the question, "Why Do I Coach Baseball?"
To see how the 30% - 30% - 30% -10% format works you can see all the details indepth at the player development systems here.
What ever priority numbers you want your percentages to shake out at is up to you. To be able to coach baseball effectively it is important to have a plan going in and part of the plan is figure out what is important and what is not as important.
Unfortunately all too often we see most adults and volunteers sign up to coach baseball with about 80% priority on something that is not in the best interests of young baseball players.
Until we reach high school I have a very strong system that is in the best interests of baseball players (not the adults).
To coach baseball without training is really tough. It is estimated only 1 in 5 youth baseball coaches receive any training to do the job. Most volunteer baseball coaches really want to do well and have the best interests of kids in baseball.
Unfortunately very few have the proper knowledge to teach the correct fundamentals. Rarely can a youth ball coach really help a kid throw better because they just do not have the subject knowledge to do so.
Or youth coaches resort to use the “snow angel” or the “scarecrow” throwing technique which came from somewhere far away from professional baseball teachings.
Furthermore most who coach the game of baseball really have very little idea how to help hitters. Since coaches lack any formal training in teaching hitting they often resort to what they think they are supposed to teach which is mostly wrong information. More harm is done than good.
I believe poor baseball coaching especially in hitting drives many young players out the game much sooner than they should. Why? Because most who coach baseball have no idea of the correct mindset needed to be a good hitter.
As a consequence, often we see over-coaching or the wrong advice given to hitters. Hitters get frustrated and end up leaving baseball all together from the lack of success.
To build your coaching approach with youth baseball player's best interests in mind see my player development system at work.
The sad reality is that the volunteer dad coaches wish they could help the kids get better but in real world they just do not know how to do it. Coaches have never been trained.
They are truck drivers, bankers, store managers, phone company linesmen, salesmen—not professional baseball coaches. Trying to teach correct throwing mechanics, proper base running strategies and hitting techniques are a real stretch. Mostly it is not going to happen.
When the ball players get into the 11 & 12 year old level and getting ready for the BIG JUMP into the 13 & 14 year old stage and have poor baseball skills it is getting close to GAME-OVER.
Baseball players who lack the proper skills to throw and hit at the longer distances might struggle so bad that they drop out of the game. Unless we just let the ‘natural’ athletes just figure it out their own the rest of the kids are likely out of luck.
My unique player development system helps baseball coaches understand and implement a coaching approach for youth baseball players.
Some would say it is no fun unless you win. I would say no question winning does give us more of a gratifying feeling. It is a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction no doubt.
The will to win is part of who we are. Instilling a desire to win in your ballplayers is a good quality. Playing competitive baseball where winning and losing matters needs to be part of any baseball development system.
I have nothing against winning and the pleasures that come with it. What I am trying to say is if you are here to coach baseball and all you care about is winning you are missing the ‘big picture’. Though winning might bring temporary short-term satisfaction it is a small part of the overall experience the game provides.
Where I draw the line in winning is below high school baseball levels. Age 15 and under you need a different approach to game outcomes. Game outcomes are important to the extent that it is an immediate measuring stick to taking the test.
Players have to know the importance of being competitive. The big difference is that the coaches are not going to tip their cards. Baseball coaches are looking for some far bigger, more important factors than just who won the game. The baseball players do not need to know this though.
To coach baseball to your fullest responsibilities you always look to teach more than the game. Most volunteer youth baseball coaches and parents shy away from opportunities to teach life skills.
Why? It's hard. It is hard to be a good parent. It is hard to be a good coach. You may not be liked and popular all the time. You are not the players friend.
The easy way to go is to ignore the opportunities that provide the potential for the greatest lessons. Staying away from tough situations and avoiding stepping in to correct behaviors that need corrected is the easy way out.
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