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How to Coach Youth Baseball:
Measuring Success

Shortstop Belanger covering second base on Rose stealing the base

The Question: How to coach youth baseball? Absolutely covers a lot of ground.

Using the ultimate goal of what is best for the players makes the answer much more easy to find.

What approach do coaches and parents take in order to make youth baseball the best for the players?

Players from professional baseball all the way down to tee-ball want to have an enjoyable experience playing baseball.


What is Best for the Players?
What Do Players Want to Get Out of Playing Baseball?

When preparing to coach and asking the question How to coach youth baseball keep in mind the players perspective on playing youth baseball.

Why do kids play baseball? What are they really looking for? What do the kids want out of the baseball playing experience? 

  • Are youth baseball players looking to be with friends and make some new friends?
  • Are youth baseball players seeking to a part of a team? A member of a group that sticks up for their teammates?
  • Do youth league baseball players want to be able to play the game well? Have some success playing the game?
  •  How much importance do players put on improving their skills?
  • Do youth ball players want to recognized for accomplishments on the field?
  • How important is it that baseball practice fosters a learning environment with opportunities to enjoy playing and building a love for the game?
  • Does the young baseball player want to be reprimanded for every single little mistake or boo-boo?

The Importance of Winning Ballgames

A study was done recently where youth baseball players were asked in a survey to rank the reasons that they feel leads them to play baseball.

Out of 20 items on the list do you know where winning finished? 

You can find out more on where winning ranks in the minds of kids and where winning fits into the player development system in youth baseball here.


Winning Is Not Always Pretty
How Many Are Signing Up Next Year?

Have you ever observed a baseball team that won every game, beat up everyone they played but the kids and parents were miserable? From the outside the amount of wins appears to show someone who knows how to coach youth baseball.

Yes, we have coaches in youth baseball that have trophy shelves full of 1st place finishes. They won the t-ball league, moved up and won the 9-10 year old pennant. And on and on. But, they may have failed to follow what is best for the players.

Just because a youth baseball team wins a bunch of games that is no guarantee that player development was taking place. In fact, players could be pretty miserable with the wrong kind of coaching approach.

Often a team that goes 9-7, 8-8 or 7-9 might have had a better overall experience than the team that went 16-0. If the baseball coaches and instructors do a really good job, that 8-8 team might have just about every player wanting to sign up again next year.

While the 16-0 team, although winning lots of games, might have been miserable and lacking the growth, player development and satisfaction that players and parents really want out of youth baseball.


Is it the Kids Who Want to Win the Pennant or the Coaches? Parents?

Who really wants to win the pennant? The coaches and parents or the baseball players?

  • Do baseball players have as their number one goal in youth baseball to win?
  • Where does winning fit in the list of goals of baseball adult parents and coaches? 
  • If youth baseball was like sandlot ball would the adults still feel that winning was really, really important?
  • Do youth baseball coaches an parents measure their player's merits and accolades depending on winning and losing ballgames. 
  • Should youth baseball mimic professional and college baseball and put winning at the top of the list? 

To find answers to this discussion I welcome you to go deeper into the topics here. 


Measuring Success on Something Besides Wins
How to Coach Youth Baseball


My player development model has a place for winning. My model has plenty of room for additional components too. 

To get more up to speed on my player development system and how to coach youth baseball please look into it here.

No matter how many wins your ball team ends up with at the end of the season there is one thing you would like to hear.

How many of the players on the team will say, “Wow, that was an awesome season. I cannot wait till we start again and sign up for next year.” The true measurement of success!

Return to Baseball Coach Tips from How to Coach Youth Baseball

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