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So You're the New Baseball Coach

So You're the New Baseball Coach

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Published by Coach JP
So you're the new coach. Ok, now what?
Coaching a team sure seemed like a good idea, maybe even easy until you started thinking and getting into it deeper. All those players, parents, the draft, practices and those game decisions, ugh.
So you're the new coach. Ok, now what?
Coaching a team sure seemed like a good idea, maybe even easy until you started thinking and getting into it deeper. All those players, parents, the draft, practices and those game decisions, ugh.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Coach JP on Jan 13, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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So You're The New Baseball Coach
By Coach John Peter So you're the new coach. Ok, now what?Coaching a team sure seemed like a good idea, maybe even easy until you started thinking andgetting into it deeper. All those players, parents, the draft, practices and those game decisions,ugh.Maybe coaching 3rd base might not be so easy...What were you thinking?
Rule #1 - Relax, It will work out!
You'll probably even turn out to be good at it.How do I know? Why would I think this?Well, first you are searching for information. Websites like ours with articles like this are suresigns you are at the very least trying, instead of sitting on your hands, ducking your head andrelying on your Little League experiences from long ago. And because of.
Rule #2 - You will be organized.
And yes, you will have the time to do it. As a matter of fact, there is an article that I strongly urgeyou to read. It is about how to organize your team and yourself and is titled, "Plan To Succeed."Please finish this article before you jump there (I'll include the link at the end of this article).
Rule #3 - You will have fun!
Look, the more fun you have, the more fun your kids will have and yes, the opposite is true.Personally, I think that some of the best things about youth baseball are the adults! I also think they are some of the worst things about youth baseball. I mean this because as we get older wetend to forget how to have fun and play games. Life just does that to us. Here we are trying tosolve problems on a baseball field like we do at work.UGH!We get tight, our kids play tight. We say ugly things in the dugout well, you get the picture.Let's move on (This lesson either hits the mark or it doesn't).One final thought (from someone who is privileged to be in baseball for 350 days each year).IT'S JUST BASEBALL! BASEBALL IS JUST A GAME!(It just happens to be the best game ever!)
Rule #4 - You are here for every player!
If you are in this game for any reason other than those kids. every one of them.GET OUT NOW! (This was paraphrased and stolen from a speech given by a friend, GordieGillespie, the winningest coach in college baseball history! He is absolutely correct!)
You will get more joy with that attitude than you can imagine!Every player who doesn't share your last name is not here for the entertainment and support of you and your son! (You have probably seen it happen).Coaching your own child is a trick indeed.I hope you will truly enjoy it (though it can test your mettle). But, I can assure you thatembracing an entire team of kids can really give you an idea of how good a coach and personyou might be or can be!Personally, I can tell you that the early influences of my youth coaches are indelibly stamped onme. That's how important you are.
Rule #5 - Winning is important. It is just not everything.
I determined something many years ago.Take this for what it's worth.Few 10 year olds have a grasp of the concept of winning!Half of the 11 year olds have a grasp of the concept of winning!Almost all 12 year olds have a grasp of the concept of winning!Every? All? No. I guess I wouldn't include all players on some hot team of 9 year olds who travelthe country vying for the many "World Series" out there (how many worlds are there anyway).Those teams and families have adopted a lifestyle. It's a language spoken at the dinner table.They are probably more the exception than the rule anyway.You simply need to have a strong grasp of the competitive nature of your league and your team.
Rule #6 - You will be the boredom police.
Looking for a great way to turn a perfectly good baseball player into a soccer player? (Godforbid). BORE HIM!A young boy begins his day by opening his eyes with a first thought of."HEY, WHAT'S FUNTODAY!"And we dare to bore them? Remember my comment on how we tend to want to solve problemsin baseball as we do in the office?They are kids. It's a game and games are fun.It's fun OR THEY FIND A GAME THAT IS MORE FUN!
Rule #7 - Ask for help from other parents.
Women are right. Men do not ask for directions. We need to be rock steady and have all theanswers. yada, yada!Personally, I have never had a coach come up to me after a game and ask me anything on how or why I played a situation the way I did! I MEAN NEVER!WHY? Because this is baseball and we are guys. We played Little League (20 TO 30 YEARSAGO). We watch Pro Baseball on TV.UGH. What a bad idea to try and teach a group of kids to
 play the same way the greatest players in the game do.So, we don't ask. that cheats our kids.SOLUTIONS:Aside from reaching for information such as reading articles such as this and finding videos, books, etc.Why not incorporate and embrace some of the parents.Have a parents-only meeting for 10 minutes after one of your very first practices.Let them know who you are and how you envision the season (in general).A team mom is worth her weight in the dozen roses you had better buy her at the end of theseason.Make note of the dad(s), hopefully plural, who hang around the fence during practices. Manyreally want you to ask for their help. They don't want to horn in so it's up to you to ask becausethey may not!Some parents are better served as your scorebook keeper instead of your BP (batting practice) pitcher.Another may be most comfortable helping you set up the dugout and raking and lining the field before games.Yet others really want to be on the field hitting fungos or infield.The bottom line is that I believe that adults play better when they work together and as a byproduct, you will all be richer for actually developing relationships with your new-foundfriends.WARNING: There is one rule I highly recommend.You are the coach, they are the team's parents.One guy has the final say so. You, the coach!This is a no lobbying area, disputes are handled away from the kids and the action and decisionsof management (you) are final. There are no politics, just honest decisions made by you thecoach! Note: Baseball is the greatest game in the world to second-guess!One Last Important Suggestion Regarding Communication:Get all of your parent's email addresses and use them for two things:1.Communicate - Communicate - Communicate. Not necessarily lengthy, just frequent.
Rule #8 -Good Teams Practice Well!
Every league is different. Some restrict practice times. Others have limited fields. Some coacheshave limited time as well. HAVE A PLAN!

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