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So You're The New Coach

So You're The New Coach

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Published by Coach JP
Baseballtips.com presents an article teaching new coaches rules, guidelines and solutions to help them make it through the season and have fun doing it.
Baseballtips.com presents an article teaching new coaches rules, guidelines and solutions to help them make it through the season and have fun doing it.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Coach JP on Aug 01, 2008
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05/09/2014

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So you're the new coach. Ok, now what?Coaching a team sure seemed like a good idea, maybe even easy.until you startedthinking and getting 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?SOLUTIONS: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 articleslike this are sure signs you are at the very least trying, instead of sitting onyour hands, ducking your head and relying on your Little League experiences fromlong 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 articlethat I strongly urge you to read. It is about how to organize your team andyourself and is titled, "Plan To Succeed."Please finish this article before you jump there (I'll include the link at the endof this article).Rule #3 - You will have fun!Look, the more fun you have, the more fun your kids will have.and yes, theopposite is true.Personally, I think that some of the best things about youth baseball are theadults! I also think they are some of the worst things about youth baseball. Imean this because as we get older.we tend to forget how to have fun and playgames. Life just does that to us. Here we are trying to solve problems on abaseball field like we do at work.UGH!We get tight, our kids play tight. We say ugly things in the dugout.well, you getthe 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 dayseach 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,Gordie Gillespie, the winningest coach in college baseball history! He isabsolutely 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 entertainmentand 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 assureyou that embracing an entire team of kids can really give you an idea of how good
 
a coach and person you might be or can be!Personally, I can tell you that the early influences of my youth coaches areindelibly stamped on me.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 yearolds who travel the country vying for the many "World Series" out there (how manyworlds are there anyway).Those teams and families have adopted a lifestyle. It's a language spoken at thedinner 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 leagueand your team.Rule #6 - You will be the boredom police.Looking for a great way to turn a perfectly good baseball player into a soccerplayer? (God forbid). BORE HIM!A young boy begins his day by opening his eyes with a first thought of."HEY,WHAT'S FUN TODAY!"And we dare to bore them? Remember my comment on how we tend to want to solveproblems in 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 haveall the answers.yada, yada!Personally, I have never had a coach come up to me after a game and ask meanything 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 30YEARS AGO). We watch Pro Baseball on TV.UGH. What a bad idea to try and teach agroup of kids to play the same way the greatest players in the game do.So, we don't ask.and that cheats our kids.SOLUTIONS:Aside from reaching for information such as reading articles such as this andfinding videos, books, etc (did you check out our video and book library?).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 theend of the season.Make note of the dad(s), hopefully plural, who hang around the fence duringpractices. Many really want you to ask for their help. They don't want to horn inso it's up to you to ask because they 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 andlining the field before games.Yet others really want to be on the field hitting fungoes or infield.The bottom line is that I believe that adults play better when they worktogether.and as a byproduct, you will all be richer for actually developingrelationships with your new-found friends.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 actionand decisions of management (you) are final. There are no politics, just honestdecisions made by you.the coach!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, justfrequent.2. Subscribe all your player's parents (and maybe players, if they are a bitolder) to our Baseball Tips Newsletter. It is a quick read 2 times each month. Wedo not rent or sell their names and just want to supply our 14,680 (at last count)baseball families with some added knowledge and fun.Of course, they can delete us easily if they so choose. (You can add themindividually. The sign-up box is just below our logo on the www.baseballtips.comhome page).Rule #8 -Good Teams Practice Well!Every league is different. Some restrict practice times. Others have limitedfields. Some coaches have limited time as well. HAVE A PLAN!Plan tomorrow's practice today. Plan next week, this week.Planning is the operative word. I don't think that any drill should take longerthan 20 minutes! (OK, excluding BP - more on that later).TIME ANYTHING & EVERYTHING!If you will keep a watch, you can get their blood flowing even more. More as in,"OK guys, 10 more minutes, let's do it right. Pick up the pace.Ok, 5 moreminutes.Keep it going".you get the idea.And it becomes more fun!The blood is pumping, the kids are focusing. Just be sure to tailor it to yourplayer's age and skill level.SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW!Teach something new each practice.As importantly, review and drill a particular skill taught in a previous practiceusing one of your 20 minute segments.Quality repetitions are vital and incredibly important!Too many coaches teach a skill and then next season, they teach it again; once ayear.need it or not! If you think about how counter-productive this is, you willnever do it.or do it again.

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