Whether you are coaching 8-year-old players or high school age, you will be a very influential role model that your players have throughout the season as well as in the off-season. Players are going to look to you not only for guidance and instruction, but they will be watching and listening to how you act in every situation……EVERY SITUATION! We believe that a coach can be one of the most impactful people in a young person’s life. Many players and former players attribute a portion of their success in life to the things they learned on the field from a great coach or coaches. We are not just talking about fielding ground balls, pitching mechanics, or how to hit; we're talking about; general knowledge, self-control, sacrifice, effort, integrity, modesty, teamwork, perseverance, work ethic, having a positive attitude, the will to compete, as well as understanding the process of improvement. We must strive to help them develop these virtues and skills that will not only help them on the baseball field but will aid them throughout their life.
FOCUS ON THE PROCESS NOT RESULTS When coaching your players you should teach them, as well as yourself, to focus on the process rather than the results. Can a player really control whether he gets a hit or if he catches the ball…..no, the player can only control three things; 1) His Attitude 2) His Effort and 3) His Preparation. It is a must that we develop a coaching style that fits this model as well as instill this thought into the minds of our players. If the players truly focus on the process of playing and not results, you will see a big difference in the way the players, as well as the team as a whole, develops and grows.
STAY POSITIVE….BUT DO NOT PATRONIZE Players need a patient, supportive coach that can teach and motivate in a positive way. Developing a coaching style that is positive as well as having the ability to communicate with your players is of great importance in becoming a successful baseball coach. A coach should NEVER belittle or personally degrade a player for any reason. This does not mean you can’t raise your voice, it just simply means that you should never, ever, personally attack a player verbally. We want to see all coaches stay positive, but a great coach knows when to discipline or correct his players. All too many times unsuccessful coaches in this society today fall into two categories; either they are negative and all they care about is winning, or they fall to the exact opposite end of the spectrum and they constantly cripple the players by enabling them as they patronize them or coddle them too much. The negative coaches damage the player as they are result oriented only and degrading to the psyche. On the flip side, the “Cotton Candy and Lollipop” coaches damage their players by telling the player that he is doing right when actually the player needs to learn or has more work to do in a certain area. The process of saying “it’s OK” when in fact it “is not OK” is the act of disabling youth by the process of enabling youth! SHOW THEM WE CARE As coaches we need to let our players know that we care. They need to know we care about them as an individual. They need to know that we care about them off the field as a young man and we also care about their development as a baseball player. We need to talk to each individual on a regular basis in a one on one chat just to see how they are doing in school, life, and what they think about their play on the field. We must strive to challenge them to be better young men as well as players and they need to know that the reason we challenge them is that we truly care about their development.
ORGANIZATION AND DISCIPLINE Players quickly pick up on a coach that is unorganized and doesn't communicate his expectations. If you don't establish the rules from the beginning and don't follow up with an appropriate recourse if the rules are broken, you will quickly lose control of your team. In the Fury program, we will either evaluate and/or help each coach develop the rules for their team. When it comes to organization of practice, the Fury Baseball - Coaches Playbook will have several different practice plans to follow in order to develop the appropriate skills in the players effectively.
ATTITUDE AND SPORTSMANSHIP The attitude that we want our players to display is an even keel emotional state. In other words, do not get too high or too low. Keep in mind that players need to have personality and play with emotion. We want to display an even demeanor as coaches as much as we teach our players to do so. As a good coach, you should give the players the message of not getting too high when things go well as well as not get too low when things go badly. If you have been around this game long enough you know that the game has ebb and flow, meaning that momentum is not a controlled object but rather it is a wave-like energy. The problem a team or player runs into is when the wave is at the lowest or highest they fall off the “surfboard”. How to control this emotional “wave” is to go back to the basics and really focus on the coaching point of controlling the effort, attitude, and concentrating on the process of playing and not the results! The idea of sportsmanship today is at times lost with many youth players. The truth is, sportsmanship is not a genetic trait, rather sportsmanship must be taught. If our players watch certain athletes on TV then their idea of sportsmanship may be to trash talk, taunt their opponents, or mimic some other visual statement that demonstrates their superiority. As their coach, it is vitally important that you teach the value of sportsmanship. We demand that our teams show joy when they make an exciting play, but not at the expense of the player on the opposing team at any time. Please be a positive influence on your kids and community.
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