When you coach youth baseball…Please follow these simple unwritten rules. It will make a HUGE difference… Guaranteed.
*Dress the part – Wear a baseball hat (Always) – No blue jeans or dress pants and dress shirts – Look sporty – Wear sweatpants or shorts and a t-shirt…And please wear sneakers or turf shoes
*Do not ever swear or talk inappropriately around your team
*Never chew tobacco or smoke anything around your team
*Practice fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals, and more fundamentals…At this age, that might be the only thing that you even accomplish – But if you do this, you have certainly done your job as a coach, before handing them off to their next coach – You cannot expect to take 3 rounds of BP, run a complete round of infield, or teach the hit and run to perfection – Remember…They are kids
*Do yourself a favor – Go to a coaching clinic where there are speakers who know what they are talking about – Talk the talk – If you want the kids to learn from you, then you need to learn from someone as well – The game changes quickly, and on a near daily basis – Keep up with it – This game os no longer your grandfather’s baseball game
*Make sure that you help the players pick out the correct equipment, and also equipment that is the right size for them – Safety is A#1 for kids this age – Not winning World Championships
*Actually do something different and unique – Practice during the season – I know that sounds self-explanatory, but some coaches feel that when the season starts, the practice time is over – That should actually be when the practices become tougher and more focused – That is when you find out what your team actually needs to work on
*Be positive and energetic at all times – Even when all is not going great – They are kids – Make corrections by all means, but do them in a nice, positive way – Yelling at kids this age will cause some of them to fold up the tent, go home, and never return to the game of baseball
*The kids are certainly not trying to fail, so don’t give them the impression that you think they are trying to do just that – You will fail too
*Develop the kids, develop the kids, develop the kids, and develop the kids – Do not make it about more than that, or you will all end up unhappy and feeling like failures
*Do not set a bad example by yelling and arguing with the umpires – Everyone looks at the coach as the table setter and as the example that everyone else is supposed to follow – Do not be a horse’s pa toot eee or a sore loser
*Teach sportsmanship and respect for the game, and all involved in and around it – Don’t forget the concession stand moms/dads
*You are not a player anymore, so don’t act like one – You’re the old guy now
*Have a lot of fun, but keep it in perspective, and teach your players when the time is right for fun
*Finally – Respect, respect, respect…The players, yourself, the umps, the fans…Everyone involved!
Have a great season Coaches! This picture just about sums all of this up!
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