The ability of a baseball player to reach his maximum potential is dependent not only on his determination but also to the baseball coaching he receives. This is true in all sports, but to a greater extent, in the all American sport of baseball. Baseball players are dependent on the nurturing they receive from their coaches and these baseball coaches play the role of surrogate parents, also. A lot of baseball superstars and successful players look up to their coaches with gratitude, knowing that they could not have reached where they are if not for the encouragement and good example of their coaches.
The different responsibilities of a baseball coach
In baseball, there are other coaches aside from the head coach or the manager. These coaches assist the manager in the area they are assigned to ensure the team functions smoothly.
1. Head coach (manager)
The head coach is in-charged of the line up of players and its substitution during the game. Aside from that, the manager is also in charge of the overall health of the team. The manager has assistant coaches who assist him in running the team.
2. The bench coach
The bench coach, although a relatively new position in baseball, is the manager’s second in command. He assists the manager in his decisions in running the team by giving ideas and situational advice. If for some reason the manager can’t be present, it is the bench coach that takes over his role to cover for him. If the manager gets fired or resigns from his position, the bench coach usually gets promoted to the vacated role.
3. The pitching and bullpen coach
The pitching coach is in charged of training and mentoring the team pitchers. He updates the manager about the condition of their arms, he serves as the in-game coach and discusses pitching strategy, signs and steals techniques in relation to the batters that bat against his pitchers in the game. Pitching coaches were usually pitchers during their playing days and thus they know their stuff.
The bullpen coach on the other hand is in-charged of the relief pitchers in the bullpen. He stays in the bullpen during games and does not make mound visits because he coaches the pitchers who are about to enter the game. Bullpen coaches were either pitchers or catchers during their playing days.
4. The different offensive coaches — hitting and base coaches
The offensive coaches are the hitting and base coaches. The hitting coach trains hitters with the purpose of improving their batting techniques and forms. He monitors their swings during batting practice, at clinics and during the entire playing seasons, making suggestions for improvements. With the current improvement in multimedia technology, hitting coaches have increasingly become dependent on videos, instruction software and other tools to help them see areas in which a player needs to improve. A video of the player’s actions allows hitting coaches to see the areas that needs improvement, as he can replay at-bats to his satisfaction.
When the team is at bat, two coaches are stationed near the first and third bases and they are appropriately called base coaches. Their primary role is to assist base runners in avoiding pick-offs. Base coaches also relay signals that the manager is sending to the batters and runners.
There are other added responsibilities of a baseball coach. The bench coach, first base coach and third base coach assist players in the area of defense. All these things make baseball coaching an interesting career.
The various facets of baseball coaching jobs
First of all, in order to become a baseball coach you have to be a leader. You must have the ability to make people accomplish goals even when they are not inclined to do it. This means that you must be a motivator, one who can command respect and encourage other members of the team. Although knowledge of playing skills is very important for a baseball coach as they are expected to know the game, leadership skills are indispensable. Here are the various facets of baseball coaching job:
1. The basics
It is the job of the coach to institute a philosophy and strategy of the game. This means that he must have a certain world view of the game and can and must communicate this world view to his players. Of course, it is the job of the coach to teach players the basics of the game like hitting and fielding. Added to that, the coach must decide the line up of players, pitching rotation, batting order and who plays the various positions. The thing that a baseball coach needs to be very careful of is when to chew-out an umpire for a perceived wrong call.
2. The skills of a baseball coach
A coach must be a communicator. He must be able to explain why a pitcher is called off the mound or why a player is being benched. A good baseball coach must know how to motivate and to delegate tasks to players on the team who are better suited for it. Above all things, a baseball coach must know how to solve problems and how to work around them if a head-on solutions is not viable.
3. The background of a baseball coach
Almost all baseball coaches are former baseball players because they are expected to know the game inside and out. The requirement can vary at all levels but high school and college coaches must be a graduate with a bachelor’s degree. Most of the Major League coaches were former major league players or started as coaches in American Legion or little league and work their way up. The best way to land a major coaching gig is to network with other coaches and prove your worth and there is no better way to do that than to present a portfolio of wins.
4. The prospect of a baseball coaching jobs
There is always prospects for getting a baseball coaching jobs because there will always be little league, high school, junior baseball, college, and Minor League baseball teams providing openings for coaches. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said that jobs in sports are increasing by 23% each year and this is corroborated by the fact that there are a lot of work opportunities that pop up each year. That being said, baseball coaches are likely to share a positive view of their career.
5. The usual earnings of a baseball coach
It is difficult to give a range of salary for baseball coaches. Many are volunteers and it all depends on the level in which you are coaching whether there is pay or not. Roughly though, college coaches can earn as much as $100,000 per year and Major League managers can earn 1 million dollars every season, with the other coaches making about one tenth of that amount.
Some simple baseball coaching tips–how to become a better coach
Perhaps the most rewarding job on the planet is to become a baseball coach. Nothing can be as rewarding as seeing young men become better players. As a baseball coach, you will always be learning new things and that in itself is rewarding.
As a coach, you should always be open to new things. It is not a bad idea to learn from other coaches, even if you have your own way of approaching problems. There are many things to learns and picking ideas here and there might just be what is needed to improve as a coach.
Good coaches always listen to their teams. Coaches, who think that they know everything there is to know about the game, often miss the input of their players, who are actually playing the game, and this becomes a problem. Good coaches learn to take compliments, as well as criticism and learn from both.
Coaches should not be afraid to make mistakes. Many are afraid to make mistakes but having that feeling hurts their chances of being a good coach. People understand that coaches are only humans and are bound to make mistakes, as long as they. The most important thing is that they learn from it. When they don’t learn from their mistakes, there is a big chance they will make it again, courting the possibility of being fired.
Four most important concepts in coaching youth baseball
A lot of coaches make the mistake of thinking that it’s all about winning the game. Well, it’s about winning the game but it’s not only about that. A lot of players give up playing because they are pushed by coaches who only have winning on their minds. Following are four very important concepts in coaching youth baseball:
1. As the coach, you have to make sure that all the kids, regardless of how proficient they are in the game, have fun. This is difficult to accomplish at times because there are players that are hard to please. It’s also common for players to give up because the game is no longer fun to play. Along those lines, most coaches only give attention to good players, leaving out the bad ones. Coaches should not allow this to happen because it is the job of the coach to give equal attention to all players, regardless of levels of proficiency.
2. Help players understand that what they have learned in the field is very much applicable in real life. Finding a connection between life and game is a very exciting experience for players because it helps them believe they are learning real life lessons. This is true because virtues like perseverance, goal setting and integrity in the game are the same virtues that are needed for a successful life.
3. Accountability is important to teach as there are consequences in every bad decision made in life. Teaching that in a team environment is very valuable. For example, punishing the best player when they make a mistake is a good lesson for all. Favorites should not be played on the team because that the best recipe for failure.
4. The role of the coach is to guide the team and not play the game for them. It is the coach’s duty to communicate to players why certain decisions are made and that is the best strategy for the team to win the game. An open line of communications between coaches and players will definitely make a difference in your team.
College baseball coaching jobs–how to become college baseball coach
Most of the modern baseball superstars like Calvin Edwin “Cal” Ripken, Jr., Steve Smith and John Axford from the University of Notre Dame come from college baseball . Although college baseball does not gather as much fans as the Major Leagues, it has a national following and a national championship. This rich tradition has sent a lot of players to the Major Leagues and to be a coach in college baseball is equally challenging. Here are some tips on how to become a college baseball coach:
1. Learn as much as you can about baseball and coaching. Read books and anything you can get your hands on. College baseball coaching positions require a bachelor’s degree, so getting training at a solid baseball program is helpful. Another way to learn is to watch the game and learn the different coaching methods. Since college baseball, such as the NCAA Division I is seldom shown on TV, it means going to college game venues is necessary.
2. Network with other baseball coaches while getting some experience coaching. Starting with coaching youth baseball or high school is also good. Most colleges prefer their coaches to have some advanced experience to back them up. In order to broaden their experience, they should join coaching clinics from Major League communities and begin to specialize in higher levels of baseball.
3. Breaking into a college coaching career by using the connections gotten from previous networking with other coaches is the best way in. In this career, it helps to have friends because nobody hires anyone who just came out of nowhere. The most important thing to have to become a successful college baseball coach is a series of wins in your portfolio as well as being voted one of the top 25 coaches in the nation and the baseball poll.
4. Once they have their own program, networking with high school coaches and other baseball playing communities will help become the source of future talented players. Observing the recruitment strategies of other coaches, who were ahead of you, will also lead to success. Learning how they search for talent can only help lead to a successful program, too.
An example of how baseball coaches can network with each other — The Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association Convention
To be a baseball coach, you must know the importance of networking with other coaches. Your long terms survival in this career depends on the survival of other coaches as well. There is a symbiotic relationship among coaches so that even if they are enemies in the field, they actually help each other in real life. In short, there is sense of community among coaches. One of the many ways to meet other coaches is through conventions and one of those is the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association Convention.
The Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association is an association founded in 1972 with more than 3,000 members who serve in every division of baseball. This association aims to promote the sport of baseball in every level and is a great place to brush elbows with other coaches. This convention is one of the best in the country. The reason behind the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association popularity is that they are supportive of its members in many different ways including, addressing current issues of the game, changes in the rules, coach to umpire relationships and a host of other things. At their conventions, they invite speakers to speak on key issues in every area of baseball. Other states like Alabama, North and South Carolina, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Missouri, Tennessee, Ohio and Wisconsin have their own coaches associations as well and like Texas, they have their own conventions too.
Reasons why turf shoes are the perfect baseball coaching shoes
Regular baseball shoes have cleats made of metal or molded hard plastic. This provides traction while running and all other actions of the game. While this is all nice, it isn’t necessary for baseball coaches as they can do all their functions with turf shoes just fine. Here are the reasons:
1. Turf shoes provide adequate traction for coaching needs
Even during drills, turf shoes provide adequate traction and is why coaches don’t need regular baseball shoes with all the elaborate spikes. Added to that, it is more comfortable wearing turf shoes compared to regular baseball shoes.
2. Coaches don’t need to worry about breaking spikes while walking in dugouts
Dugouts are made of concrete and as such, there is always the problem of breaking the spike of a regular baseball shoes. This is not a factor with turf shoes, as they can walk back and forth in a concrete dugout without breaking any spikes from the shoe.
3. Coaches don’t need to change shoes after the game
While players definitely need to change their shoes after games, coaches, wearing turf shoes, don’t need to because they are very close to regular running shoes and are fashionable enough to pass for casual shoes. Therefore, coaches, who love turf shoes, don’t need to change shoes after games.
4. Turf shoes fit the bill
For price, style and comfort, turf shoes fit the bill and are not as pricey compared to regular baseball shoes. They are more comfortable to wear and as already mentioned, are fashionable enough. For coaches, the perfect shoes are turf shoes. Additionally, turf shoes are easy to find because major brands like Nike and Adidas have them.
How to make your coach feel important– the perfect baseball coach gifts
Humans, as we are, we all have the need to feel important and needed. The same thing is true for baseball coaches. With all the effort they give to the team, there are things that their salaries can’t buy and that is the appreciation of their players. If you want to appreciate the efforts of your coach, and you should, here are some ideas on what to give them.
1. A DVD on the latest developments of baseball coaching
This will be highly appreciated by the coach because most coaches are looking to improve and may have been looking for it, too. Coaches need to learn and update their coaching techniques and a DVD with the latest and the greatest in coaching strategy will surely help him in that regard.
2. A baseball coaching book
There are coaches who love to read on top of viewing instructional videos. There are many good books out there about baseball coaching: “The Baseball Coaching Bible” by John Winkin, The Making of a Hitter and Raising and Athlete, by Jack Perconte are all available at Amazon.
3. Baseball tee-shirt and sweatshirt
No gift can have the personal touch like a baseball tee-shirt or sweatshirt. The coach will be proud to wear this as it speaks of the sport you both love.
All these are good ideas for a coach’s gift. The one thing to avoid giving is baseball equipment like , a bucket full of balls or other such baseball equipment as it will only add to the collection in the already crowded garage of your coach.