Saturday Secrets to Great Baseball Coaching – Defense Wins with Championship Coaching Praise
Coaching praise works better than negative coaching and is crucial for good defensive play.
If I have heard this once, I have heard it a thousand times, from youth baseball coaches, “We should have won, but we gave up too many unearned runs.”
The popular saying that great pitching beats great hitting may apply at the highest levels of baseball, but that is not the case at the youth baseball level. The reason being is that it takes good “defense” to go along with that great pitching. Defense often is missing at the youth levels. Good coaches agree with another popular saying, “Defense wins championships,” so it is imperative that kids make plays.
Coaching Praise is necessary at these times:
Praise a little when kids catch balls the fundamentally incorrect way, but suggest and show them the correct way for them to try the next time. Coaches should not settle for kids catching balls without the correct fundamentals because players can get away with catching balls occasionally the wrong way, but it catches up with them before long.
Coaching praise is important, even if errors are the result, when the correct fielding fundamentals are used, so kids do not get discouraged and so they realize the next time will be different, when they keep applying the correct fielding fundamentals.
The most coaching praise with great enthusiasm should always be given in the case when the play is made and is made the correct way.
Good coaches reward great defensive plays, or plays made by a player for the first time, during post-game and post-practice talks so they realize you noticed and for their self confidence.