Numerous Baseball Issues Arise for Volunteer Coaches – Be Prepared
Coaches face many unforeseen baseball issues that make them want to pull their hair out when coaching youth baseball. Many coaches learn the hard way, and dealing with these baseball issues makes the season seem longer than it should. Anyone, who has coached little league, is familiar with many baseball issues that drive coaches to reconsider why they are coaching in the first place. Of course, coaches should not pull their hair out, but wanting to scream is definitely going to happen when dealing with the baseball issues while coaching youth baseball.
The first rule of coaching youth baseball is, “Be prepared to have a backup plan for any and all scenarios.” It is important that coaches realize they are dealing with young kids, who are unpredictable and busy, and second, they are dealing with parents who are often the same, not to mention stressed out, also. Stated another way, coaching school rule #1 – have plan b, c, and d ready.
Following are some of the baseball issues that drive coaches crazy, but the good news is that coaches, who prepare for these possible scenarios, will have a much smoother season and may even want to coach the following season.
Baseball Issues that Cause Gray Hair ,
1. The team’s scheduled practice ended at 6:30 and the parent shows up for their child at 7:15. The coach either sits there or leaves the child alone at the park. Of course, the second option is not really an option but parents must understand the coach has a life too.
Youth baseball coaching solutions – Encourage Options
- Encourage parents to have an alternate plan to pick up their child, just in case
- Make sure parent lets the coach know how late they will be before the end of practice
- Have parents have a buddy system with other parents of players on team for just such situations
Unfortunately, in this day and age, coaches cannot leave player, nor take players home with them, unless they have a child on the team and the other parents’ permission.
2. Phone call comes at 4PM stating that tonight’s starting pitcher cannot make it to the game, as they forgot he had a school function that he could not miss.
Youth Baseball Coaching Solutions – Early Notice
Demand that parents give early notice, when possible, for when players will miss games and practices. Here is where having plans B and C really come into play. Coaches should work other players out at pitching and catching during practices because, as is said, you can never have enough pitching or catching.
3. It is ten minutes before the start of the game and only seven players are there
Youth Baseball Coaching Solutions – Game Arrival Time
Coaches should insist that players arrive at least 45 minutes before game time, if not an hour
4. More coaches attend practice than players do
Youth baseball Coaching Solution – Get On Calendar First
Coaches should set their practice schedule up as soon as the team is set and get on player’s calendar early. Most kids are involved in other sports and activities so, unless practice is on their schedule first, practices may be sparse with players.
Baseball Issues that have Coaches Kicking the Dugout Fence
5. The first 15 minutes of practice seem like a waste because coaches are unsure of where they should be or what they should be working on.
Youth Baseball Coaching Solutions – Email, Text
The head coach should email or text the other coaches with the practice agenda the night before or earlier that day.
6. The team is making the same mental mistakes game after game
Youth Baseball Coaching Solutions – Note Taking
Coaches should take written notes during games, detailing in order of importance the things they need to practice at the next practice.
7. Players bat out of turn or are not ready to bat
Baseball Solutions – Keep Players’ Heads in Game
Coaches should post batting order, have players sit in the order of the batting order or have another coach announcing the up-to-bat hitter, on deck and in the hole players.
8. Valuable war-up time and game minutes are lost between innings trying to get players set in the correct defensive positions
Coaching Solutions – Post it Notes
Just as posting the batting order, the inning-by-inning defensive line-up should also be posted for players to see ahead of time and to refer to between innings. Additionally, coaches should list extra responsibilities, as who should be coaching the bases and warming up other position players between innings.
Baseball Issues that have Youth Coaches Ready to Call it a Coaching Career
9. The coach for the following game is in your face because the dugout is a mess after your game
Coaching Solutions – Cleanup Crew
Coaches should institute a no-food in the dugout rule and have all players clean up after games.
10. A parent threatens to sue the coaches because a ball hit their son and there was no ice pack around.
Coaching Solutions – First Aid Awareness
Coaches should never leave home for practice or games without the medicine kit and an ice pack, or two.
11. It is Jimmy’s turn to bat but he is talking to his parents in the stands or worse yet, he is crying because his dad told him that he is playing terribly.
Coaching Solutions – Parents Stay in Stands Rule
No parents except coaches are allowed in or near dugout during games unless it is for emergency type information.
12. Coach is overwhelmed with things to do for the team
Coaching Solution – Designate Roles
Coaches would have to quit their day jobs to do all the things they need to coach, so getting help from other parents with field maintenance, bookkeeping, travel arrangements, baseball equipment, and base coaching is paramount for maintaining sanity.
Finally, the other good news is that many of these baseball issues disappear at the higher levels of baseball, and before all gray hair appears.