Best Coaching Technique during Baseball Practice Games
An outstanding way for coaches to help young players learn and keep their heads in games is to pepper players with questions. That may seem obvious, but many coaches fail to take advantage of baseball practice games in this way. Most coaches yell instructions from the bench before pitches but fail to learn players’ mindset. Also, many coaches wait until after plays before asking what players were thinking.
In the following manner, coaches ask questions one on one to players and get player responses. The head coach assigns each team coach to a specific area – one each for base running, hitting, pitching and fielding. Of course, many teams do not have four coaches, so coaches may have to cover more than one aspect of the game.
The fielding coach roams the field and acts as the base umpire, too. The pitching coach stands behind the pitcher and is the balls and strikes umpire. The base running coach begins in the first base coaching box, but can roam from base to base during the baseball practice games. The hitting coach roams the bench and the on deck circle to talk to batters before and after their at-bats.
The Important Questions for Baseball Practice Games
During the baseball practice games, coaches, who are nearby, ask questions directly to players. The base running coach asks base runners things like: “How many outs are there? What’s the count on the hitter? What kind of move does the pitcher have?” “What kind of throwing arm does the catcher have?” “Did you check where the defense is?” “What do you do on a line drive, ground ball or fly ball?”
The fielding coach roams around to position players asking their responsibilities on batted balls. They also ask if players are ready and want the ball to come to them. They also ask things like, “Are you positioned correctly?” and “Why or why not?”
The hitting coach asks players in the on-deck circle and on the bench things like, “What is the game situation?” “What is the pitcher throwing?” “What is your hitting plan?” “What is the pitcher’s arm angle?” After at-bats, they ask “Did you get a good pitch?” and “What would you have done differently?”
The pitching coach asks pitchers their plan to get hitters out. The obvious questions are “Why are you throwing that pitch in that situation?” and “Do you feel confident with that pitch selection?” They can follow up with “What’s the game situation” and “Did you hold runners on and were you ready to field your position?”
Other Baseball Practice Games Coaching Advantages
Coaches can also have a coach help catchers with questions, so they learn how to call games, too.
The list of possible questions based on game situations are endless.
Based on the game situation coaches analyze players’ responses and instruct accordingly.
Post plays, coaches follow up with all players with things like, “What could or should you have done?”
Coaches will notice players learn how to play the game so much sooner in this manner, the goal of it all.
Coaches must not delay games, but there is enough time between pitches to ask an important question or two.
Finally, coaches on the field must avoid getting into players way during the action by being aware of batted and thrown balls. For safety reasons, on the field baseball coaches should wear batting helmets for safety too.