Saturday Tips for Great Baseball Coaching
Baseball Coaching Practices to Avoid
Many ball players set personal goals for themselves. This is not a bad thing, when kids do it themselves, as it serves as self-motivation. However, I am not a great believer in short term goals or adults setting goals for youth baseball players, as goals set players up for disappointment, which affects self-confidence negatively. Statistical goals and award goals, as so many home runs or making the all-star team, are often beyond players’ control and put more pressure on players than necessary. In the end, the goal setting often backfires.
Additionally, many parents and coaches get in the habit of rewarding young players when they do something on the ball field. I also do not believe giving players rewards for reaching certain statistical game or season goals is a good thing, as often kids begin to play more for reaching their individual awards than for the team and/ or for the fun of the game. Even telling kids that you will buy them an ice cream cone after the game, if they hit a home run begins a precedent that is not good.
Along those lines, rewarding teams for winning is not a good coaching practice, for the same reasons just mentioned. “Treats for everyone, if we win today,” is one of those reward types that coaches should avoid.
However, goals and rewards on a team basis can be good, when they emphasize things that teams control and that attest to effort and hustle, as opposed to statistics. Having team type rewards for goals that pertain to working hard and for striving for improvement is great motivators for teams and teaches lessons beyond the ball diamond.
Good Baseball Coaching Practices to Reward Players for
1. Do their best to pay attention to everything coaches say
2. Hustle on and off field
3. Run every batted ball out 100%
4. Completely clean up dugout and surrounding areas after game and help with baseball equipment before games
5. Root for each other as never before
6. Treat their parents and all adults with respect at the games and practices
7. Never question an umpire’s call
Coaching practices like these, which reward players for respecting the game, sportsmanship, and for respecting adults around the game, are worth rewarding youth. Of course, it can get expensive for coaches to offer food, etc… for these type things, so just giving out baseball cards or other inexpensive things is best.