Monday Motivational Tip of the Day
Coaching Youth baseball players to have a Purpose
Practice, just to practice, often leads to more failure. There has to be a purpose to the practice. Coach John Wooden often said that players should, “Be quick but not hurry,” and this applies to their practice habits as well. Most players go for quantity of repetitions instead of quality, which gets them on the path to mediocrity. As a coach, I continually am telling players to slow down and do it correctly. Once they can do it correctly, they can then begin to do it faster.
One of the first points I try to impress upon ballplayers is that performing an action correctly one time and then incorrectly the next, never leads to improvement. Improvement only comes by putting more actions that are correct in a system than bad ones. Along the same line, the closer players get to doing something correctly every time the quicker improvement shows up. It’s the fundamentals first, with the speed to follow.
Of course, baseball requires very difficult skills to perfect, so I teach the 80% rule, where players to try to do something correctly at least eight out of ten times, knowing that perfection, 10 out of ten correct actions, is most difficult, although the goal.
Coaching Youth Baseball Players for Success
Of course, certain things are necessary so the quality exists.
- A practice plan for that day, beginning with small focus drills as batting tee work, short ground balls, etc
- Attention to small details is necessary.
- Supervision by a knowledgeable coach so the 80% quality rule is followed
- Patience is necessary as getting to the 80% quality takes time
- Understanding – getting players to buy into the process of quality over quantity takes time. Explaining to players that it is best to take 10 repetitions correctly over taking 100 reps with only half being correct is the first step.
In time, coaches will notice that players begin to slow down, practice good habits and achieve greater success.