The Critical Baseball Calls Require Honesty Coaching
The idea of positive coaching often gets the wrong interpretation. Many people believe it means keeping everyone happy all the time and allowing kids to do whatever they want. Nothing is further from the truth, as positive coaching involves honesty coaching. Honesty coaching does not always make coaches the most popular people. Kids and their parents often get upset over anything they perceive as criticism. For that reason, coaches must walk a fine line. They should never alienate a child from wanting to play, but they must be honest with people, too. Of all the traits that people respect, those of fairness and honesty are at the top of the list.
There are many crucial baseball calls coaches make during games. Of more importance are the baseball calls they make that determine the kids’ futures in the games and beyond. Making the right moves at the right times makes all the difference with extending players’ chances of success and playing longer. Coaches must keep the fun, motivation and perspective in the games, but do so by keeping the honesty in it, too.
There is usually no definitive, correct answer to the different decisions that go into coaching, as each player is different. With one player, the solution may be one thing and with the next one, a different resolution is necessary. After some decisions, there is no way of knowing if it was the right decision until many years later, if ever. The best chance of making the right calls begin with having the right coaching intentions, making well thought out decisions and having open communication with the parties involved. Unfortunately, many coaches believe they know the player’s wishes or do not even try to find out the kid’s desires, and make the tough decisions without the athlete’s input.
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Following are a number things to consider before making the tough baseball calls that may help win games, but more importantly, help win lives.
Honesty Coaching and Motivation
Never overdo it with motivation. Adults must realize that pushing or nagging kids to practice more almost always backfires in the end. Coaches must keep things in perspective and understand that each player has different levels of commitment. Often, it is the parents that want baseball success more than their child does and coaches must not insist that players win and have personal success just to please others.Motivation must come from the players themselves. The best coaches do their best to inspire with the hopes kids gain the self-motivation to work hard and reach their potential.
But, on the other hand, they must:
Hold players accountable. Having patience with player development is a key coaching ingredient. But, it must be honest patience, which explains that ballplayers are accountable, too. It is essential to explain to kids that the coaches will not empathize with them when they feel bad about bad games and their performance after inadequate practice habits. The idea of equating hard work with success is what honest patience is about and that reality must come for players, and coaches to feel satisfied.
Honesty Coaching and Fun
Fun is the major reasons kids play sports, but trying to shield kids from the non-enjoyable things is not good either. Coaches must keep the fun in the game. Without fun, baseball becomes boring and kids leave for other activities at young ages. Good coaches know the things that deliver fun to playing baseball – opportunity, activity, knowledge, positive coaching, development, and success. When even one of those is missing, the fun comes out of playing.
On the other hand, fun is not a given.
Coaches are not miracle workers. When kids have little interest in the first place and are only playing to please mom and dad, little will make that attitude change. A time comes when coaches have to be honest with a player’s parents and express the news that their child may not enjoy the game. With the player, coaches should always give an honest analysis of players’ effort levels.
It is not fun for coaches to have to call players out when they do not bring any enthusiasm for playing, but it is a necessary part of coaching. Hearing criticism is not a fun thing for players, but it is a message they need to hear when they attempt to take short cuts. When coaches bring the enthusiasm and give their time to help players, athletes must respond in kind with an honest effort. Learning new positions, the willingness to play different spots, hustling on and off the field, and expecting team members to practice on their own are not always fun for kids but they owe it to themselves and the coaches to do the best they can.
Honesty Coaching and Discipline
Youth coaches should never treat the games or the kids as if it were the Major Leagues. Punishing players for losing and poor play is never acceptable at the amateur levels. Sitting players on the bench for any reason that involves their play is unacceptable.
Using appropriate forms of discipline to teach kids respect for the game and those involved with it are necessary. Players are out to have fun, but coaches are out for more than just making things fun. Coaches must teach the principles of honesty, sportsmanship, and teamwork. Using appropriate means of discipline to teach those will help kids the rest of their lives.
Honesty Coaching and Expectations
Perhaps no issue requires coaches to walk a finer line than in the area of expectations. Coaches should be honest from the start and explain to the parents and ballplayers the chances of the child being a star, getting a college scholarship and going pro someday. Those chances are minuscule, at best.
Coaches should never do anything that diminishes a players’ dreams and goals. Coaches must deliver and honest day’s work every time teams play and practice. Just because the players may not be stars, helping them reach their potential is what playing is all about.
Honesty coaching keeps a coach’s integrity intact. Of course, all honest analysis must be given in a compassionate way.
#honestycoaching #positive coaching
Jack Perconte has dedicated his post-major league baseball career to helping youth. He has taught baseball and softball for the past 27 years. His playing, coaching and parenting stories create better experiences for athletes and parents. Jack has written over a thousand articles on coaching baseball and youth sports. Jack is the author of “The Making of a Hitter” now $5 and “Raising an Athlete.” His third book “Creating a Season to Remember” is in the works. Jack is a featured writer for Baseball the Magazine. You can also find Jack Perconte on YouTube with over 80 fun and innovative baseball instructional videos.