The Necessary Baseball Practice Mindset is not a Given
Coaches often become frustrated with the pace that youth learn. The thing is; it is not kids’ fault because young players do not automatically know how to train. Having an excellent learning environment is not magic. Coaches must develop a baseball practice mindset that fosters learning and player development. Of course, some players are quicker to learn what it takes to be a coach-able player than others are. As with all things, time is needed until players learn how to get the most out of practice.
The best baseball players may seem to have goals that set them apart. Yet, their goals are more uncomplicated than people would think. Their primary objective is simply to get the most out of baseball practice. That is a goal baseball coaches should try to instill in every ballplayer.
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Following are the keys to developing a hearty baseball practice mentality for success.
Baseball Practice Mindset Tips
Coaches should create:
- Daily practice goals – Help players as a team and individually decide what things to improve upon that day. Overwhelming kids with too much at one time leads to confusion, so narrowing the daily focus helps avoid that.
- Accountability – Insist that players keep their heads up and their eyes open. It is frustrating to see players’ eyes everywhere but on the action and the coaches, during demonstrations.
- Game atmosphere – Have players work at game speed, as much as possible. Game competition is hard to replicate in practice because of the lack of pressure. The absence of fans, mom and dad, in particular makes practice easier. Putting players in tense game spots helps come game time.
- Coach-able attitudes – Ask players to try everything coaches suggest. Successful players may have difficulty recognizing the need for change, so that is a tough sell, at times.
- Inquisitiveness – Cheer players that ask questions. Coaches should explain that they want questions with even the slightest misunderstanding.
- Fearlessness – Preach the importance of accepting challenges. Practice is the time to develop a fearless approach, and that only comes from tackling challenges.
- Adversity – Help players learn from the failure. The first step of improvement comes from a tedious trial and error process.
- Patience – Players like activity but it is best they learn to slow down at first. Coaching quality over quantity at first is better for gaining knowledge of how to do things.
- Inspiration – Failing to give kids ways of practicing at home stifles development. There is not enough time during team practices for players to develop the necessary muscle memory.
- Graciousness – Encourage kids to thank their coaches after practices. Little excites a coach more than having their coaching efforts appreciated.
Of all the sports, no game requires development of skills like baseball does. The intricacies of hitting, pitching, fielding and strategy demands a robust baseball practice mindset.