Youth Baseball Coaching Traps – Keeping the Fun in the Game
Many factors go into keeping the fun in youth baseball. That is not a simple task, as the skills of hitting, pitching, and fielding are difficult to succeed at, not to mention learning the mental aspects and strategies of the game. However, coaches can go a long way to keeping the fun in the game when coaching youth baseball by avoiding the following pitfalls that many coaches fall for.
Youth baseball coaching traps – Practice Boredom
Baseball has enough slow time built into it, between pitches and between hit balls, so coaches must combat that during practices by avoiding these traps with the following coaching solutions.
- Set up multiple stations
- Keep stations relatively short
- Use fielding and base running stations for conditioning work
Lengthy Talks Solutions
- Keep talks short followed by practicing talk subject
- Use pictures, video and demonstrations
Practicing Same Skill too Long
- Add short breaks for socialization and drink breaks
- Rotate players to different positions
- Stick with time limits designated by written practice plans
So many coaches forget that games provide enough pressure already, as nothing is invisible from view on the ball diamond, and especially for the pitchers and batters. Then there are parents that tend do add pressure, too. Coaches should avoid the following traps with these youth baseball coaching suggestions.
Under coaching and Over-coaching
- Coach all players and challenge players according to ability
- Let kids play – coach before and after games
- Use matter of fact voice for correcting, excited voice for praising
Too High of Expectations
- Never forget game and success is difficult
- Remain positive and show belief in team no matter how bad things go
Negative Talk or Actions
- Think before speaking, hold off when in doubt what to say or when upset
- Keep parents away from field and dugout during games
Youth baseball coaching traps to avoid – Parent or Player Alienation
Nothing disrupts a team more than having disgruntled players or parents. Following are many common issues that create alienation and ways to avoid those problems.
- Treat own child the same as other teams members – no better, no worse
- Express clearly what is expected of players on and off the field
- Discuss philosophy on all possible issues before the season with parents, as failure to address issues when first noticed leads to big problems later
- Set mode and times of communication with parents
- Explain beforehand or be prepared to explain positioning and lineup to players and parents
- Be honest and never go back on promises to players or parents
- Keep the proper perspective at all times, understanding it is all about the kids – their physical and emotions health
- Playing only to win is never acceptable – it’s about player development and fun
Coaching youth baseball should be a rewarding and fun experience for the coach, too, and will be when they avoid these youth baseball coaching traps.